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Tar Heel Traveler

Book Excerpt

Faith and Air: The Miracle List

FAITH and Air: The Miracle List​

My interview subject was a broadcaster himself, and my story was about his long career and all the famous people he met. He’d kept me entertained, but the shocker came with the camera off.


“What?” I said. “You died and came back to life?”


“Oh, that’s another story. Some other time,” he said and swatted the air.


“No, no,” I said. “Tell me.”


He at last dug in, talked of floating up to the hospital ceiling, hovering there and looking down, seeing his body stretched on the bed below, dead sure enough.


He spoke in a very matter-of-fact manner about watching the nurses cover him with a sheet, then teased me with a few other juicy details — the nurse who spoke up and said, Let me try, and crawled on top of his corpse and pumped his chest with both hands.


“CPR was new back then,” he told me. “Hardly anybody had heard of it. Thank God she had.”


A plane crash survivor near Charlotte made my miracle list. He was a businessman late for his flight one night in 1959 and grabbed the last seat on Piedmont Airlines Flight 349.


The plane took off and the man settled back, peered out the window and thought about opening the book he’d started earlier. He never got the chance. The plane slammed into a mountain—his book still on page thirteen.


“My lucky number!” he said.

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