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Document Type

Dissertation - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

MaryLou Mylant


According to current literature, cases of radical or spontaneous healings occur occasionally and are underreported. Typically, instances of spontaneous healings are documented as a medical case report, with proof of diagnosis, and evidence that the disease is eradicated. A phenomenological study, rooted in the philosophy of hermeneutics was implemented to discover the lived experience of a radical, unpredicted, or unexpected healing from a life-altering illness. Seven participants were interviewed using open-ended questions to elicit the stories of the healing experience. Major patterns that were explicated from the data are: illness as quantum transformation, creating a healing path, and experiencing the extraordinary. Common themes explored among the stories were focused on listening to one’s inner voice, creating a healing path, reliance on support from family and others, and the occasional mystical encounter. Data analysis revealed a strong suggestion that on the healing path, participants had very distinct ideas about how recommended treatments may harm them or heal them. Often this caused a breakdown in communication and collaboration with health care professionals. This researcher introduces a new conceptual framework called Organic Health Resources (OHR), to describe how people with illnesses begin their quest for healing.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Critically ill--Psychology


Includes bibliographical references ( pages 124-140)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted