When Josie Pailie was only 16 years old, she lost vision in one of her eyes as a result of a vein occlusion. Like most resilient 16-year-olds, she quickly adjusted to her disability and went on with life as usual.
Years later, at the age of 44, she received heartbreaking news that the condition had spread, and was now affecting her good eye. Doctors told her to prepare to go completely blind.
If you knew you were going blind, what would you want to see while you still could? Considering this question himself, Josie’s brother, Peter, encouraged her to go skydiving. He wanted her to see something beautiful and have it to remember for when she couldn’t see anymore.
Josie was terrified. She told Peter that she needed a sign from God for her to do this. She said if she called home and her father answered, then it’s a sign. Knowing that her father was out of town, Josie felt a sense of peace—until he answered the phone.
She got her sign.
Reluctantly, Josie agreed to go skydiving with her brother. And like most who reluctantly jump out of planes from 13,000 feet at 125 miles per hour, she was certain she was about to die.
“This is the most terrible thing, my children are going to see my death, so I tried to give them some sign that I loved them,” Josie recalls.
She held up three fingers to the camera man who recorded the jump, trying to get the message across to her kids and grandkids who would see the video. It was at that moment when she heard a “pop” in her head, followed by an excruciating pain.
To her relief, the instructor tapped her hip right then to pull the ripcord and release the parachute.
Josie says it was the best 10 minutes of her entire life. “A very good feeling came over me, a serene feeling,” she explains. “I was thankful for life, and I just felt like I should be thanking God for things—I was just very happy.”
Josie made an incredible stand-up landing, and her brother says she was very proud of herself. Then she started saying that something had happened to her eye. She explained the popping, but her skydiving instructor said that it was just her ears popping from the pressure.
The next morning when Josie woke up, she was able to see out of both eyes! She spent the entire day covering one eye, then covering the other eye, testing her vision in BOTH eyes. She knew that something miraculous had happened.
When she called up her brother to tell him that she was able to see, he didn’t quite believe her. Peter encouraged her to get it checked out by the doctor, who ran extensive tests on both of her eyes.
The test revealed that there was a dramatic change in the condition of both eyes. The bleeding and blockage had completely stopped!
Doctors believe that the rapid change in air pressure might have released the blockage in Josie’s veins.
Josie insists that it was a miracle.