Richard T. Daddona, went into the baptismal waters of Trinity Chapel Assembly of God in Louisville, Kentucky, on Sept. 24, 2017, and emerged as a faithful man healed of ALS.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, progressively weakens muscles and severely affects a person’s physical abilities. In October 2016, a neurologist confirmed that Daddona, 59, had the disease after he had suffered for a year with a horrible, constant twitching throughout his body.
In January 2017, Daddona retired and began using a wheelchair to function because of the disease’s impact on his legs. Daddona’s wife of 30 years, Nancie, became his primary caregiver. Daddona could not sit up, roll over, get dressed, or bathe by himself.
Immediately after the diagnosis, Daddona says he began to have a series of 12 elaborate dreams. Someone always preached a message about healing waters and how they could wash away sickness, sin, and disease. Each time after the sermon finished, Daddona and his wife walked down a path lined with a dozen trees and a different Bible passage posted on wooden planks. The path led to a waterfall filling a small pool. At the top of the waterfall a man looked down with outstretched arms. With each new dream, Daddona could decipher an additional Bible verse on the 12 trees leading to the pool.
“I would wake up long enough to write down the Scripture and go back to sleep,” Daddona recalls, Nancie kept a log of the dreams, which occurred over several months. Midway through, the Daddonas approached their pastor, Scott A. Brown.
“The repetition of the dreams coupled with the Scripture was when we began to see there was a clear and common theme and one aspect of that was water baptism,” says Brown, 48.
The verse from the penultimate dream came from Acts 22:16: “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (NKJV). Daddona had never been baptized.
At the baptismal service, Daddona’s testimony was read as well as the explanation of his dreams and accompanying Scriptures. Two associate pastors had to physically lower Daddona from his wheelchair into the tub.
“I was focused on the physical struggles of maneuvering him in and out,” says one of them, youth pastor Philip F. Lascoe, 29. “Deep down I was a bit nervous in terms of his dreams and of him potentially getting healed.”
As Daddona sat in the baptismal tub, he began to pray for God to heal him.
“I knew I was going to be healed, but I just didn’t know when,” Daddona says. “I was just praying that God would heal me at that moment.”
When Daddona came out of the water, he says he began to feel a tingly heat, first in his hands — which were curled over themselves — and then in his legs. Daddona stood up from the water, grasped the associate pastors’ hands with strength he didn’t possess only moments earlier, and stepped out of the tub unassisted. He hugged his wife, two sons, two daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren watching from the front row. The entire congregation rejoiced in tears, applause, hugs, and hallelujahs over the instant healing.
“I was overjoyed!” Brown says. “You don’t get to see that every day.”
“I simply stood astonished,” Lascoe remembers. “I couldn't do anything but praise God.”
Instead of sitting in the wheelchair that brought him in, Daddona pushed it out of church that day.
Now, a few months later, Daddona volunteers in the infant nursery with Nancie each week. He walks and moves about as if he never had ALS, and he has strength and agility with everyday tasks.
“This entire experience has brought me closer to my wife and has brought us closer to God,” Daddona says. “We feel like we can totally depend on him for anything.”