The Miracle of the Child with the Half Functioning Heart

By Liguori Publications, Special for  USDR

We refused to give up,” said Derek and Annette George.

Their son, John Paul, was born twenty years ago with a half-functioning heart, caused by hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Although this rare condition is almost always fatal, John Paul has survived and has started college. The Georges said Monday on NBC’s Today Show that, time after time, they had prayed for miracles for their  son.

Heart of a Lion: A Story of God’s Grace and a Family’s Hope is their inspiring and emotional memoir of a life that has seemed more like a roller coaster ride, filled with uncertainties and setbacks, as well as blessings and  miracles.

John Paul’s life is a miracle,” said Derek  George.

His son’s life began with a high-risk surgery, one of several that helped John Paul to survive. “We often talked about how we wished there had been someone who could have given us insight,” said Derek George. “For my family, that’s what it’s all about, offering encouragement to parents and families with sick children or loved  ones.”

“We want to tell others that, when you’re facing a difficult situation, there is always hope,” said Annette George. “Don’t give up. All things are possible with  God.”

In Heart of a Lion, John Paul George adds his voice to those of his parents, as he relates his struggles to persevere with a syndrome that has affected his growth. “I am very short for my age,” he said. “Most people think I’m eleven years old when in reality I’m  twenty.”

But John Paul refuses to be held back by any disability or by negativity. “I can’t change who I am,” he said, “but I can change the world as I  am.”

Heart of a Lion: A Story of God’s Grace and a Family’s Hope (Liguori, 2015) is available from and bookstores e verywhere.

Liguori Publications is a leading publisher of Catholic resources for parishes and individuals in every stage of faith and life. A ministry of the Redemptorists, Liguori publishes thought-provoking and inspirational print and digital books, catechetical and faith formation materials, and its signature magazine, Liguorian. To learn more, visit

SOURCE Liguori  Publications

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