A successful businesswoman in the Washington, D.C. area told us an extraordinary story of how she had managed to locate her missing daughter and bring her to the hospital just in time to save her from overdosing on drugs.
"Janet had been going through a rebellious period. She had been experimenting with recreational drugs in a very reckless manner," Ava Johanneson said. "We had had one violent quarrel after another over her irresponsible lifestyle, and one night Janet just left the house and disappeared."
Three months went by, and the frantic mother had no idea where her eighteen-year-old daughter had vanished to.
"I had not heard one word from her," Ava said.
"The police had been unable to find a single clue to her whereabouts. I didn't even know if she was alive or dead. It was a terrible, heartbreaking situation for a mother to be in."
Ava telephoned her ex-husband on the West Coast, hoping that Janet might have gone there to try the California lifestyle, but he had had no word from their daughter either.
"I can't tell you how miserable I felt," Ava said. If only I had known where Janet was, I would have telephoned her and begged her to come home so that we could work things out."
Ava is legally blind. Only by holding papers at a certain angle and moving them close to her thick-lensed eyeglasses can she read the numerous documents relevant to her prosperous manufacturing business.
"It was at that moment that the telephone rang," Ava said. "My secretary said it was someone who insisted on speaking only to me. I answered and heard only one word--'Momma'--and the line went dead. I knew that it was my Janet and that she was very ill and needed me at once!"
At first it seemed like cruel fate. She had not heard from Janet in months, and now only a one-word telephone call. Where was she? Was she calling from a faraway city?
No. Ava felt in her mother's heart that the call had come from the city. But where?
And then an incredible miracle occurred. Ava suddenly had a clear mental image of a row of shoddy apartment buildings bordering the city's slum area. As she focused on the remarkable photograph in her mind, she suddenly knew that she could find the very room from which her daughter had telephoned.
After all these months of anxiety, sleepless nights, worrying about Janet, Ava, now knew where she was--but she had just smashed her glasses and couldn't see a thing without them. How could she drive to her daughter's side in time to help her? It was useless to call for help--she would only waste time explaining how she knew where Janet was.
And then Ava experienced another miracle--she could see!
"I picked up a city map from my bookcase," she said. "After years and years of eyesight so bad I was declared legally blind, I could now read even the smallest print on the map. And then I knew exactly where Janet was. My eyes focused on one particular address. In my mind I could see an apartment, and I could clearly see my daughter lying unconscious beside the telephone."
Once she determined that her daughter did, indeed, reside in an apartment at that address, she persuaded the superintendent to allow her access and to call an ambulance.
"I held Janet's head in my lap until the ambulance arrived," Ava said. "She was completely unconscious and had no awareness of my presence. Thank God, I was in time."
It was later apparent to investigators that Janet had accidentally overdosed on drugs, realized her error, then desperately reached out for her mother's unconditional love by attempting a telephone call for help before she lapsed into unconsciousness.
But what will never be explained is how Ava was able immediately to know the exact whereabouts of the daughter from whom she had received no communication at all for many months--and how, though legally blind, she was able to see perfectly well to drive through heavy traffic to an address that was previously unknown to her.
Then, as soon as the paramedics and police arrived and she was certain that Janet was safe and would be cared for by medical professionals, Ava's wonderfully perfect vision left her as suddenly as it had mysteriously come upon her. She knew that without her special prescription eyeglasses, it would once again be impossible for her to negotiate the city streets that she had just minutes before traveled so effortlessly, and she asked a police office to drive her home.
The only explanation possible to Ava and to Janet, who now works in her mother's business, is that sometimes a mother's love can work miracles.