of Colm Cahill
By Colm Cahill
It was October 1998
I was in the car coming home from an activity
with my dad I was sitting in the back at the left side.
We were driving though St Peters on our usual
route home, At this time I did not know that this car journey
would affect me for the next seven years! We stopped at a
junction letting some cars go past the cars had gone and my dad
put the car into gear and released the hand brake. Then out of
nowhere the loudest screeching of brakes you could imagine.
I turned round to see what it was, A blue
ford escort van skidding towards our car! It went straight into
the back of us we got catapulted down the road about 100 yards
and the car stopped about half a meter before a granite wall! It
was a week later I was sitting at my desk in class, I went to
FCJ School in class 7/year3
I think it was Thursday I can’t really
remember this day that well, I sat quite near the front on the
right side of the room we were do reading. Mrs Le Braye was my
teacher she called my name to come up and read to her, I stood
up and started to walk towards her I suddenly was very dizzy it
was like the room split in two I stopped dead I could hear her
calling my name “COLM,COLM,COLM”. Then everything went dark I
could just hear voices.
Sometime later that year I had another
episode in school. This scared me a little as I was only 7yrs
old. When I was told it was seizures I didn’t really know how
serious it was.
For the first couple of years it was quite
mild, but they still made me scared because having my first I
thought it was a ‘one off’ then the second it made me realise it
could happen again.
As I went into year 5/6 life got hard at
school because some of the teachers and pupils did not
understand how my illness affected me even when I wasn’t in a
seizure. I was labelled as a daydreamer and a lazy pupil. It was
because of absence seizures that they couldn’t seem to
As the seizures got worse I was made to feel
like an outcast. I was hidden from others and made to do lessons
when the others had PE because I was a risk. I needed special
medication for long seizures and none of the staff would agree
to be trained to help me. There had been a member of staff
(First Aider) who had been very kind to me and had helped me in
the early days, even from my first seizure but she had retired.
Some staff tried to understand but I was unable to stay in the
Already at this time the drugs were affecting
me in a negative way. For example, tempers, tiredness and mood
swings. They did not know if this was partly my illness too. Car
journeys to school were the worst.
I was not at FCJ anymore for reasons I will
keep private. I was now at Bel Royal primary school. Car
journeys improved and became quite pleasant partly due to the
fact I was isolated from my brothers and sisters. Bel Royal
accepted me with open arms. I was looked at like a normal child
which had a positive affect on my self confidence. I became very
much involved with sports and other activities with the school
like sailing. Things which I could not have dreamed of before
at FCJ. Bel Royal gave me a positive start into secondary school
where my seizures still continued to occur.
Year 7 is quite blurred in my memory as my
seizures were worse. It was like a yoyo in and out of hospital.
I seem to remember a lot of time in sick bay with Mrs Mallet my
first aider and Phil my counsellor with my Dad too alongside
when I woke up from a seizure. This gave me a lot of help. I had
two good friends who acted as buddies for me to keep me safe
from hurting myself.
I developed a desire to have a dog as they
seemed to have a very calming affect on me. Sometimes I just
needed a best friend to give me a hug. So Mum and Dad decided to
get a dog. She was a girl called Celtie (Border collie,
sheepdog) She became my best friend, of course I had a bunch of
good friends at school, but she was much more special to me.
When I had seizures at home as I came round it felt happy to see
Mum, Dad and Celtie’s eyes staring at me.
My brothers and sisters went through a really
hard time due to my seizures and moods. They didn’t complain and
I will always be grateful to them. They often had to go to other
people at short notice and give up their plans. Elizabeth in
particular helped mum a lot with first aid and in coping with
me. Patrick supported Mum and Dad by helping with the little
ones. Even my little brother and sister knew what to do for
I don’t remember much about year 8 but I do
remember one occasion when I was in Science. I went in and sat
down. I took out my pen touched the paper and then like magic I
was in hospital. My seizure had not lasted all that time as when
I came round I was eating sweets. There had been a gap in my
memory. I had a drip in my arm and Mum was by my bed. I was
terrified. I remember nothing of the gap.
I began to drop activities and seizures got
more common at home and school. A ride in an ambulance would
seem exciting to some but to me it was scary and common. My
sister would hear the siren coming to school and know it would
be me. Poor Dad spent more time with me than at his desk in
school. It became that I was hardly ever in school and I
couldn’t keep up with my friend’s very well as I was never in
school and so my relationship with Celtie grew.
My life was wrecked I really did not see the
purpose of Colm John Cahill I was useless I couldn’t do any
thing unsupervised at this moment I saw no point in church it
was a load of rubbish but this all changed when we got our new
parish priest Farther Peter Glas. He talked a lot about
Medjugorje he came to hospital and anointed me and prayed with
me one day he came to my house and spoke to me privately he said
“Colm, I want to ask you something” I replied “yes, what” he
said “I am going to Medjugorje, I am would like to dedicate my
whole pilgrimage to you 7 days where every prayer will be for
your healing… is that ok with you?” I was speechless I replied
“yes I will pray too!”
It was Friday night I was in the garden
praying and it was so noisy and windy I was praying the rosary
and I had lit ten candles I had got on to my 3rd decade and the
time was exactly 9.00pm and ten o'clock in Medjugorje the time
of the apparition suddenly the world stopped and the wind fell
completely still and there was no traffic I felt complete peace
which I had not felt for seven years it was indescribable at 5
minutes past nine and all the candles I had lit went out and and
there was no wind after they went out the noise came back and
and soon after the wind did too, I believe I was healed at that
time I have never had a seizure since.
Testimony of Fr. Peter who prayed for Colm in Medjugorje
& story of the making of a music CD inspired by the story of
Visit Our Lady Queen of Peace Medjugorje for
If you would like to write Medjugorje USA