‘The Greatest Day’: Once Atheist Terminal Cancer Patient Baptized as Final Wish By Tré Goins-Phillips for Faith Wire
After spending most of his life as an atheist, new believer Thomas Roberts was baptized in early September during his final days.
Roberts, who passed away on Sept. 9, was dying of lung cancer. He was wheelchair bound and dependent on oxygen tubes to breathe, but he had one final wish: he wanted to be baptized.
Neither Corey Agricola, a chaplain at the University of Alabama Birmingham Hospital, nor the palliative care team were going to stand in the way of Roberts’ desire to be baptized, according to a post from UAB.
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Roberts knew he had only days to live, so the team at UAB had to act quickly. Agricola spoke with Roberts’ physician, Dr. Ashley Nichols, to make sure he could be taken off oxygen long enough to be entirely submerged underwater.
Once he got Nichols’ approval, Agricola and a team of medical staffers went to work.
“Dr. Nichols made it clear he would only be able to be off oxygen for a few seconds, which meant we couldn’t roll him down the ramp in the pool wheelchair, so we had to use the chairlift to place him in the pool,” the chaplain said.
Agricola described Roberts’ harrowing baptism as “the greatest day of my career,” which has spanned 20 years of ministry, seven of which have been at UAB.
Standing in the poll, the chaplain read Romans 6:4-11, which states: