Last week, author and Bible teacher Joni Eareckson Tada shared the good news of her hospital release following 16 days of “struggling with double pneumonia.” The 73-year-old disabilities advocate, who founded the organization Joni and Friends, reported that she is now “home, happy, healing, and resting.”
Tada has been a quadriplegic since a diving accident at age 17. In recent years she has had COVID as well as two bouts with breast cancer. Tada faced the latest health challenge with her characteristic bold faith and optimism. The bestselling author and radio host wrote, “Like many of the people we serve who struggle with constant health challenges, I can say with them, ‘God rescued me!’”
Joni Eareckson Tada Finds Comfort in God’s Promises
On social media, Tada expressed gratitude to her husband and friends for caring for her and making sure she rested. She also thanked readers, listeners, and supporters for their love and prayers—“and for rejoicing with me and Ken as I improve each day!”
“At night,” Tada added, “the promise from God in Isaiah 43:1-2 was such a great source of comfort: ‘Do not be afraid, for you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.’ Yes, Jesus was with me through every scan, x-ray, blood draw, and breathing treatment.”
Tada’s latest hospitalization also led to reflection on her organization’s mission. “The entire experience reminded me of how critical it is to share the salvation message of Jesus with the families we serve,” she wrote. “It’s why we do what we do at Joni and Friends, and I couldn’t be happier than to be on the frontlines with you and every friend of the ministry.”
In 2019, Tada also was hospitalized with pneumonia. Back then, she reported that her long-term quadriplegia plus sleep apnea exacerbated the breathing difficulties and chest pain.
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In a February 2022 interview with The Christian Post, Tada called herself “a miracle,” saying that despite experiencing pain, she has the privilege of “extraordinarily good health.” Because of that, she said she’s re-energized “to squeeze every ounce of ministry effort that I possibly can out of this quadriplegic body to make life better for the world’s disability population.”
Tada and her organization recently received the Ukrainian White Cross medal of honor, an award presented to non-Ukrainians for their efforts and contributions. Tada said she’s honored to partner with people who serve and share the Gospel with Ukrainian war refugees who have disabilities.