Jewish Journal

Earthquake a ‘miracle’ for previously deaf man

by Brad A. Greenberg

August 31, 2011 | 6:15 pm

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A 75-year-old veteran lost his hearing after he fractured his skull in a fall on Father’s Day. Robert Valderzak was staying at the Veteran’s Hospital in D.C. when the nation’s capital, and Valderzak, were rattled last week by an earthquake that Californians found comically trivial.

Not so for Valderzak. He told ABCNews.com that the earthquake shook him out of his bed and suddenly brought back his hearing:

“It was God’s blessing,” Valderzak told ABCNews.com, his voice shaking with emotion. “It was a miracle for me.”


Tests confirmed Valderzak’s significant hearing improvement. But his doctors think they have a medical explanation for the “miracle.”

“He had conductive hearing loss, caused by fluid in his middle ear, as well as loss due to nerve damage,” said Dr. Ross Fletcher, chief of staff at the VA Hospital. “A combination of a drug he was taking and the earthquake event itself likely led to him losing the fluid and gaining back his hearing.”

Like many acts believed to be miracles, Valderzak’s healing has a wholly scientific explanation. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an act of God and, more importantly, doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a miracle from Valderzak’s perspective.

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