While Cassie M. Fawns visited Ecuador in 2016 on an Assemblies of God World Missions trip, a mosquito carrying a dengue virus bit her. She stayed in a local hospital for several days, then returned home to Flemingsburg, Kentucky, where she had to relinquish her job as children’s pastor at Christ Way Assembly of God.
“With dengue, every joint and bone in my body hurt,” says Fawns. “It’s way worse than any flu I could imagine.”
Fawns, 29, says her symptoms worsened and her organs began to shut down.
Doctors diagnosed Fawns with Addison’s disease and gastroparesis. Afterward, Fawns had 23 feeding tubes inserted into her along with a gastric stimulator. The operations included gallbladder surgery and pyloroplasty.
Since 2016, she has had seven stomach surgeries, received over 200 units of blood, and had multiple hospital admissions, including one six-month stretch that involved repeated stints in an intensive care unit.
At one point, Fawns, who is 5 feet, 2 inches tall, weighed only 60 pounds.
Intermittently she would improve, she believes as a result of the prayers of others. During one such stint, she managed to assist her grandmother while she recuperated from her own illness.
But the remissions always proved to be short-lived.
That is until the 2021 Assemblies of God Kentucky Ministry Network annual conference.
Hospitalized just a few days before the gathering, doctors told Fawns they needed to schedule her for another exploratory surgery and partial hysterectomy, which would leave her unable to conceive children. In addition, physicians gave her the news that her kidneys had stopped working again and that she should consider dialysis options.
Her hospital discharge occurred only the day before the conference began.
Unknown to Fawns, the Kentucky Ministry Network had informed Christ Way Assembly that a monetary award would be presented to her at the annual conference to help cover her medical bills.
As the April 26 service drew to a close, Rita DuBose says Kentucky Ministry Network Superintendent Joseph S. Girdler paused and stepped back from the microphone.
“All of a sudden, I had this realization that God wanted to heal people,” DuBose recalls.
Girdler likewise told DuBose he sensed the Lord desired that someone come forward for healing.
“God reminded me of how my mother was healed from lung cancer before I was ever born,” says DuBose, who stepped to the microphone.
“I told the attendees that sometimes they get a diagnosis and because of how the doctor presents it, they feel like that’s it, and they’re just stuck with it,” DuBose says. “My mom kind of had that feeling. The diagnosis left her with no hope, but God.”
DuBose, wife of national AG Assistant General Superintendent Rick DuBose — the keynote speaker of the event — announced that someone in the crowd needed a healing touch from God.
“I knew it was me,” says Fawns. “My heart was beating out of my chest, and I knew I had to go up. But I told God, I’ve been prayed for so many times by so many people, why is this any different?”
Yet Fawns says the Lord impressed upon her that if she wanted to be healed, she needed to take the step of faith.
Fawns went to the altar that night and noticed a different feeling than she had ever experienced before.
“I felt God’s anointing, and I was at a place of peace,” Fawns says. “When she prayed over me, I just felt like God said that it is finished.”
As she walked back to her seat, her pastor’s wife, Rachel Mullins, leaned over and uttered a message: “God said it is finished.”
“Although I hadn’t been able to hold down food for a long time, after the service I felt hungry and thought I’d eat,” Fawns remembers. “I haven’t had any trouble eating since!”
Fawns canceled all scheduled surgeries and all the treatments have stopped, except for intravenous infusion therapy (IVIT), which boosts her immune system.
Her doctors attribute her remarkable recovery to the IVIT treatments.
However, with the ovarian cysts gone, her stomach totally healed, the ability to eat a normal diet restored, all her organs functioning as they should, and all lab work completely normal, Fawns has a different take.
“It’s all due to prayer, persistence, and God taking care of it,” she says.
Fawns is in the process of restarting her ministerial credentials through the Kentucky School of Ministry. She is involved with Chi Alpha Campus Ministries at Morehead State University, and is taking classes to become a nurse in pediatric oncology.
“God showed me grace and mercy when I didn’t deserve it, and I want to show that to everyone,” says Fawns. She previously thought she would be engaged in full-time missions work overseas, but now has another perspective.
“With Chi Alpha, we do ministry with people from a lot of different countries,” Fawns says. “I’m still doing stuff overseas, it’s just here in my country.”