A Modern Day Miracle: The Survival and Rescue of a Lost Autistic Girl

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Summary:

  • A mildly autistic 11 year old girl survived 4 days and nights alone after becoming lost in an alligator invested swamp In Florida without food, water, shelter or survival training.
  • A massive search effort was unable to find any trace of the girl in the swamp.
  • James King was led by God to the exact location of the girl early in the morning of the 4th day, and she was rescued.
  • James King attributed the rescue to God, and he glorified God and spoke extensively about how God led him to the girl on major news outlets including CNN.

What Happened:

Nadia Bloom, a mildly autistic 11 year old girl from Winter Springs, Florida, went missing on Friday afternoon around 3:15 pm on April 9, 2010 in a swamp adjacent to her neighborhood near Lake Jessup.  Her bicycle was found near the border of her neighborhood and the swamp later that afternoon, as she apparently was going on a nature walk and had only a camera with her. She survived four days and nights alone in the alligator infested swamp without food, shelter, or fresh water.

The swamp into where she wandered is next to Lake Jessup, which is thought to have over 15,000 alligators: the largest concentration of alligators in the United States.  This is in addition to snakes, insects, spiders, and a dense swampy terrain.  A massive search and rescue operation began that Friday afternoon, which included helicopters with body heat sensing technology, numerous dive teams, dog teams, and innumerable rescue workers and volunteers searching the area.  “Nothing related to Nadia has been found, at all,” said Chief Kevin Brunelle of the Winter Springs Police Department three days later on Monday afternoon, regarding their search efforts.  Search teams needed knee-high boots and machetes to push through the brush closest to where Nadia’s bike was found Friday afternoon.  By Monday evening, it was believed that time was running out for Nadia.

In a Tuesday 4/13/10 WFTV interview with James King, the man who found Nadia, said that he and a group from nearby Metro Church helped search for Nadia during the late afternoon of Monday, 4/12/10.  They found no trace of her, but they decided to return and search on Tuesday. Monday evening, Mr. King and his wife prayed.  At that point, Mr. King received direction from God to venture out on his own at daybreak Tuesday to search for Nadia.  He prepared for the trip and packed supplies for himself and Nadia, cell phones with GPS capability, and even toilet paper to use as a possible signal.  He stated that he received direction from God as to what to pack.  Reciting Proverbs 3:5-6, Mr. King said that he was guided by the Lord where to enter the swamp, and in what direction to travel to reach Nadia. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths”.

Trudging through thick brush, Mr. King prayed and recited Bible verses, asking for direction.  Two hours later, he came upon Nadia, sitting on a log, at about 8:30 am Tuesday morning (4/13/10).  She was almost in the exact geometric center of the swamp, in an area termed zone 13 which had not been searched, and had been deemed too dangerous and too thick to search.  Mr. King and Nadia thanked and praised God, and it turns out that she too had been reciting Proverbs 3:5-6.  Mr. King stated that Nadia had the Lord’s Word written on her heart.

Nadia was found to have no serious injuries, only extensive mosquito bites.  Even with GPS, it took hours for the rescue team to locate Nadia and Mr. King in the dense swamp. Mr. King was immediately interrogated by the police after they emerged from the swamp with rescue personnel about four hours later.  He accepted the interrogation graciously, stating that it was their job to do that.  The police found no evidence of foul play, and Police Chief Kevin Brunelle himself said that after witnessing the dramatic rescue, he now believes in miracles.

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Swamp near Lake Jessup where Nadia was lost. Nadia’s Neighborhood is marked “A”. The swamp is about a mile wide.

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Helicopter GPS showing Nadia’s location in the middle of the swamp.

 

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Actual photo of a Lake Jessup alligator, of which there are estimated to be 15,000.

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Nadia found! Shown here with a rescue worker.

In the days to come, James King would be interviewed numerous times by every major news outlet, including CNN.  During these interviews, Mr. King continued to quote scripture and glorify God, stating that Jesus, not himself, was the hero.  He stated that he was honored to be used as an instrument by God.  The media let him speak without interruption, allowing God to be glorified over and over without qualification.

Take a few minutes and watch the CNN 4/14/10 interview with James King below.  A brief quotation from the video is .shown below.

Excerpt from CNN Interview with James King April 14, 2010  (If no video plays above, please contact the webmaster).

CNN: “A lot of people are calling this a miracle. How do you see it?”
James King: “I see it as an answer to a lot of people’s prayer. I am very thankful that God used me as a part of it; to be able to find her. It was definitely a miracle; I mean I didn’t know where she was. The only person that knew where she was God, and so I asked Him, and He led me directly to her: straight, as straight as you can go through the swamp. I do not believe in luck, I believe in God, and I trust in Him, and I trust in His Word. And His Word says that He will be a lamp to my feet and a light to my path, and I needed Him to guide me. And in Proverbs 3 it says that He will direct my path, and so He did, and I stood on that scripture, and I shouted it out as I trudged through the swamp, and as I prayed, the Holy Spirit lead me directly to her.

God will speak to us if we listen, and so much we want to listen to all of the other noise of the world, and through my life I have begun to tune a lot of that out.”

Discussion:

Dictionary.com defines a miracle as “an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.”  and “such an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God.”

Both the survival and rescue of Nadia Bloom can be considered miraculous by the definition above. Nadia should have perished or suffered injury from multiple causes including dehydration, exposure, poisoning from eating poisonous plants, and injury from wildlife.  However, she suffered virtually no injuries.  The actual rescue of Nadia is a miracle in that James King was led by God in finding Nadia.  His efficiency in finding Nadia surpassed even the GPS guided search teams that came into the swamp to bring them out after Nadia was found.  Finally, he glorified God extensively after the rescue, giving God the credit for the rescue rather them himself.

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