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THE MIRACLE BOY OF BAXTON, MISSOURI

By Tom Sweitzer

 

Kevin Christopher is Valedictorian at Baxton High School. He never had a girlfriend,
until he met Beth, the daughter of Pastor Huntington, the newest minister at the
local Methodist church. Even though she has Cerebral Palsy and is restricted to a
wheelchair this does not stop Kevin from falling in love with her. At the same time
Kevin’s eight- year old brother, Joshua who has severe Autism, one day
unbeknownst to his family is filmed by a neighbor’s I-phone as he holds and
tenderly caresses a dying bird. The bird revives in his grasp and off it flies as if the
love from the young boy’s hands gave it life once again. The video of this moment is
put on-line, which begins a viral phenomenon that will forever change the lives of
Kevin and Joshua’s family along with the town of Baxton, Missouri

With the world’s constant desperation for stories of hope and with the complexity
and exploitation of social-media, the town becomes a hub for thousands to flock to
in hopes of meeting and finding healing from this miracle boy of Baxton, Missouri.
Through the chaos of fame and expectations, which are of biblical proportion the
Christopher family learns that miracles are found within average everyday
moments, and fame has a cost. The story bids the question what is a miracle and
who has the right to believe in them?

 

WHY I WROTE THIS BOOK

I grew up as a very different child than most. I was never diagnosed with Autism, but at that
time they really didn’t use that label. I spent much of my early childhood at Easter Seals
because I had severe verbal communication problems, and because of my tumultuous home life
I was an emotional puzzle for my family and teachers to unravel. Thank God, my life was saved
at eight years old when I found music and theater. It was right across the street from my house
at a church in my small blue-collared town in central Pennsylvania. I found a church and a
Sunday School teacher that saved my life. Music, Theater and Writing has followed me
throughout my life into what I do now as a Music Therapist and as a Creative Director for a
Center for Music Therapy – A PLACE TO BE.

Throughout my eleven years of Music Therapy I have worked closely with almost every
diagnosed disability, illness and life challenge. There have been certain clients that changed my
perspective on what someone with a disability is capable of. I also became very close to the
families at our center and learned about their dreams and sorrows that come from having a
differently- abled child. There is one person who altered my outlook, purpose and view on
hope. Here name is Amy Stone. She was my first music therapy client and she has been a
spiritual beacon for me since. She has never allowed her Cerebral Palsy to hold her back from
having a full life of importance and joy.

Take all the experience I’ve attained with the hundreds of clients I have worked with, and then
add that I am a person who believes in miracles - and that is how this story came about. I
wanted to create a realistic tale that would make the reader curios, question their belief-
system, and feel hope. Inside each of us there is the potential to believe in a miracle. And

miracles are happening around us constantly, just sometimes they hide underneath the “every
day.”
This story is about what we believe or what we don’t believe inside of us. What we think of
disabilities, or what we think of God, or what we think of ourselves. Our beliefs can change
greatly when something intercedes; be it tragedy, an unexpected situation, or true love. I hope
for you to leave this book with an expanded perspective about what it means to be someone
living with a disability, and their right to have miracles happen to them

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DAVID HAZARD

Developmental Editor

David Hazard is a 42-year veteran of the publishing world, who has launched whole lines of books and helped to jumpstart the careers of more than 400 authors.
He is the founder of ASCENT, an international coaching program for writers, whose alumni have won awards in London, Paris, Boston, Chicago, and other major publishing centers.
David is the author of more than 30 books, including international and million-selling titles. His book "Blood Brothers" is published in 29 languages, and its subject -- Elias Chacour, a Palestinian peacemaker - has been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize.

 
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KATHY FISHER

Line Editor - Original Drafts

Kathy Fisher was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She graduated from
the University of the Pacific (UOP), Stockton, CA with a B.A. in philosophy. She studied
European history and philosophy, German, and music at the Universität Wien (Institute
for European Studies), Vienna, Austria, during her junior year. She studied Italian and
music at Stanford University during the summer term. In May 2005 she earned her M.A.
in English (Professional Writing and Editing) from George Mason University. She is
currently enrolled in Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking at
HarvardX.
Kathy has worked for over thirty-five years as a writer and editor for federal government
and private-sector clients. She started a freelance writing business—Katherine D.
Fisher, LLC—in 1993 to provide consulting and writing services. She has won awards
for outstanding performance and customer satisfaction.
In 2017 she was editor for Tom Sweitzer’s thesis, prepared to satisfy requirements for
his M.A. in Music Therapy from Berklee College of Music. Also from 2017-2018 she was
editor for Tom’s novel, The Miracle Boy of Baxton, Missouri.
She has volunteered for a variety of Town of Middleburg committees and local
organizations, including A Place To Be Music Therapy.

 

Watercolors by Grace Wheeler