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Chase Kear, on his first visit to the hometown and memorial statue of Korean War hero Father Emil Kapaun, studies the face of the man who he believes intervened from heaven to help save his life.
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Bo Rader / The Wichita Eagle
Chase Kear is silhouetted in one of many stained-glass windows in the St. John Nepomucene Church in Pilsen.
Rose Mary Neuwirth leads the Kear family on a tour of St. John Nepomucene Church on a recent visit to Pilsen.
Under the Father Kapaun shrine in St. John Nepomucene Church in Pilsen, Chase Kear and his family pose for photos taken by Pilsen residents intrigued by his story.
The Kear family, with Chase Kear at center, kneel in the front pew at St. John Nepomucene Church in Pilsen, their first visit to the church of the man they believe miraculously saved Chase's life.
A X-ray of Chase Kear's skull after a ceramic plate was put in to replace the section of his skull that was removed in October of 2008. Kear underwent a craniotomy to remove swelling on his brain.
Travis Heying / The Wichita Eagle
Chase Kear, with a hole in his head and his recovery in full swing, a few weeks after his pole-vaulting accident in October 2008.
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Kear family / Courtesy Photo
In this photo taken Feb. 28. 2009, Chase Kear, with his brain damaged and with his parents, Paula and Paul, flanking him, navigates the hallways of Wesley Rehabilitation Center just weeks after his near-fatal pole-vaulting accident.
Kapaun POW friends Mike Dowe, left, and Herbert Miller, right, with Archbishop Philip Hannan several years ago, on a visit to Pilsen and the Kapaun memorial statue there.
Jill Jarsulic / The Wichita Eagle
On a recent visit to St. John Nepomucene Church in Pilsen, Chase Kear was allowed to briefly carry the processional cross Father Kapaun once carried when he was a priest there.
Related stories: Father Emil Kapaun: Former POWs say his miracle was providing them hope | Is it a miracle that Colwich man survived? | Series on Father Kapaun wins national award