In late August 1882, while in Oakland, Ellen suffered a severe chill followed by fever. This serious illness lasted several weeks. As she began to recover, she was taken to the health retreat at St. Helena. But she did not improve. As the time for the California camp meeting to be held at Healdsburg drew near, she pleaded to be taken back to her Healdsburg home. During the trip to her Healdsburg home, Ellen lapsed into unconsciousness. At home she rallied a bit.
Although very feeble and hardly able to leave her bed, she wanted to be carried to the camp meeting. Her son Willie and Mrs. Ings aided her to the desk and she spoke for five minutes, thinking that it was the last speech she should ever make. But all at once she felt a power coming upon her and she was instantaneously healed. Her voice and appearance changed, and she spoke for some time with clearness and energy.
This event, which seemed to be a turning point in her physical condition, opened the way for a strong ministry. In reporting her two-month illness, she remarked that she had expected it would gradually pass. Instead, she was healed instantaneously. She was glad to be in the large group that during the camp meeting went to see the new college.