12-year-old Drowns and His Sister Sings Him Back to Life
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Holden Beach, NC
“In a second, I planned the whole rest of my life without him. I've never known a second could last that long,” says Lindsey Floyd.
Every year Lindsey and Jarrett Floyd pack up their family and head to Holden Beach, North Carolina to celebrate the Fourth of July with their cousin Leah Snyder and her family. Jarrett Floyd says, “It was something we always looked forward to, something that we almost worked around for the year, looking forward to getting there every year.”
“For as long as I can remember, we've always done the 4th of July with my cousin and her husband. It's our Snyder-Floyd beach trip.” Says Lindsey.
On the last day of their 2019 vacation 12-year-old Levi Floyd played in the shallow water with his cousin while the parents watched nearby. But in what seemed like an instant they noticed Levi’s body floating motionless on the surface of the water. His dad Jarrett quickly made his way to Levi. Jarrett says, “I grabbed him, and when I – when I grabbed him, he just – he just went under. And-and I immediately pulled him up and flipped him over, and uh whenever I flipped him, he was just – he was blue, purple. He was lifeless.”
“His eyes were bulging, and bloodshot, and his pupils were fixed. And in maybe a minute's time, maybe if that long, he looked like he had been in that water for a week," says Lindsey.
Leah, a nursing student, rushed to the water’s edge and began CPR immediately as the family and others on the beach prayed for a miracle. She says, “You can tell instantly that it's – that it's bad. You can see that he's – there's no life whatsoever, what I saw looked like something that wasn't – that there was no hope.”
Lindsey says, “He was gone, there was no pulse, and I just start rubbing Levi's feet and uh praying, harder than I've ever prayed in my life.”
“I just started begging God,” says Jarrett. “And-and I remember – I remember in that moment, it-it wasn't – when I looked back, it wasn't – it wasn't pretty, it was, 'Jesus.' I just started speaking and-and praying the name of Jesus over him. 'Jesus, please, have mercy on him.'"
Lindsey says, “To look at him laying there, dead, all I'm thinking was ‘God don’t you remember making promises to me, please in this moment, I've never needed you more. You give and take away. And there's nothing that I can do other than ask you, please, to change your mind.’”
Within just a few minutes two nurses who happened to be on the beach rushed to the scene. They joined Leah administering CPR, but hope was fading as time raced by. Leah says, “He's never coming back. That is absolutely what I thought. I thought that he was gone. We were going, we were going nonstop. We were alternating between pushing his chest, and I would give breaths.”
Suddenly amidst the chaos, a voice rose up in worship as Levi’s sister Lily began singing. Lindsey remembers the moment, “She started flooding the beach with that chorus. Singing, ‘I'm gonna sing in the middle of the storm,' louder and louder, and I heard, ‘The king is alive,’ from a shaky, loud voice. I mean, it was like an electric current from the bottom of my feet to the top of my head. I'll never, ever forget it and I said, ‘Worship louder, babies, sing louder. Worship Him as loud as you can.’ And they just lifted up this chorus and sang with everything that they had.”
As the other children joined her in worship, everything changed. Jarrett says, “And all of a sudden you hear, ‘He has a pulse. He has a pulse.’ ‘Okay, okay.’ In that moment, the thing that came to my mind was, ‘He's yours. He's yours, God. We're yours, God, forever, for always, he's yours.’”
Levi remained unconscious as paramedics arrived and rushed him to the hospital a heartbreaking forty-five minutes away. Once there, the doctor met with Lindsey and Jarrett. “He told us, he said, ‘We're not out of the woods yet.’ He said, ‘This-this thing can get a lot worse before it gets better,’ because of the saltwater and because of everything that we have going on… Lindsay and I are standing there. And she kind of laid her hands on him, and as we just – we just began to pray and-and the doctor, the doctor at a hospital in New Hanover, he-he stood up and started praying with us. He started pleading the blood of Jesus over my son, in the hospital.”
They clung to hope, but still there was a chance Levi may have suffered brain damage from the so much time without oxygen. But then another answered prayer. Lindsey says, “When they lifted him to move him from the transport bed into the PICU bed, he woke up, and he was my Levi. As articulate and precious as he'd always been. And he just sat up and said, ‘Hey, mama.’ And I come – I come unglued. And we looked at him and we said, ‘Buddy, you didn't make it. Like you were – you were gone.’"
Today Levi remembers the moment he came back – with his full sense of humor from his favorite T.V. show. He says, “I quoted something from the Andy Griffith Show. and I said, ‘You just got to have more faith in me, Andy?’ Gomer Pyle said it, and I thought it was pretty funny. And she-she lost it."
Levi made a full recovery and suffered no long-term effects from drowning. Everyone who witnessed his amazing recovery remain thankful for a loving God who answers prayers. “He's still in the resurrection business,” says Jarrett. “He-He brought my son back from the dead. And it – and it doesn't always work that way, but that day, this boy was dead on the beach without a pulse, he was gone, and the resurrection power of God brought Him back. Prayer and worship were everything in that time. God put the right people in the right place, and that was the nurses, and that was the people praying, and that was the-the worship, that was it-it all. It all played into the plan that God had for us that day.”
“What we witnessed there was, it was absolutely the hand of God," says Leah. “It really was, it was definitely a miracle. He shouldn't have been as okay as he was, especially as soon as he was. It was unbelievable.”
“When all hope looked like it was lost. I'm very thankful that God spared my life that day,” says Levi.
“He is faithful. He is so faithful,” says Lindsey. “More than I ever could have ever dreamt. He's faithful. There is absolutely nothing, nothing in this world that is impossible for Him. Absolutely nothing.”
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