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Little Girl Recalls Seeing Jesus After Hiking Accident

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Melissa Harris remembers, “The way he was holding her and what she looked like, I I thought our daughter was gone.” In October of 2020, Mike and Melissa Harris enjoyed a cabin getaway and hiking with their kids in Ohio’s Wayne National Forrest. On their last day, Mike raced his daughter Mia down a path when suddenly, tragedy struck. “I heard Mike yell, ‘Oh Mia,’ and the way he said it, I just knew something awful had happened.” 

“I remember grabbing her and just holding her in my arms and just I thought she was gone immediately. There was nothing, nothing, just lifeless,” says Mike.

A large tree branch had snapped and fallen 60 feet to the ground, hitting their four-year-old daughter, Mia, squarely on her head. She showed no signs of life as Mike prayed for her to wake up. Then, after nearly a minute, a scream. Melissa recalls, “It was just this awful scream. I mean, it was almost, it wasn't like a physical scream. It was like from the depths of her soul. It was...that was the worst thing I've ever heard. But at the same time, it was she's alive.”

“I handed her to my wife, and I said, 'Honey, you got to take her. I got to go,” says Mike. “I had a moment where I'm like, maybe this is the last time I'm going to hold my baby girl,” recalls Melissa.

Mike ran towards the trailhead desperately searching for cell service. “911, what’s your emergency?” Mike responded to the 911 dispatcher, “Tree branch just fell and hit my daughter.” 

As they waited and prayed for help to arrive, Melissa realized the extent of Mia’s injury. “It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when we're going to lose her. It's too big of an injury that I remember touching it and I just said her skull was crushed.”

Mike says, “I'm just crying out to God. I believe in Him. And no matter what happens next, even if she's going to leave this earth, I love Him and I trust Him, but I know that He is the one who has the power to change the situation.”

Melissa recalls saying, "I said it over and over again, ‘Please don't take her. Please don't take her. Please don't take her. Four years wasn't enough.’” Melissa remembered a story in the Bible of a woman who was healed by touching the hem of Jesus’ robe. “If the power of Jesus is that strong, where the woman just had to touch His cloak to be healed and that power and the spirit lives in me, then I believe God could heal my daughter and so I just pray that over and over again. I would put my hands on her, ‘Please heal our daughter. Heal our daughter, please heal our daughter.’”

First responders finally arrived and rushed Mia to a nearby hospital. Mike followed in his car, but stopped to call his church staff to pray. Prayers quickly spread through his church leadership around the country and the world. He says, “They were praying on behalf and interceding on our daughter's behalf to the Lord and that God would present a miracle, that God would do something.”

Mia was put in a medically induced coma and transported to Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Doctors confirmed she had a traumatic brain injury, a fractured skull, and bleeding in and around the brain. For her parents, so many questions remained unanswered. Melissa says, “Was Mia going to wake up? Was she going to be Mia? Was she going to be severely brain damaged? It seemed inevitable with everything we had seen.”

The next morning hospital staff brought her out of the coma. Melissa recalls, “She reached down and grabbed the diaper that they had on her and she said, ‘I peed in my Pull Up!’ And for me was just like, whoa, like, she's...she's good. Like, like she can't stand the feeling of having a wet pull up on. So she can feel and she's coherent. It was a really cool moment. She was alive, He gave us our daughter.”

Mia showed signs of paralysis on the left side of her body but overcame any deficits within three days. Weeks later, she had a craniotomy to repair her skull and the tear to the dura of her brain. Amazingly, she recovered all cognitive function and all of her personality. “She's awesome. So much fun. She's hilarious. And she just has so much spirit, so much life inside of her. You'd never know anything happened to her,” says Melissa. 

Mia remains healthy and full of life. To everyone’s amazement Mia made a full recovery. Months after the accident she confessed something to her dad. “She said, ‘Daddy, I had a dream about Jesus.’ And I'm like, ‘Oh, did you?’ She said, ‘Yeah, He was with me and He brought me home.’"

"We’re just so grateful. I do believe that she experienced something because I don't think she should be here. I don't I believe that God healed her. His hand was on her life. He raised her. He raised her up,” says Mike. 

Mike and Melissa are thankful for the prayers and the peace that sustained them during what could have been a life ending situation. Melissa says, “There is no explanation, this earth, as to how we had the peace that we did. He gave me the peace and he gave me the comfort that I needed when I needed it.”

Mike adds, “I don't know where I would be right now if it weren't for Jesus. God moved. And we're just of course, we're grateful and thankful that we get a chance to raise our daughter.”

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