Lots of Little Miracles Overwhelm Young Family
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On April 18th, 2020, Sarah-Grace and Thomas Richardson welcomed the arrival of their second son, Everett. What was supposed to be a joyful occasion was overshadowed by Sarah’s extreme fatigue and headaches that started just days before giving birth.
“I’ve been really sick. I’m not sleeping. That’s probably why I’m having these headaches,” says Sarah-Grace. “But they were very severe, and it felt like I was being struck by lightning. It was so painful.”
The day after they brought Everett home, Sarah noticed her legs seemed to be weakening. Then soon after...
“I had taken a nap and I was just like, ‘Honey, my right side won’t move at all,’” says Sarah. “I remember just seeing this look of panic on his (her husband’s) face and just my heart was pounding in my chest because that was when I knew, okay, something very serious was wrong.”
Thomas rushed his wife to the Emergency Room at Greensburg Hospital in Indiana where a CT scan revealed multiple blood clots in Sarah’s brain. Meanwhile Thomas had been asked to leave.
“Because of COVID, I said goodbye to her at the hospital in Greensburg and I didn’t know if she was going to make it or not,” says Thomas.
Thomas had a family member call Sarah’s mom, Cris.
“I was terrified. My husband and I pretty much ran out the door to go,” says Sarah’s mother Cris Craig. “And at that point I was sobbing and just saying, ‘Lord, please don’t take her, please don’t take her.”
Within the hour, Sarah was completely paralyzed and transferred to Indianapolis University Methodist for further evaluation. Doctors determined she had a Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis, or CVST—a rare form of stroke that causes bleeding in the brain. Even if she survived, Sarah could be paralyzed for life or lose cognitive function.
“I just was afraid that she wasn’t going to be herself anymore,” says Thomas. Wasn’t concerned as much about her being paralyzed as her not knowing who I was or being able to communicate how she was feeling.”
To complicate matters, the blood thinners doctors needed to use to dissolve the clots could make the bleeding in her brain worse, and even cost Sarah her life.
“Part of me had the peace of knowing, ‘okay, if this is my time, you know, I know what awaits me in the eternity,’ but just had this terror and sorrow of not being ready to leave my family,” says Sarah.
Although COVID prevented Sarah’s family and friends from visiting, it didn’t stop them from praying.
“I believe that God is in control of everything and yet He moves at the prayers of his children,” says Thomas. “I was very at peace that God’s will was going to be done and that He was listening.”
“We believe that God is going to heal Sarah, but more important than Sarah’s healing is for God to be glorified and for Christ to be made much of,” says Cris holding back tears. “That mattered more than anything.”
The next morning, the doctors gave them hopeful news – “The brain bleeds had resolved themselves.”
“Those bleeds didn’t resolve themselves,” says Cris. “God did that. God did that because that’s the power of prayer.”
“We got to FaceTime with Sarah and she was very slow, and I kept waiting for her to say something that didn’t make any sense, but she was herself,” says Thomas. “She was the same person that I married.”
While doctors could now aggressively treat the blood clots, Sarah was still paralyzed and faced an uncertain future. Even then, she chose to believe and trust God with the outcome.
“Just wanted to say thank you to everyone for your prayers. They mean so much to me,” says Sarah on video from her time in the hospital.
“Lord, I don’t know what you’re doing with this, but I know that it’s big and I know that it is for a great purpose,” says Sarah.
At home with their sons, Thomas faced the possibility that his wife, their mother, might never be the same.
“Reading the bedtime stories to Bear, the ones that his mom would read to him the week before. And I could hardly get the words out,” says Thomas. “That was what was hard."
“I would be feeding the baby or playing with blocks with Bear and just praying aloud, ‘Lord, she needs to be here,’ says Cris. “’These boys need her.’”
The community continued to pray, still believing for complete healing. Then after two long weeks in the hospital...
“And all of a sudden, I could just do this,” Sarah said as she gestured with her hand. “And I was so excited, and I kept calling people in the room and I’m like, ‘Look at my fingers! They’re moving.’”
“Look at her go,” exclaimed a nurse as she watched Sarah stretch her previously paralyzed hand.
“Lots and lots of little miracles happened to where it was like slowly accumulating to where she could move more and more,” says Thomas.
Eventually Sarah was sent to inpatient rehab, where, by all reports she made remarkable progress. Two-and-a-half weeks later on May 22nd, she got the news—she was going home.
“Oh, say that I’m glad, I’m glad. Oh, say that I’m glad,” Sarah sang in a video from the day of her release.
“It was like this swelling up in my chest and I felt like I was just gonna bubble over with joy,” says Sarah.
“The doctors thought she was going to remain a quadriplegic,” says Thomas. “She walked in the house, sat down on the floor and held her kids. It was amazing.”
Sarah continued to improve, and her six-month checkup revealed all the clots had disappeared. She’s healthy, joyful, and back with the ones she loves.
“It was incredible because I believe with my whole heart that there is power in prayer,” says Sarah.
“And there’ll be just times when I look at her now and I’m just like, ‘wow, you’re here, and I didn’t know if you ever would be again,’” says Thomas.
“When I see Sarah cleaning her house, playing with her boys doing all the things that she loves to do, those are all just reminders of God’s goodness and of His power,” says Cris.
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