Power of Prayer Saves Lifeless Baby
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Hannah was in labor, ready to meet her fifth child. But something was wrong. She remembers, “I looked up at my nurse and I said, I'm not okay. I said I felt like I'm going to faint or pass out. The room just began narrowing.”
Then, the baby’s heart rate dropped.
Hannah’s OB-GYN Dr. Kinion Whittington says, “At that moment it became, everybody jump on and let’s go. We got a big-time emergency.”
The staff raced Hannah to the O.R. for an emergency C-section. Her husband Jacob was close behind. He says, “Fear hadn't set in yet, until I walked into the operating room and saw what was going on.”
Dr. Whittington explains, “I opened up the uterus; there was just blood everywhere. Everywhere.”
Jacob continues, “And then I see him come out and he doesn't look like...I mean he's dead.”
Dr. Whittington recalls that the baby was, “Limp, no heart rate, nothing.”
Immediately the team started CPR on the baby – a boy the couple had named Urias.
Hannah shares, “Everything within me wanted to reach up, go hold him, and-and tell him everything was going to be okay.”
Jacob remembers, “I got laser focused on just prayer.”
Jacob also texted their family to pray, as with each passing minute, Urias’s chances for survival were slipping away.
Dr. Whittington explains that usually “After about ten minutes, if you don't have a fetal heart rate, it's just a futile effort.”
Although the critical ten-minute mark passed, the team kept trying. Finally…they got a pulse. But the baby had now been without oxygen or blood flow for twenty minutes.
Hannah says, “It was just this, almost this squaring away with, ‘Okay, God, where are we? Where are you?’”
Unable to breathe on his own, Urias was intubated and prepped to be life-flighted to a hospital in Plano, Texas, 80 miles away. Hannah would have to stay behind to heal from her surgery and loss of blood.
She told Jacob, "You go with him. You need to be with him."
By the time Urias arrived at Texas Health Presbyterian, he had started having seizures.
Neonatologist Dr. Eduardo Perez explains Hannah had suffered a placental abruption, and that Urias “was born in dire straits. Severely compromised, because of the detachment-the premature detachment of the placenta.”
Placed in NICU, Urias was diagnosed with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy – brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen and blood.
Dr. Perez explains, “He had the severe form, the one that we consider is at high risk of having long-term delays, in terms of development.”
Jacob says he was told that Urias “‘most likely is going to have cerebral palsy. You could probably expect seizures most of his life. He may never be able to feed himself. He may never be able to walk; he may never be able to talk.’”
The best doctors could do was put him on a 72-hour cooling treatment to lower his body temperature, to try to minimize the damage. Even then, there was little hope.
Dr. Perez says that “Forty percent, they don't make it, because, you know, it's-it's so-so severe and so-so devastating.”
Jacob felt, “It's just one punch after another. I can't control anything, but I can trust God. I don’t feel it, like some emotional thing. It was a determination and a commitment: I'm going to trust God.”
On duty that night was Nurse Latricia Bell. A monitor told her the baby was still having seizures, despite medications. Then, later that night, Urias opened his eyes.
Nurse Bell explains, “He had been laying so still. And for him to open up his eyes, looking around, this was a big deal!”
Quickly, she went to get Jacob. Seeing Urias’s eyes for the first time, Jacob pleaded with God to heal his son.
Jacob shares, “It's like I could hear their voices again, what they're saying about him. And I just, remembered, ‘Don't be afraid, believe only.’”
After Jacob finished praying and left, Nurse Bell says she and Urias weren’t alone.
She says, “I felt such a warmth. Every hair on my body stood up. I knew that I was in the presence of God. He-He was right there, at that moment.”
She continues, “I looked at the monitors, and there were no more seizures. That was the end of it.”
The next day, doctors released Hannah to see her baby boy. She remembers, “That was probably the hardest thing is seeing him lay there. It's like I couldn't just reach down and grab him. And I felt like all control was just ripped out from underneath me.”
That night, the couple asked their church and people on social media to pray. Jacob says, “If you're going to pray, pray this. If God's Word says that we speak and we believe, then I'm going to speak and I'm going to believe.”
Over the next few days, Urias showed more signs of improvement, his EEG showing normal brain activity. By day six, he was breathing on his own.
Dr. Perez remarks, “That was extremely reassuring. That's a happy surprise.”
Finally, Hannah held Urias for the first time – he was one week old. She remembers, “All the emotions probably hit me the most in that moment because that's all I wanted. Just to have him close and to tell him like, ‘We’re gonna get through this. We made it this far, Urias.’”
At three weeks old Urias was cleared to go home. Over the next year, he hit all his developmental milestones. Then, at his one-year check-up with the neurologist...
They were told, “I've only had a couple other cases where people have made a full recovery and I'm just telling you, he's one of them.”
Today, Urias is still the healthy, energetic, happy little boy they prayed for. Nurse Bell says, “You hear about miracles, but God let me see that one.”
Hannah adds, “Even in moments where I don't feel Him, like I can't see Him, His faithfulness doesn’t change.”
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