Every once in a while, an e-mail comes my way that, by its very content, testifies to the power and glory, and the love and mercy of God. What you are about to read is one of those messages. I hope that by the time you get to the end you will say a silent prayer of thanks to God for heroic families like this one.
Dear Mrs. Brown,
My wife and I have a great story to tell of God's providence over us during an extremely difficult birth, and early life of our little girl, Cecilia Rose Hendrix.
My wife and I have been married for 16 years and have six children, my wife was expecting our seventh child, due around Christmas day.
Cecilia Rose was born on August 29, 2007 at St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau, MO. She was 23 weeks and three days gestation. My wife's water had broken 11 days before (21 weeks six days gestation) leaving little Cecilia Rose with barely enough amniotic fluid to breathe. When she was born, via emergency c-section due to fetal distress, she was not responsive. After being put on a ventilator, and placed in an incubator she was found to have an e.coli infection throughout her whole body.
She was treated with numerous blood transfusions, antibiotics, and well, just too many other things to mention here. Her eyes were still fused shut and her skin was so thin that we could see through it. We could not hold her, which was agonizing; we could only touch her leg with one finger.
Cecilia Rose had about a 15 percent chance of survival, not to mention a high probability of a disability, blindness, Cerebral Palsy, etc. Our wonderful God chose St. Raphael to help us through this ordeal. We were told by the doctors that if Cecilia Rose could hold on for 30 days her chances of survival would be 90 percent. My wife noticed that the 30th day was the Feast of the Archangels. On that 30th day my wife went in to see Cecilia Rose and noticed she had a new roommate. His name was Rafael. We immediately asked St. Raphael to pray for Cecilia Rose and for us to accept God's grace of strength to endure whatever God's will was for us.
St. Raphael was there for us.
Cecilia Rose spent 111 days in the NICU at St. Francis Medical Center. She not only survived, she is perfectly healthy, and well developed. She never required any surgeries, or ever had any type of cerebral hemorrhage, which is a miracle according to the doctors and nurses. She is home with us now and being spoiled by her six older brothers and sisters, as well as anybody else who happens by.
There is so much more to the story than I have written here. My wife expressed her milk for Cecilia starting the day after she was born. Cecilia Rose had nothing but her mother's milk to help her grow. And our other children were wonderful, they endured so much to help their little sister. We home-school them and they never complained about helping themselves and their younger siblings in their work.
St. Raphael made himself known to us in many ways. He is our hero.
Rob and Leann
Rob and Leann, Cecelia Rose and her six siblings are a single unit of praise and humility all wrapped up in a desire to always and in every circumstance accept the will of God. Anyone who has experienced suffering knows how hard that can be. But when you read a heartwarming letter like this, it should be a source of renewal. We are called to be constant in our struggle to defend life, protect life and be Christ's witnesses to the world.