Maddie's Miracle
A true story

As many of you know already, my youngest daughter, Madalynn, had a sort of rough entry into the world. As soon as she was born she started to have a really hard time breathing so they soon took her to the special care nursery. I did not go right away. However, when I did get there she had an IV and was given breathing treatments. It could have been really scary, but I had wonderful nurses and CNA's from our own church and other churches, along with family and friends praying right away. And I'm sure others had been praying before then.

The next morning I woke up to the doctor from the nursery in my room letting me know what all they had found out. It turns out that she had a collapsed lung, pneumonia, and a heart murmur. But not to worry. Babies sometimes collapse a lung when they come out and take too big a breath. The pneumonia was 100% treatable with antibiotics. But.............. the heart murmur was a congenital heart defect, called Atrial Septal Defect, would require regular visits to a cardiologist and might require surgery. The defect, called ASD, is a hole in the wall between the two chambers in your heart. When a child is born the wall is only about 10 mm at it's widest point. I was told she would qualify for Children's Rehabilitative Services and would have yearly visits with their doctors as well as our regular pediatrician. I know this is not the worst thing that could ever happen, but being that Maddie was our third child and there had been no other birth defects in our family, it really never crossed my mind. So when we got this news, to say the least I was stunned.

Maddie stayed in the hospital for a total of ten days. Every three hours I would drive up to hold her while they fed her through a nasal gastric tube for the first eight days. Then that day I got to "feed" her. On the ninth day I got to stay in the hospital through the night in a special room so they could make sure we bonded and there were no more problems. I was told that I needed to watch out for her lips turning blue. That meant she was not breathing well and needed to go directly to the hospital. They also told me she would be susceptible to RSV and a bunch of other issues due to her "entrance." What else could we do but pray and thank God for her.

At her 4 month check up with CRS the doctor, who was very old and cranky, scared me half to death by telling me she had a Ventricle Septal Defect, which required immediate surgery. I had to go see my pediatrician right away, who stated the truth. I was still rather mad.

When Maddie went for her 1 year check up with CRS, they did an EKG, and said she still had the murmur, but because she had not been in and out of the hospital this year and she wouldn't be still for an ultrasound they would give it another year and then we would go from there. More waiting, great and I'm already so patient @ * !

In February of 2004, the peak of allergy season for me and Maddie, she started wheezing and I took her to the pediatrician. She was not given any diagnosis but given a nebulizer, albuterol, (asthma medication), and Zyrtec. The thing that concerned me is that albuterol has a stimulant affect and in turn would cause her heart to beat faster. I was told not to worry. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I kept praying. Sometimes I think more for me than Maddie. But God already had it all under control.

Well, at the 2 year check up, same thing as the last, except the cardiologist told me that the "hole" was about 6 mm when she was born and they tend to get louder as they close. "SO THE HOLE WAS MORE THAN HALF OF THE WALL AND NOBODY TOLD ME!", was all I could think for a minute. But because he didn't do an ultrasound last year he didn't know if it had shrunk any, it was okay because she was still very healthy, no blue spells, not even an ear infection. But he would never let it go past her fifth year without surgery. And now surgery was so much more simple because if the hole was small enough they could go in through the groin instead of open heart. I felt SOOOOO much better, wouldn't you. Yeah, it's only simple when it's not you or a loved one. But most likely next year would be the check to determine which surgery would be best. So I had another whole year to thank God for her healing.

In June of 2004 Maddie caught the "croup" and was admitted to the hospital for poor O2 levels. The pediatrician said she had Reactive Airways Disease. Okay, I was a little worried I admit, how would that affect her heart? No one really gave me an answer. I really had to pray for peace this time, eh.

In April of 2005 I knew her next check up was coming so I had the leaders of our church pray with my husband Shawn and me. I have to admit, this time I was actually at peace with whichever surgery would have to be done, as long as she was healed.

On May 18, 2005, we went to her yearly cardiologist check up. She was a little freaked out because about 2 weeks prior she had actually got an ear infection, the first, and they had had to clean out her ears with saline. It didn't hurt, but it made her mad. She just kept crying, which made it hard to listen to her heart, and the doc didn't really say anything but "Good, sounds good, let's do an ultrasound." We went to another room and he started the ultrasound. After about 2 minutes he said the heart murmur was gone. Well, you can imagine what quiet little Lisa did,.....I yelled "Praise God!" The doc jumped a few inches and laughed. I asked him if she was "healed" and he said yes. Well, you know me, then I started to cry and laugh at the same time. He just kept smiling. I don't think they get to "kick'" very many kids out of that program very often. But we didn't mind a bit. It only took about five minutes after that to get the heck out of that wing of the hospital and in the car to call Shawn and really let go. Our prayers had been answered. As if we ever doubted. It took three years, but praise God they were answered. You know he is never late. Then came Mom, she was at work and I asked her if she was sitting down. She asked if I was pregnant again. You know 'cause that just seems to be the only thing worth sitting down for right? I told her and she asked everyone in her office if they were on the phone and when everyone replied no, she screamed. Praise God!!!!!!! And oh, how we did.

On June 6, 2005, we received the official letter from CRS declaring that Maddie no longer qualified for their service and would no longer be seeing their physicians. What a day.

What a wonderful God, to bless us with children and then to teach us through them. How awesome. I pray that this little story will encourage you to believe for your miracle. May God bless you richly. He certainly has blessed us.

© Lisa Chester

NOTE: Thanks to a loving God, her parents' faith in Him and the many prayers lifted up to Him, this little girl Maddie does have dreams. Lisa, thank you for sharing this wonderful story. Click on her name to email Lisa. The song playing is Maddie's favorite song. Loving prayers, pk

To sing along click here for the lyrics.

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