Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Case For Angels

Just in time for Christmas comes a story of miracles and one happy family.

Life started out early and hard for Chelsea Banton, a Mint Hill, North Carolina girl, and hasn't been much easier on her mother, Colleen. Born five weeks early, her mother was told that she would live for maybe 36 hours. She spent the first four months of her life in the neonatal intensive care unit at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, and has been a frequent visitor through much of her life, now spanning 15 years.

According to The State, a Charlotte online news service, illnesses that have afflicted the young girl over the years include hydrocephalus, requiring a shunt in her skull and, later, several shunt revisions; life-threatening viruses; and, this past July, fluid retention that required more than a week's hospitalization and three liters of liquid to be drawn from her body. The family prayed often for a miracle.

Colleen Banton believes that that miracle came on November 5th, seven weeks after Chelsea was admitted to the hospital for pneumonia. Admitted to the hospital once again on September 21st, Chelsea was on life support at once. Between then and November 5th, her condition deteriorated to the point that the family met with doctors and decided that it was time to let go. On Halloween, the family made the decision to remove Chelsea from the ventilator, something that had been done several times before, each time with poor results.

This time she did well, she was breathing on her own, and Colleen was hopeful. Then, the next day, her vitals went down and she was placed in an oxygen mask. Over the next few days, Chelsea's condition did not change, and the anxiety attacks and crying bouts were increasing, so Colleen gave Chelsea over to God.

The rest is from The State

“I wanted to do what the Lord wanted me to do. And I really felt like I've had her for 14 years, and if it's time for her to go to heaven, then I know she'll be healed.”

The mask didn't come off immediately, though. They waited until family members had a chance to come to see Chelsea – perhaps for the last time.

On the afternoon of Nov. 5, as family and friends prayed about the decision, a nurse practitioner called Colleen's attention to a monitor showing the door to the pediatric intensive care unit.

“On the monitor, there was this bright light,” Colleen recalls. “And I looked at it and I said, ‘Oh my goodness! It looks like an angel!”

Colleen pointed her digital camera at the monitor to take a photo of the image, but the “first picture wouldn't take.”

She tried again and succeeded. The image gave her a peace that stayed with her when hospital staff removed Chelsea's oxygen mask.

And then, “when they took the mask off of her, her stats went as high as they've ever been.

“Her color was good, and the doctors and nurses were amazed,” Colleen said. “The nurse practitioner who saw the image in the monitor said, ‘I've worked here 15 years, and I've never seen anything like it.'”

Chelsea was removed from intensive care on Nov. 14 and went home three days later.

Her mother believes it was a miracle – attended by a very real angel bathed in light at the door to the pediatric intensive care unit.

Merry Christmas.

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1 comment:

Ruzanna said...

i know Chelsea Banton's parents want to see her alive, because they will note cope her death, but at the same they don't understand how cruel life can be to the girl.