I’m sharing this story in the hope you will read it and find room in your heart to pray for a special little girl that needs a lot of love and support right now.
My son has a half-sister, Sarah Jane. She is eight years old with blond hair and the longest lashes in the world that frame her pretty blue eyes. As you will see, Sarah has an amazing smile. She’s a sweetheart and our family loves her more than words can say.
Matt's sister Sarah Jane, age 2
Sarah was diagnosed with epilepsy at a very early age, after what seemed like an unrelenting round of seizures. Despite the medication side effects and slight developmental delays, Sarah loved to play and dance and sing … all the things that little girls do. Just before her 3rd birthday, Sarah had a very bad seizure that lasted over 5 hours. The doctors put her in a drug-induced coma in the hope that this seizure would stop and her brain would have time to rest.
When she was physically stable long enough to wake up, Sarah was blind and could not smile. She now had cerebral palsy. She could not swallow and required tube feedings. She could no longer dance or sing.
Sarah on her 3rd birthday with her mom and dad
In 2004, we celebrated Sarah’s 3rd birthday in the pediatric intensive care unit at the hospital. She was in a coma and intubated at the time, so we sang Happy Birthday in hushed voices at her bedside. The day I took this picture, I held steadfast to the hope that she would have many more birthdays to celebrate, despite overwhelming odds to the contrary.
And she did.
You can read Sarah’s story here.
Sarah can’t dance, but she can ride a special bike. She can see much better now, thanks to eye surgery and glasses. Sarah loves to cuddle with her big brother Matthew. She adores music and loves to sing and laugh. She is truly a heaven sent gift for those of us who are blessed to know her.
Napping with big brother Matt
Best of all, Sarah got her smile back!
Sarah with her mom, Sandy
This year, just before her 8th birthday, Sarah had problems breathing and had to return to the hospital. She has developed pneumonia and other complications that required her being placed on an oscillating ventilator to help her breathe and give her body the necessary time and energy to rest and recover. The doctors have her on a lot of different medications. Because she’s on a breathing machine, she has been given medication to keep her asleep and comfortable.
Sarah had her 8th birthday in the PICU. There were balloons and signs and Happy Birthday songs for Sarah, but she wasn’t awake to hear or see the celebration. Her big brother Matt, little brother Graham, sister-in-law Laura and Aunt Sue (me) spent Easter Sunday with her, taking turns visiting, holding her hand, and praying for a speedy recovery. The road back home for Sarah will be a long one … many weeks to come of waiting, watching, and praying.
I’m asking for prayers and good wishes for all of you who read this post. I believe in the power of prayer and positive thinking. Please keep Sarah and her family in your thoughts and hearts. Pray for the amazing doctors and medical staff that are treating Sarah 24/7. Their care and compassion is miraculous.
Thank you for taking the time to read about Sarah.
Once again, we’re waiting for Sarah’s smile to return.