[ Miracles ]

Strength in Numbers

William was born one of three triplet boys. We were prepared for him to come early — he came 10 weeks early. We were prepared for him to be small — he was 3 lbs, 1 ounce. We were prepared for him to need some assistance breathing - he needed a ventilator for a few days. What happened next, we were not prepared for.

I was released from the hospital on Saturday, five days after the babies were born, feeling sad about leaving them behind in the neonatal intensive care unit, but excited about getting home to my own bed.

The very next night, we got the dreaded phone call: when the doctors had removed one of the catheters from William because he no longer needed it, his left leg had turned white — indicating loss of blood flow. As the night went on, his leg turned from white to black, necessitating his transfer to Atlanta’s Egelston Hospital for specialized pediatric care.

My husband and I were told that there was a 95% chance that William would lose his left leg if, in fact, he even survived the trauma. He had suffered a blood clot in the leg that damaged muscle, nerves, and tissue and possibly bone.

To treat the clot, they began giving him strong doses of Heparin, which is known to cause further clots — including brain clots.

The priests at our church offered to come to the hospital to baptize him, as is often done when there is a good chance that the child may never make it to the church altar. We declined, choosing to believe that William was going to survive.

Prayers for William’s healing began to circulate. Between rounds of emails, Christian radio networks, TV shows and prayer groups, William’s story along with his desperate need for prayers traveled literally around the world.

I began getting emails from old friends whom I hadn't spoken to in 15 years who had heard his story and were praying for him. I even heard of friends of friends whose housekeeper's sisters were praying for William. A co-worker of mine who is not particularly religious said she would wake up in the middle of the night and start praying.

William got stronger and better with every prayer. As the first week went by, his thigh began to regain some pinkish color amidst the blackened flesh. We were deeply thankful and encouraged. Our worries began to change from, Will he lose his entire leg?... to Will he lose it from the knee down?... Or will he keep his knee?

The prayers continued. The second week passed and his calf and feet began to get pink spots back in them. It began to be a real possibility that he could keep his leg.

As the third week approached, our concerns shifted from, How far up will they have to amputate?... to, If he keeps his leg, will he be able to use it?

We rejoiced in these progressive miracles and little William’s tenacity as, all the while, prayers continued heavenward from people around the globe.

After the fourth week, none of the doctors was even mentioning the possible loss of his leg. Now the attention had shifted to the scar that was forming on his calf where his body had flushed out all of the dead tissue. During this time, he was tested by hematologists, orthopedic surgeons, plastic surgeons, general surgeons, gastroenterologists, physical therapists and so on for things beyond my medical comprehension.

Eventually, William’s leg completely healed without a single surgery or procedure while he was at Egleston. We were filled with praise and thanksgiving.

William was the last of the boys to come home — 10 weeks after birth — but now he’s as bouncing and robust as his brothers. Were it not for the small scar on his left calf and the cast he wears to ensure the leg and foot grow in proper alignment, one would never guess what a miracle baby he is.

His story is a true testament to the transformative power of prayer and we have no doubt that he was touched by the hand of God.

Kate D.

Atlanta, GA