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Born Without a Heartbeat

“We were all excited. It was just like a big day,” says Sarah. “I worked in the emergency room at that hospital so everybody down there knew that I was there and we were all just kinda waiting on the-the big moment.” At the end of an uneventful pregnancy, Sarah Mann was ready to deliver her second child. In the hospital while waiting to be induced Sarah lost a lot of blood, then the baby’s heartbeat suddenly disappeared from the monitor. Sarah remembers, “She couldn't find the heartbeat and at that point I was starting to get a little nervous because I had oxygen on and they weren’t seeming to find what they were looking for.”

Her husband Jason was waiting outside when a flurry of activity swarmed Sarah’s room. He says, “When I seen the doctor go running into the room I followed him and I just remember him telling the nurses, ‘Get her to the OR, we've got to do an emergency C-Section now.’”

Sarah had a complete placental abruption –the placenta had separated from the uterus before delivery, depriving the baby of blood and oxygen. Doctors were able to deliver the baby via C-section but the baby had suffocated in the womb and had no heartbeat. Sarah remembers, “She lost like three-quarters, a half of her blood volume; and I had lost a significant amount of blood. We both would have died.”

Medical staff performed CPR on baby Shelby for twenty-four minutes, before finally getting a heartbeat. Because so much time had passed without oxygen doctors were not hopeful for her survival. Jason recalls, “The first doctor that I got to talk to after a couple of hours, he told me that Shelby was braindead, there was no brain activity. He said that if she did live, she probably wouldn’t live over 36 hours, and if she did live she would be a vegetable. That was pretty rough. Uh I mean, there's nothing you can even say to that, I mean that's just terrible.”

In a desperate plea for Shelby’s life, Sarah and Jason asked for prayer from their church, family, and co-workers. Sarah says, “I talk to God every day and I feel like if something's out of our hands, who else can I turn to? He has the ultimate plan. So immediately that's the first thing that we thought to do was to pray to God, to intervene in this.”

Shelby had a weak heart, a collapsed lung and no brain activity. Medical staff cooled her body to prevent more organ damage, but days later there was still no change in her condition or prognosis. Jason says, “I watched one doctor trying to get a response from her; he was poking her in the eye. They couldn't get any kind of reflexes. They finally hooked her up to an EEG and there was no brain activity.”

“She was a perfect baby and she was a healthy baby, and then she had this injury and now she's going to be an injured baby.” Says Sarah, “And that's really hard cause I think How-how horrible to have this long-term, you know, whatever problems it may be, because of one moment, you know? And she could have been perfectly healthy."

On the fourth night Sarah got out of bed and went down on her knees and prayed like never before. She says, “I wanted her to live. He knew that.  And but that if she was going to live I wanted her to be healed completely and not have, you know, all these problems that they were telling me that we were facing. And that if she wasn't going to live, I wanted Him to just go ahead and-and let her go.” As she prayed, Sarah says she had a vision of angels holding baby Shelby and handing her one to another. “And I remember thinking like ‘They just – she's just been healed.’ I just knew it! Like that. And I was so at peace. I was like a flood of peace came over me, I knew everything was going to be fine; it was like that was my answer.”

The next day brought confirmation of what she had seen in her vision the night before as Shelby woke from her vegetative state – healed. Sarah says, “Specialty after specialty came by during the day and it was good news, good news, good news, good news, all day long. She was healed and I knew it. And I didn't really care after that, like they wanted to do testing. I was like, ‘Go ahead. But I know what it's going to show.’ And it was right every time.”

Jason remembers, “One doctor, he told us, he said ‘There is absolutely nothing that we have done that has fixed this baby.’ He said, ‘This is absolutely a miracle from God.’ He said, ‘There's no explanation.’ He said, ‘God had to heal this baby.’”

Shelby was released from the hospital just over a week later completely healed. That was over four years ago. Sarah and Jason say they are thankful God heard their prayers and gave them a miracle. Sarah says, “She’s absolutely a miracle. She really is, there's no neuro-deficits or anything. I mean, she's completely normal.”

“She's the perfect little 4-year-old. You couldn't ask for her to be any different.” Says Jason.

God does hear when we're praying to him. it could have went a different way, but, you know, I feel like He listened to me and He did that for me. So I'm thankful for that.” Says Sarah.

Jason says, “There's no convincing me that there's no God or there's – God doesn't do miracles. He does miracles. I've got a 4-year-old running around here to prove it.”

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