As I drive to the charismatic worship event, Kelley and I are back on the phone, and she shares about her younger sister Kerry, and the brief and beautiful life of Gracie Ann, the little angel-baby of the family. Here is some of what she shared:
Kerry became pregnant with Gracie Ann at an inopportune time, by the world’s standards. As a patient with a chronic illness, cystic fibrosis, Kerry’s body worked overtime to create enough oxygen to survive. Over the years, the disease had taken its toll and she dwindled in weight. Her lungs did not have the capacity to keep her body strong, much less to support the new life growing within her. Frankly, she needed a double lung transplant.
After 20+ years of marriage, Kerry and Jeremy’s family consisted of two teenagers, an eleven year old, and a preschooler. Open to the family that God would give them, the couple welcomed the news of Gracie Ann with surprise, and joy — and a little natural fear — and wonder about how God was going to see them through. Not everyone had their faith.
Friends admonished her for recklessly endangering her own health. The doctors cautioned her strongly against keeping the pregnancy. Throughout, Kerry, Jeremy, and the kids remained prayerful, hopeful, trusting that the Lord would finish what He began, and that Gracie Ann and Kerry would prevail in health and life.
If faith is the foundation of your family, you understand.
In her last trimester, Kerry had an emergency in which she stopped breathing. The medical team quickly got her stabilized, but during that time, Gracie Ann was deprived of oxygen in her mother’s womb. Instead of her mid April due date, she was born by C-section on February 27, 2016, and placed in the NICU to receive lifesaving care.
In Kerry’s own words:
I was admitted to UT Southwestern Clements Hospital with a lung infection due to my cystic fibrosis and also 30 weeks pregnant with Gracie Ann. I was quite ill, barely able to breathe even on (nasal cannula) oxygen 24/7. I had little to no energy and executing any task, no matter how small would cause further critical weight loss (every calorie not taken by my precious little baby growing inside, was burned through me simply trying to breathe) Walking from my bedroom to the kitchen was a struggle, lifting anything was against the rules, and going upstairs was out of the question.
I went in on my birthday for a round of IVs to try and fight off this lung infection while at the same time keeping my little one safe inside of me.
Three hours after Jeremy and I arrived at the hospital, I coughed, asphyxiated on my own blood and stopped breathing. At that same moment, because I stopped breathing, the beautiful little baby that our dear Lord Jesus Christ blessed us with, and whom I had PROMISED to keep safe, lost her source of oxygen as well.
We were both without oxygen for 9 minutes and with Gracie Ann still inside of me, neither one of us were expected to live.
BUT….. on that very same day (my birthday) our Omnipotent and Almighty Creator, Who has command over all things, mercifully saved my life…..and just because He can, and because He loves Jeremy and I so much, He saved the life of our precious baby girl, Gracie Ann!! Praise You, my Dear Father…..
Gracie Ann was born a few hours past my birthday on February 27, 2016
Yes, Gracie Ann’s story will take more time to tell. As much as I share, there is so much more, as Our Lord ministers in the hearts of His children, beyond words. This beautiful family witnesses to God’s faithfulness, and openly shares their life, sufferings, and joys in this blog: http://www.ourpathtowardsholiness.com