Mandy: Stay-at-home mom,
taught 10 years in public school system
Deacon, First Baptist Church, Manchester, TN
High School Sunday School Teacher
Chad & Mandy have 3 children: Kaylee, 9; Ehtan, 8; Ahlyn, 3
Ethan Stacy: Healed of Leukemia
The 700 Club
A DEVASTATING DIAGNOSIS
Ethan Jacob Stacy was born on April 29. Two hours after he was born his parents, Chad and Mandy, were told Ethan had AML, an aggressive type of leukemia. The diagnosis was devastating to Chad and Mandy. Chemotherapy was an option. “The best that we could offer was to put Ethan through difficult chemotherapy and still not know that he would make it through, “shares Dr. Melissa Rhodes, one of Ethan’s former physicians at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.
Chad says the chemo could have killed Ethan, and that there were all kinds of risks. As they were lying in bed, they asked God to give them an answer about whether to proceed with the chemotherapy treatment. The next morning when they woke up they both said, “Nope, we are not going to put him through it.” Most physicians at Vanderbilt honored the family’s decision. “We figured if Ethan truly had the kind of leukemia that we felt he had, then even with full treatment he may not do well,” says Dr. Rhodes.
After a few days at home Ethan went back to the hospital. His baby acne had become infected. When they returned to the hospital they also began to notice tumors showing up. “We noticed a lump in his calf,” shares Mandy. They were told by the physicians it could be a blood clot or a build up of the leukemia cells. Other tumors began showing up in Ethan’s feet, hands, and his forearm. “Leukemia itself means cancer of the blood; it’s a blood disease,” shares Dr. Rhodes. “But in this particular kind of leukemia it can also go out into the tissues. That’s what we believe was happening with Ethan. He actually had leukemia in his skin, in his hands, his feet, and his legs, as well as in his liver and spleen which is more common. So he was showing that he had a very advanced disease at this point.”
NEAR THE END
The physicians at Vanderbilt Hospital told Chad and Mandy to “take him home, love him…and make arrangements for his funeral.” Ethan was now about three weeks old, and his condition started to decline. He stopped eating and began to experience sleep apnea. The nurse told Mandy that “he might develop what’s called sepsis, which would be a total body infection, and that he would go peacefully or he might hemorrhage,” Mandy recalls. “I would see blood in his diaper or maybe coming out of his ears. I was so scared to open up his diaper to even change it.” When the hospice nurse arrived, Chad and Mandy knew they were near the end but Chad, Mandy and their friends continued to pray… believing God for the impossible.
“I remember rocking him and singing, ‘Open the eyes of my heart, Lord. I want to see you’,” Mandy says. “I knew that if I just focused my mind on Christ that’s the only way that I could make it through.” The night that Ethan faced his greatest medical crisis, something happened. “Mandy late that night started feeding, and he started taking his bottle a little bit at a time,” Chad says. The next day, Ethan was a little stronger… Mandy says, “I remember sitting at the kitchen table and saying, ‘I believe God’s healing him. I can see God working.’ Then he just gradually started getting better. And over the next week, we were back up to six ounces of formula every three hours.”
Over the next two weeks, Ethan improved. When Mandy took him back to Vanderbilt to check his blood counts his platelets level was like 415,000 -- in normal range, where it had been 39,000 at his lowest point. This stumped Dr. Rhodes and her colleagues. “Ethan had gotten about as sick as a baby could possibly get and then spontaneously got better. So we wanted to look. We did the bone marrow test, which showed no evidence of leukemia. The tumors gradually went down over a period of probably a week or so. It was just remarkable to witness it.” Chad and Mandy knew they had witnessed a miracle when they repeated the bone marrow biopsy in July with the same results. “The prayers of my friends and church members meant everything to me,” Chad says. Mandy agrees. “It’s just awesome that we have a God like that… I just can’t get over the miracles. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for him because I know it’s going to be big.”
Today, Ethan is a healthy eight year old boy. He goes to Vanderbilt every other year for blood counts and a checkup. He enjoys playing basketball and baseball. Although he was too young at the time to remember how God delivered him from death, Chad and Mandy have shared with their son countless times how God healed him when he was a baby. Today Ethan gives God credit for his healing.
As a result of Ethan’s healing, Mandy says, “I am more stronger and a bolder witness to others.” Prior to Ethan’s healing Mandy said they believed in miracles because miracles are talked about throughout the Bible, but seeing it firsthand strengthened their belief. Mandy shares her testimony of how God healed Ethan each year at her church.
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