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New Parents' Pleading Turns to Praise

Ella's parents were excited about their baby girl, but she was too fragile to hold. Doctors lost hope as Ella's condition deteriorated, and with only five minutes left for Ella to live, the family changed their prayers. Read Transcript

NARRATOR: Stephen and Amy couldn't

wait to share the good news-- they were expecting

their first child, a baby girl.

[MUSIC PLAYING] I've never met you but I love you.

STEPHEN: We did a big reveal, we had balloons and everything.

And that moment when I saw those pink balloons come out

of that box, my heart was-- I could not have been happier.

Just-- a baby girl's everything I ever wanted.

AMY: We just hoped to have a happy, healthy family that

love each other and serve God together.

NARRATOR: Amy's pregnancy went as planned

until the seventh month, when she was diagnosed

with pre-eclampsia, a complication of pregnancy

that caused a spike in her blood pressure and the potential

for seizures.

Doctors put her on bed rest for a month.

Then on December 18, 2013, labor was

induced at 33 weeks when Amy's condition worsened

and little Ella was born.

AMY: I guess it just takes a little bit for it

to click that you're a mommy and-- but it was great.

It was great to see her little face.

NARRATOR: Ella was too fragile for Amy and Steven to hold.

When she began straining to breathe,

doctors determined she was losing oxygen

and diagnosed her with pulmonary hypertension.

Nurse Nancy McFadden cared for Ella the next day

in the neonatal intensive care unit.

NANCY MCFADDEN: She was on the special ventilator

and really high settings on everything

that we had for her, medically.

By the end of the day of my 12-hour shift,

she started getting worse.

NARRATOR: Ella's condition continued to deteriorate.

Amy and Stephen called upon family and friends

to come to the hospital to pray.

NANCY MCFADDEN: There was a lot of people in her room

and then-- I could see that they were praying.

We could see that all of her vital signs

were starting to go down.

STEPHEN: I got by myself in the parking lot of the hospital.

And I remember just yelling out to God

as loud as I could, God, what am I supposed to do?

I'm helpless.

God said, believe.

And I remember thinking, believe what?

And loud and clear, believe you will

bring Ella home alive and well.

I went straight up to the hospital room

and I said, Amy, we're going to bring home alive and well.

NARRATOR: Surrounded by a praying family,

Ella survived a second night.

But early on Friday morning, December 20th,

doctors said they had run out of options.

They allowed Amy and Steven to hold Ella for the first time,

so that they could say their goodbyes.

For 12 hours their loved ones prayed,

but there was no improvement.

Late that afternoon, Ella looked blue and lifeless.

Doctors said she only had five minutes to live.

NANCY MCFADDEN: No detectable oxygen in her blood,

and that was not compatible with life.

NARRATOR: The family was out of time.

Again, they turned to prayer.

But instead of pleading with God,

Amy's father suggested they praise Him.

AMY: Praise You, You're a awesome God.

You're a miraculous God.

You love us unconditionally.

And as I did that, I felt my faith started to rise again.

And as I praised God, I just thanked him, and I thanked him.

I said, thank you God that she's coming home alive and well.

I kept to that promise that he had given us.

Thank you, she's coming home alive and well.

And then I started to talk to her as

if she was about to come home.

Ella, we're going to go home.

NARRATOR: Then Ella's eyes opened.

AMY: And she started to look around.

And I started to talk to her.

I'd say, hey, Ella, how are you?

My husband heard me and he came over

to find out why I was talking to her when her body was lifeless.

And as he came over, her eyes looked over to him

and then her eyes went back to me, and then back to him.

And my heart just started to leap with joy

that now we're seeing a change.

STEPHEN: And her stats started to come up,

and we just erupted with praise.

NANCY MCFADDEN: I mean, I truly witnessed a miracle.

NARRATOR: Ella's health began to improve,

and she was released from the hospital in January of 2014.

Today she has no disabilities, and her development

is right on track.

NANCY MCFADDEN: I credit it to the power of prayer.

A baby who went through what Ella went through,

when normally if they survived, would have numerous deficits,

or have a lot of disabilities, and Ella has none.

NARRATOR: And the little girl known as the Christmas Miracle

Baby is a daily reminder to her parents

of God's unchanging love.

STEPHEN: Every time that we start

hearing Christmas music, every time that we see Christmas

trees, every time that we know that Christmas is around,

it just reminds us of the miracle that we got.

AMY: There's a God that loves us unconditionally.

The same God that sent his son on Earth

to show the world that He loves them, He cares for them,

and performed miracles.

Jesus raised people from the dead

and healed their sicknesses.

He still does it today.

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