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CBN.com "Her pupils were fixed and dilated. She wasn’t moving a muscle, just kinda staring into space."
Early on the morning of November 21, 2004, Carly Baynor’s life seemed to be over -- when it had just begun….
Carly was a teenager who had it all: a loving family, good friends, and a nice boyfriend. She and her family attended church together. On the outside, everything looked fine, but on the inside, Carly was miserable.
"I just felt like I didn’t fit in, and I couldn’t connect with these people that were in the youth group," Carly explains.
Then her grandfather developed Alzheimer’s and later died. Carly didn’t know how to deal with the pain.
"He had been such a part of my life. He was a great grandfather, but he was so much like a friend. I could really talk to him about anything," Carly recalls. "So just having that relationship taken out of your life all at once is hard. It really left a spot in me that I didn’t know how to fill.
"I started experimenting with things — mostly drinking, because people were having parties all the time. I was just like, 'What have I got to lose?' I was just feeling very lost and without a direction. To my family and to my boyfriend, I was one person. Then when I was around my friends, I was a completely different person."
Carly’s family didn’t realize she was living a double life until the night she didn’t come home.
"I had been over at this guy’s house. We were just hanging out. He was a good friend of mine. Then two of our other friends came over, and they brought their stuff," Carly says. "We had already been doing painkillers, smoking and drinking. Then they brought cocaine. You’re mixing seven different things, and it never crosses your mind the harm that this is gonna do your body."
Carly's mother Patti says, "She told me she was going out with some friends, so I was OK with it. What I did not know at the time was that after I went to bed that she had called home, spoke to her dad and said that she was gonna spend the night at a friend’s house."
The next morning…
"After about 11:00, I called her cell phone and just got her voicemail," Patti continues. "I left her a message and told her to call home. She didn’t. So about 45 minutes later I called again, and she still didn’t return my call. By the time I left the third voicemail, I said, 'Look, I’m really starting to get scared now. I need you to call me.' The next call I got was from the police."
Carly had overdosed. Her family rushed to the hospital.
"We were put in a waiting room and waited probably half an hour. Then finally the emergency room doctor came in and said, 'Your daughter’s alive, but when she got here, she was not alive.' They did CPR on her all the way, and they did CPR on her in the emergency room. They had gotten her heart started. But she was not breathing on her own. She was on a ventilator.
"My husband asked him at the time what the prognosis was, and he said, 'Well, I really think it’s bad. You’ve got to at least be thinking in terms of brain damage.'"
Carly's sister Cassie called the church and their youth pastor.
"We just got the word out and asked people to pray for her," Patti recalls. "People from the church came out that night and prayed with us; several of the pastoral staff prayed over her. We just waited and we prayed."
About 24 hours later, Carly started fighting the ventilator. It was a sign to the family that she was waking up.
"Finally they decided to take her off of it," Patti says. "When they did, she breathed on her own. We felt like God had really answered our prayer, just in that she wasn’t on any machines."
Carly steadily improved and a couple of days later...
"She was much more herself. Every person that came to see her, she knew. To us that was just such an answer to prayer. She can’t have horrible brain damage if she knows who everybody is, and she’s talking to everybody. As it turned out, she didn’t have brain damage at all."
Carly is grateful for the miracle God worked in her life and for the people who prayed when it seemed all was lost.
"They were all praying for me," Carly says. "They were all coming to the hospital, and they all cared very much about me. It was hard for me to deal with, because I misjudged these people."
Since that time, Carly’s life has turned around completely. She suffered some hearing loss, but otherwise has made a full recovery. This experience has brought her full circle into a closer relationship with God.
"If God can make me come back from that, I’m excited to see for the rest of my life what He can do," Carly says. "I know so little. It’s really made me hungry to know what He’s done -- to get excited and get other people excited about what He’s gonna do. That is probably the biggest deal. It’s made me excited about my relationship with Him."
Patti says, "I have a medical background, and I know what 'pupils fixed' and 'dilated' means. I was really scared. God just showed incredible grace and mercy and heard the prayers of people that loved her and loved Him. We’re just so incredibly grateful and so incredibly blessed that God allowed this in our lives."
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