Child Miracle - The Accident
On Tuesday July 27, 2010 around 5:30 pm our 2-year-old son Joel fell into the ditch behind our house in Wijngaarden (Netherlands). He probably was in the water for 5 to 15 minutes before his brother Timo (5) found him.
That day Joel was wearing a sweater with very bright stripes, which made him easy to see in the water. He never wore this sweater. In hindsight, I recognize that God guided me to dress Joel in that colorful sweater that day. Timo called his father right away and Bram, my husband, took the lifeless body of Joel out of the water and carried him home. I was working in the house when I heard him call out. I could tell by his voice that something bad had happened so I ran outside, not even wearing shoes. Bram came running with Joel in his arms. I started reanimating him immediately and Bram called 911.
I was already experiencing Gods help and support at that time, because I was still able to do the reanimating despite my panic. Joel was completely limp, cold and blue. He showed no signs of life, not even during my attempts to reanimate. Meanwhile we were praying for him constantly. We were desperate, because we really thought we had lost Joel. Then, because God told us to do so, we put our hands on his forehead and spoke life in the name of Jesus. That's when the reanimation started to work and he started to breath and moan very softly! In and of itself it was a great miracle that Joel had come back to life, but at the time I was very concerned that Joel might have suffered brain damage. So we kept praying to God asking him to prevent Joel from suffering any brain damage.
Shortly thereafter the paramedics and the police arrived. The trauma helicopter had been called in as well, but they did not know where to go and accidentally landed in the wrong place in Wijngaarden. Some policemen drove out to go get the doctor of the trauma helicopter and brought him to us.
The doctor of the trauma helicopter examined Joel in our home, gave him the initial treatments, including an IV and oxygen. Joel was breathing, but didn't respond to anything. The paramedics said this was probably because his brain had been without oxygen for a while. While the doctor and the paramedics were trying to stabilize Joel, I called several friends from our church and asked them to pray for Joel. Then they called all other church members (and others) to relay this prayer request to other Christians. This way many people were for praying for Joel within a very short time. When Joel had stabilized enough to be transported, he was taken to the Erasmus/Sophia Children's Hospital in Rotterdam.
Child Miracle - The Treatment
In the emergency care unit, Joel's temperature was slowly raised because he was hypothermic. X-rays of his lungs were taken and they also took blood samples. He had to stay in the ICU for observation. His heart rate and rhythm, saturation, breathing and blood pressure were monitored. They told us that in cases like this often complications occur like pneumonia or secondary drowning (ARDS). Because Joel's brain had been without oxygen, there was a chance he had suffered brain damage. His saturation levels (the oxygen content in the blood) were too low. That's why he was still on oxygen. He also was given a fluid by IV to raise his blood pressure. His breathing was much too fast and very irregular. He kept coughing, because of the ditch water that was still in his lungs.
Bram stayed with him during the night, and I stayed with him during the day. The nurse said it was pointless for me to stay with him all the time, because he was simply too sick and too exhausted to even wake up. But that same evening around 9 pm Joel became more and more active and even started to talk! He told me all the details about how he fell into the ditch. He told me he was trying to throw a piece of wood into the water, but it had been too heavy and it caused him to fall in the water with it. He said that he went underwater completely, that he was wet all over, that it was very dark in there, that he couldn't breathe and that he couldn't call daddy, because his mouth was full of water. He said it was very scary.
In the middle of the night he started singing a song he made up himself. At the end of the song he shouted “Hallelujah!” three times, so loud that the entire ICU could hear it. He also kept talking about “the Christmas song.” Later we found out that he was talking about the song “Glory to God.” We thought this was very special! At the end of the night his oxygen mask was removed and by sunrise Joel was stable enough for them to remove most of the monitoring equipment.
The day after, Joel was jumping in his little bed. He was talking up a storm, wanting to pull all the wires, tubes and the IV and get out of bed. But the saturation levels in his blood were still too low, so he had to stay connected to the monitor and could not leave his bed yet. They did move him from the ICU to a medium care unit. Because the MC unit in Rotterdam was full, he was taken by ambulance to the Beatrix Hospital in Gorinchem on Wednesday afternoon. Saturation was not at the maximum level (100), but around 92 and that's why he was still being monitored. Everybody noticed how alert Joel was. He was joking and he remembered everything, which showed that he probably did not suffer any brain damage! The staff at the hospital thought that was a miracle. They also thought Joel had an unusual strength to recover. We considered this a prayer answered!
A day later (July 29), the saturation in his blood was good. In the afternoon the hospital allowed us to take him home. He didn't even have to come back for any routine checkups! The pediatrician didn't detect any rattling in his lungs. She thought it was miraculous that he had recovered this quickly, that there was no brain damage whatsoever and that he also did not have a pneumonia, despite the very dirty ditch water he had in his lungs. The pediatrician said: “A higher power must have had a hand in this!” We told her that we know who that Higher Power is: our loving Father in heaven! Joel means: Yahweh is God, or Yahweh is my God. God has shown very clearly in Joel's life that He is the living, almighty God, who still performs miracles today!
Child Miracle - The Results
Joel is still doing great! He is very energetic, bright and acts as if the accident never happened. When you look at him now, you wouldn't believe that he had been all limp, cold and blue, not breathing and not responding. What a difference! We still can't fathom it. It seems like God gave us our son for a second time. We look at him in amazement, as if we're looking at a newborn baby. We now notice all these fun, cute and beautiful things about him as if we see them for the very first time. It is just such a special experience. We do realize it could have ended very differently. Joel could have passed away or he could have ended up in a coma. He could have been physically or mentally disabled if he would have suffered any brain damage. Thank God none of that happened to him.
God performed miracle after miracle. Joel not only came back to life, but he also recovered very quickly and did not suffer any brain damage, he didn't contract pneumonia or ARDS, and there were no complications whatsoever! He didn't even catch a cold, despite having been in the cold water for so long. There were also no signs of trauma or bad dreams, even though Joel remembers very well what happened and can still show us the exact spot where it happened. This is miraculous as well. The entire family hasn't suffered any trauma either. God doesn't do half a job; the miracle is complete! To God go all our thanks and glory!
I hope and pray that this testimony will be an encouragement for you in your personal situation. In Matthew 19 verse 26 we read that what is impossible with men, is possible with God. He is powerful to do so much more than we can pray for or imagine (Ephesians 3:20)!