Intensive Family Care

    “Intensive Family Care,” Ensign, Mar. 2003, 71–73

    Intensive Family Care

    Two hours after our fifth child, Angelique, was born, she began crying with every breath and started to turn purple. We realized something terrible was happening.

    Medical tests indicated that Angelique had group B streptococcus, a serious illness for newborn babies. She was immediately transferred to a hospital that specialized in such problems. I was weighed down by worry as my new baby was taken away in an ambulance.

    After I was released from the hospital two days later, I went directly to see Angelique. As I walked into the neonatal intensive care unit, I was gripped with fear. Two doctors and many nurses were surrounding my daughter. She was hooked up to so much machinery that I could hardly see her little body.

    I pulled one doctor aside and asked, “Will she live?” He looked at me grimly and said, “We aren’t sure at this point, but we will do everything we can for her.” He asked me to go home and rest.

    As my husband drove me home, we did not speak. We were both too worried. My husband went back to the hospital to give our daughter a blessing and to spend the night outside the intensive care unit.

    That night as I tucked our other four children into bed, my oldest, who was seven, cried because she couldn’t hold Angelique. We had told the children that Angelique might not live, but they didn’t really understand.

    I went to my room and offered the most sincere prayer of my life. I told Heavenly Father how much I loved Angelique but that He could take her if that was His will. I explained that I knew we were an eternal family and expressed gratitude for my temple marriage. In that instant a feeling of peace, love, and even happiness came over me—a feeling I’ll never forget.

    I then had a distinct feeling that Angelique needed to hear our voices. My children had often “talked” to Angelique before she was born. She had been with us when we said family prayers, when we ate dinner together, and when I was singing. Now she was hearing only strangers in the hospital.

    I woke the children, and they eagerly took turns sharing messages with Angelique using a tape recorder. We sang familiar Primary songs and told her how much we loved her. We told her that we would care for her and do things with her if she would get better. The next morning I took the tape recorder to the hospital and asked the nurses to lay it at the end of Angelique’s bassinet and play the tape for her continuously.

    When I returned to the hospital later in the day, an excited nurse greeted me and told me the most amazing thing had happened.

    Angelique was on a respirator that recorded when she was breathing on her own and when the machine was doing the work. When our tape was playing, she started to breathe on her own half the time. When the tape stopped, the machine would do all of her breathing for her again. It was amazing to watch her little body perk up when the tape played. The nurses played the tape around the clock. Angelique slowly recovered and was able to come home two weeks later.

    I believe strongly in the power of prayer and a family’s love. I have a testimony that Heavenly Father does hear our prayers and that if we seek His will, He will inspire us through the Holy Ghost.