Esther Cox—Louisiana, USA
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    “Esther Cox—Louisiana, USA,” Liahona, February 2020

    Portraits of Faith

    Esther Cox

    Louisiana, USA

    Esther and her son, Matthew

    It was just another day of flooding after heavy rains hit southern Louisiana. But when Esther Cox’s two-year-old son, Matthew, fell into the deep, swift current of a nearby ditch, it became the worst day of her life. By the time Esther’s husband, George, found Matthew, he had been in the water for 15 minutes.

    Leslie Nilsson, Photographer

    The waiting room at the hospital was overflowing with members supporting us. When our bishop came to the hospital and gave Matthew a blessing, all I could remember were the words that Matthew was “going to be fine”—but not in my time, in God’s time. I felt comfort. We prayed and we just knew everything would be OK. No matter what Matthew’s issues would be, we had faith that it would be fine.

    They call Matthew’s condition “near drowning with hypoxia,” which means brain damage from lack of oxygen. It was the worst day of my life, but Heavenly Father gave him back to me. He’s still my baby. I’ve been taking care of him for 20 years. We have our ups and downs, but he’s a blessing. He’s great. And Heavenly Father has helped me through it all.

    I lost my husband, George, five years ago to liver cancer. I feel that Heavenly Father prepared me for his passing. I didn’t want any more children after Matthew because I figured he would need all my attention, but Heavenly Father thought otherwise, and He gave Lillian to me. I’m very grateful for her. She helps me with Matthew.

    Matthew can’t talk, but I think he understands everything. He loves being outside. I let him just crawl around. That’s what he likes to do. I feel that a wheelchair confines him. I want him to be free.

    There’s no love like the love from a person with special needs. We love each other very much. We have a very special bond. God blesses me. He really does.

    Esther with her two children

    “I didn’t want any more children after Matthew because I figured he would need all my attention, but Heavenly Father thought otherwise, and He gave Lillian to me. I’m very grateful for her. She helps me with Matthew.”

    family eating

    “He’s still my baby,” Esther says of Matthew. “I’ve been taking care of him for 20 years.”

    family praying

    “No matter what Matthew’s issues would be, we had faith that it would be fine. And it has been,” says Esther. “Heavenly Father has helped me through it all.”

    siblings

    Matthew uses a special wheelchair while in school, which he will attend until he’s 22.