Collective Faith and a Priesthood Blessing

Collective Faith and a Priesthood Blessing

From Chicken Soup for the Latter-day Saint Soul

Collective Faith and

a Priesthood Blessing

The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church . . .

D&C 107:18

I squinted at the gray screen, trying to make out the tiny arms and legs as the doctor expertly pointed to each appendage. I was only eight weeks’ pregnant, so determining the baby’s gender was out of the question, but I was thrilled to see the tiny heart pounding out a snappy rendition of “Jingle Bells.” How appropriate, I thought. It was Christmas Eve, and I could think of no better present than seeing the gift of life on my doctor’s computer screen.

As my husband and I hurried from the doctor’s office, the cold clear air sent us quickly to the car. We had a little last-minute shopping to do, so we headed into the heavy traffic of downtown Salt Lake City. We drove several blocks to the nearest strip mall. We wanted to get home to the kids so that we could spend the afternoon together. Kira was thirteen and certainly capable of babysitting her five siblings, but still, we didn’t like to be away too long.

We made our way through the store, looking for something to fill the blanks on our shopping list. Before we had time to find anything suitable, my cellular phone rang. I pulled it from my pocket and punched the button. “Hi,” I began. I knew it was the kids, because no one else had that number.

Eleven-year-old Neal was hysterical. “Calm down,” I nearly shouted. “What’s wrong?”

I heard Kira grab the phone. She was sobbing, “I’m so sorry, Mom . . . Kiy was in the tub . . . she turned blue . . . she wasn’t breathing. . . .” I was suddenly hysterical. What was she telling me? My sweet, blonde, fifteen-month-old girl was where? My hands were shaking so badly I nearly dropped the phone. Suddenly, the soothing voice of one of South Jordan’s finest came on the phone.

“Ma’am? Listen to me.” I tried to calm down. How could I be calm when they were telling me I’d just lost my baby? “Are you alone?”

“No,” I managed to choke out. “My husband is with me.”

“We want the two of you to drive carefully to Primary Children’s Hospital. Where are you?”

“We’re downtown,” I managed. “We could be there in just a few minutes.”

“Settle down and drive slowly. We’re bringing your baby in on Life Flight. You’ll get there before we do.”

That trip to the hospital was the longest one I have ever taken. I screamed, I cried, I tore my hair. Why did we leave her home? When we finally arrived, I was a basket case. Kiylee was not at the hospital yet, and no one knew anything about her condition. It was about thirty minutes before we finally heard the helicopter. Moments later, we were allowed in the emergency room. Kiy was bloated and covered with wires and tubes. She was ice cold, but she was breathing. Yes, she was still breathing.

She was transferred quickly to the pediatric intensivecare unit and was attached to all kinds of monitors. The doctors sat down with us and told us to be realistic. They didn’t think she would die at this point as long as they could warm her up carefully. The first twenty-four hours were critical, but if she made it through, we still had the possibility of brain damage or even physical damage. I didn’t care. I hugged her as carefully as I could, kissed her and sobbed her name. She was still alive, and I could think of no better gift than to see the gift of life on the PICU’s monitors.

We sat with her most of the night. We couldn’t touch her because it would modify her temperature. I’d never felt so helpless in my life. My grandmother came to stay with our other children. They all agreed that Christmas would wait until our little Kiy could come home and share it with us. The morning’s trip to the doctor and our wonderful news of the successful ultrasound for our seventh child seemed a lifetime away.

Christmas morning dawned beautifully, even for us in the PICU. Other parents were there, sharing Christmas morning with their sick and dying little ones. Santa Claus came and brought some gifts and candy, and I couldn’t help wondering if Kiy would ever be able to play with the little stuffed animals or eat the gingerbread.

Toward noon, our doctor came in to check on Kiy. We were all exhausted and hoping for good news. She was still under anesthesia and full of tubes and wires. Her tiny face was swollen from the IV, a respirator covered her mouth and nose, and heart monitors dotted her little chest. The doctor picked her up and stood her right up on her feet. She moaned and opened her eyes. The doctor paused for only a moment, then he said with conviction, “She’s going to be fine, but plan on her being here at least a week.”

We were thrilled! No one knew how long she was underwater, and with the risk of infection, she could have stayed at the hospital for weeks with respiratory problems or pneumonia. Friends and family were completely supportive with prayers, hugs and food. Their collective faith and a priesthood blessing brought her home far earlier than the doctor thought was possible. Forty-eight hours later, Kiy was ready to go home. It was nothing short of a miracle.

Christmas morning dawned bright and early for us on December 27, 1997. The sounds of paper tearing and happy voices were never more appreciated. Kiy sat weakly on my lap and carefully opened her packages. I gave her a little squeeze and blinked back the tears. I could think of no better gift than to see the gift of life . . . our little Kiylee, wrapped in a warm quilt from the hospital, snuggled in my lap on Christmas day.

Sandy Christensen

More stories from our partners