Sarah Childress Returns Home After Surviving Stroke And A Month In Hospital, Therapy
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
As we've all heard it said before, miracles happen everyday, and the Childress family will tell you that they now know first hand. After being hospitalized and in therapy for over a month after a near-fatal stroke, Sarah Childress returned home to Edmonson County today to a celebration thrown by family and friends.
Not just the majority of Edmonson County has pulled together in prayer and thoughts for the family, but also surrounding counties, multi-states, and even other countries have lifted them up in prayer.
Things looked bleak for Sarah after she suffered a stroke due to a venous vein blood clot in her brain on January 12th. The 38-year old mother and real estate agent (who turns 39 on Monday) continues to fight her way back to normal. Her husband, Jarrid, discussed the ordeal.
"We didn't know the severity of the stroke at the time, when we were in Bowling Green," he said. "Then the decision was made to do surgery on her but we had to wait on the doctors. They flew her out of there to Norton's in Louisville but then the doctors said the surgery was too risky. That's when they told us that if she woke up at all, it would be 2 to 3 months later, but that's when people started praying."
Family members began contacting everyone they could reach and started asking for prayers. Churches, other families, and people everywhere began praying for Sarah. Not only were the prayers going up, but they were also getting through.
"She had wiggled a leg here and there, but she hadn't woke up," Jarrid said. "It was on that 7th morning that I looked over at her and her eyes were open. I didn't know what to say or do at first, but I asked her, 'can you hear me?' And she nodded 'yes'. I ran and got the nurse and they couldn't believe it. They started giving her commands and she was just amazing everybody in the hospital. From that point on, she just started improving every day. Sometimes it seemed like leaps and bounds. The doctor came in and told me that people die from this stroke. He said it was truly a miracle from God because medically, he couldn't explain it any other way. She wasn't supposed to come out of it, but she did. To hear this doctor say this just hit me hard."
Sarah still has a long way to go on her way to recovery. She'll be undergoing therapy three days a week and will require around-the-clock care, but her family, who has been by her side the entire way, are still there to help out and offer whatever they can. Different family members had their faith increased when they'd hear from folks assuring them that God had heard their prayers. Sarah's sister-in-law, Lindsey Skaggs even had her own promise from God that Sarah would be ok. These are the things that the family said got them through the darkest times.
Sarah's parents, Steve and Jill Skaggs also discussed their journey thus far.
"We have to thank everyone for their prayers and for everything you've done," Steve said. "You know, I know some people won't understand this, but I'm glad God picked our family for this. I thought about Mary and Martha and how sad they were when Lazarus died. But when the Lord delivered their family for the glory of God, can you imagine how they felt? The Lord picked them to bless and that's how we feel. Sure, it's been hard and we have a long way to go, but how uplifting it is to see prayers answered and to know that God brought her home."
Jill said it wasn't just folks praying for them, but it was the continuous prayers that got them through.
"People didn't just pray, they stayed in prayer," she said. "People from all over were praying for us and it wasn't just a one-time thing. They kept on sending prayers and we could feel them. We could feel them when the doctors said there wasn't any hope. We know God was hearing those prayers."
Jill also thanked the caregivers for Sarah during her ordeal.
"All the people in charge of her care were so good to her. They loved her. They cried with her and they cheered with her."
While the family continues to hold each other up, Jill said they've learned many things and seen wonderful works.
"How could anyone not see God for who He is and that He is a miracle worker?" she asked. "Because He is."
The family asks for continued prayer as Sarah begins the next phase of her recovery, which includes therapy, motor skill rehab, and relearned habits. Her speech and motor skills are still very slow but the family remains optimistic about where things are headed. After all, she wasn't even supposed to live through the stroke.
"We can't say thank you enough," Jarrid said. "There's just no words that I can come up with. Even the word "miracle" doesn't say it. We wouldn't be where we are today without everyone's prayers."