When Medicine gives up

miracles can happen!

Doctors Said This Baby’s Condition Was ‘Incompatible With Life,’ but When They Removed Her Ventilator Something ‘Miraculous’ Happened

Sarah Rodriguez found herself alone and in despair inside a hospital bathroom last December, where she stood quietly, collected herself and prayed that God would intervene in a seemingly hopeless situation to save her infant daughter’s life.

“I said, ‘God, if there’s any way,’” Rodriguez recalled. “‘Thirty days is not enough.’”

Ellis was just 2 weeks old when she contracted bacterial meningitis in November and had significant brain swelling as a result. Her baby on a ventilator, doctors delivered Rodriguez the heart-wrenching diagnosis: “Incompatible with life.”

As she stood in the bathroom thinking and praying, Rodriguez said she was unimaginably distraught. Having been a Christian her entire life, abandoning God wasn’t an option, but if her infant daughter died, she felt her faith would be forever changed.

Baby Ellis Rodriguez has a remarkable story. (Photo courtesy Sarah Rodriguez)

“I know that God is real enough that I will never be able to turn my back on him, but I don’t know if I can serve him like I did before,” she remembered thinking. “[Or] if I could ever make sense of that.”

In the days leading up to the removal of the ventilator, Rodriguez said, she held out hope for a miracle, but was profoundly discouraged.

“They told me, ‘It’s worse than we ever thought,’” she said of the day before doctors decided to remove life support. They said there was profound damage to Ellis’ brain. “I took that whole rest of the day and I said, ‘All right, I’m going to say goodbye.’ I cut locks of her hair. I painted her hands and did handprints and footprints.”

Saying Goodbye

Rodriguez, 33, who lost her husband, Joel, to kidney cancer in 2013, was left with no other choice but to take the child — a baby she had barely had the opportunity to get to know — off of life support just one month after her birth.

She walked out of the bathroom, mentally prepared to say goodbye. But as doctors removed Ellis from life support, allowing the grieving mother to hold and comfort her baby, Rodriguez said something miraculous happened.

Ellis began breathing on her own, which medical professionals previously told her would be highly unlikely. 

“For the first hour I was rocking her. I read her a story, because I had never gotten the opportunity to give her a story,” she said. “I’m giving her permission to leave. I was telling her, ‘You get to meet your daddy today’ — [trying] to make transition as peaceful as it could be.”

Joel and Sarah Rodriguez (Photo courtesy Sarah Rodriguez)

But Ellis continued breathing, defying the very prognosis that was supposed to render the child “incompatible with life” — and the baby continues to beat the odds months later.

“They said, ‘We don’t think your child would ever breathe, but if she did happen to live, she would be a vegetable. She won’t ever be a normal,” Rodriguez recalled. ”And what we’ve found is just the opposite. She had four different follow-up appointments. Every single one said, ‘We’re not seeing signs of damage with this child.’”

A physical therapist, too, said that developmentally speaking, Ellis is right where she should be, with one doctor telling Rodriguez that her daughter is “absolutely laughing in the face of medicine.”

A Miracle From the Start

In many ways, Rodriguez said that Ellis has been a miracle from the start. Before her husband, Joel, died on July 23, 2013, she said that he randomly told her from his hospital bed one day that the couple, who had one son at the time, would soon also have a daughter.

“My first thought was, ‘He’s wrong,’ because it’s impossible,” she said. “At that point in time, he was paralyzed in half of his body … he had not had a lot of success in his rehabilitation. I was looking at a life of a lot of uncertainty because of his condition.”

Joel had undergone chemo and briefly went into remission before the couple — who had struggled with infertility issues — got pregnant with their son, Milo; a few days after Milo’s birth, though, they found out that the cancer had returned. Joel eventually passed away at age 35.

Suddenly a single mother, Rodriguez remembered what her husband told her about a second child. And considering that the couple still had two embryos left over from their previous cycle, she made the decision after his death to have them implanted.

Ellis and Milo Rodriguez (Photo courtesy Sarah Rodriguez)

“The conversation in the hospital was at the forefront of my mind as I decided to move forward,” she said. “I believe God is the giver of life and the pregnancy would not come to be unless he ordained it. Watching his plans unfold for her life has been nothing short of breathtaking.”

Rodriguez, who grew up in a Christian home and attended Bible school, said the name “Ellis” originated in a dream she had about the child prior to her birth — and that she had never previously heard the name.

“Her name means ‘Jehovah is God’ and her life has certainly declared that,” she said.

Learning Lessons Along the Way

The death of her husband and Ellis’ survival have taught Rodriguez many lessons along the way.

“Everything became really real. I had grown up in it and thought I had lived through all the things that bring you closer to God,” she said. “But the last four years tested my endurance.”

Though she is overjoyed by Ellis’ recovery, Rodriguez said that it’s a daily journey still moving on after the loss of her husband.

“Nothing has been the same since losing him. I don’t even view myself as the same person anymore,” she said. “Once he was gone, so was the life we had together. I’ve have had to learn how to pick up the pieces and chart my own path, while also seeking to honor him and keep his presence a part of our life moving forward.”

Read more about Rodriguez’s journey here. More than $31,000 has been raised in recent months to help with Ellis’ medical care.

found on TheBlaze.com 2/20/15 posted by Billy Hallowell

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Comments (25)

  1. wirelessguru1

    There is little to no medical care when the Doctors Said: ’This Baby’s Condition Was ‘Incompatible With Life!’

    February 20, 2015
    1. SEC

      True, and yet look what happened after medicine withdrew

      February 20, 2015
      1. wirelessguru1

        So the Doctors should then reimburse the family with the “More than $31,000!”

        February 20, 2015
        1. SEC

          don’t hold your breath

          February 20, 2015
  2. sharnsgarden

    Amazing story, sometimes I find the things that Doctors say unbelievably heartless, have had experience in this when Stephen was dying.

    February 20, 2015
    1. SEC

      not as dire a situation here but just as blunt regarding son’s issues when he was younger

      February 20, 2015
    2. wirelessguru1

      Well, most Doctors are truly clueless with regard to healing and/or alternative medicines, etc, etc…

      February 20, 2015
  3. Munkyman

    They call it practicing medicine for a reason.

    February 21, 2015
    1. SEC

      Yup they ain’t nowhere near perfect

      February 21, 2015
      1. Munkyman

        think about how many billion more of us there’d be if they were.

        February 21, 2015
        1. SEC

          Who knows one of those might have found a cure for cancer or commercialized Tesla’s power transmission.

          February 21, 2015
          1. Munkyman

            & the billions more that would encourage.

            February 21, 2015
            1. SEC

              Oh so you are for zero population growth

              February 21, 2015
            2. Munkyman

              Until we are able to colonize space platforms, it seems about the only reasonable direction & I’d be in favor of negative population growth until we can stabilize at about 5 billion.

              February 21, 2015
            3. Munkyman

              I’d like to see the US stabilize at or below 300 million. & since our population only grows through immigration it seems like an easy goal to achieve.

              February 21, 2015
            4. SEC

              So far all predictions of inability to feed have been greatly out of whack

              February 21, 2015
            5. Munkyman

              That’s not the only problem, there’s unemployment & social services needed to keep the chronically unemployed from revolting, prisons & high taxes. Lower populations have to follow successful automation or you have to deal with high unemployment & under employment. Since it’s common to just about all the major industrial nations to experience declining native populations the growth in population world wide is in less developed nations & we get their overflow as immigrants. A smaller workforce leads to higher wages by force of market pressures & thus reduces the need many feel to regularly increase the minimum wage. Reduced classroom sizes should result in better educations & one day when we can live off this planet there’ll be ample room for billions more of us. Now I’d rather not have people, in places that generally rely on our charity to survive, breeding at a rate that has the world’s already crowded population getting more so. Why do you think we should keep growing our population?

              February 21, 2015
            6. SEC

              Those are distribution and political problems not capacity problems.

              February 21, 2015
            7. Munkyman

              & politics is already a huge problem, it need not grow. I would rather not see a whole world packed like Hong Kong. Why are you so intent on a growing population?

              February 21, 2015
            8. SEC

              not necessarily but all life is precious

              February 21, 2015
            9. Munkyman

              I didn’t say it wasn’t, I said that if we closed immigration for a decade we’d have a decline in population. Statistically speaking the fewer of us there are the more each of us is worth relative to the population as a whole.

              February 21, 2015
            10. SEC

              sounds like an argument I’ve used to try and enlighten those Minwage loonies. That the scarcity of the commodity (in this case workers) the higher price it can demand

              February 21, 2015
            11. Munkyman

              It was in the list I gave above. Yet those loonies aren’t all wrong. If a man can’t earn a living wage in 60 hours you have a hard time blaming him for breaking the law to make it happen. It’s hard to blame him for giving up on the system that’s rigged against him as long as we keep importing population growth as we lose good paying jobs & replace them with Taco Bell, as Burger King moves to Canada for the friendlier tax climate. The minimum wage much like income taxes is a choice made for us long ago & it is woefully insufficient to today’s cost of living. What to do about it is above my pay grade but, I know people eventually quit working or they riot into a union when they just can’t earn enough to pay for the basics.

              February 21, 2015
            12. SEC

              yes you can blame them for those actions of taking without earning something someone else has worked for. It has more to do with being a moral and ethical society

              February 21, 2015
            13. Munkyman

              NO blame, just supply & demand & what happens when things get too far out of balance.

              February 21, 2015