If there is any lesson the pro-life movement could teach the world it’s that one should never give up hope. Whether it’s an unborn baby, an infant after birth, someone who is disabled or an elderly or terminally ill person — the human spirit and the fight for life is often more resilient than even experts would predict.
Here’s another case of a little baby defying doctors’ expectations.
Oklahoma mother Sarah Rodriguez prayed to God to find a way to take care of her little girl, 2-week-old Ellis Rodriguez, who had contracted bacterial meningitis in November and had significant brain swelling as a result. Little Ellis had been placed on a ventilator and doctors informed the girl’s mother that Ellis’ situation was “incompatible with life.”
“I said, ‘God, if there’s any way,’” Rodriguez recalled. “‘Thirty days is not enough.’”
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.
“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.”
Eventually doctors did remove Ellis from the ventiallor and expected the worst, but Sarah hoped for the best.
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.”
Sarah’s little girl didn’t respond the way doctors predicted.
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.”
Now, Sarah is raising money online to help Ellis with her future medical care.
The story of Ellis Claire Rodriguez’s life has been one of miracles! You can read all about this sunshine girl’s latest miracle at https://journeyofsarah.com.
There are many future unknowns for this family, in terms of the care needed in the coming months. We want to rally around them in support, especially for her mom, Sarah, who is her sole caretaker.
As we rejoice in the progress Ellis has made, which is truly miraculous, please consider supporting this family through a financial gift to help cover the growing medical costs.