An Illinois grandfather believes his three grandsons are alive today because of the power of prayer.
The Witness reports Michael Conneely and his wife, Diane, of Aurora, Illinois recently wrote a letter to the Cathedral of St. Raphael in Dubuque, Iowa to share their grandsons’ story and thank the church for praying for them.
Due to pregnancy complications, the triplet boys had several close brushes with death before they were born. At one point, their mother even was advised to selectively abort one or two of them. But today, the three boys are alive and well because their family gave them a chance at life.
The Catholic news outlet reported:
In late 2007, Michael Conneely said he and his wife were “frantic.” “We were in great despair,” he said. Their daughter Jennifer Schmidt and her husband, Craig, were expecting triplets, but the pregnancy had taken a serious turn for the worse.
Doctors discovered one of the triplets – referred to medically as “Baby A” — had partially separated from Jennifer’s uterus. It was feared the couple might lose not just one baby, but all three. Doctors presented the option of “selective reduction,” aborting one or even two of the babies in an effort to increase the likelihood of at least one live birth.
“Abortion wasn’t something they would ever consider,” Conneely said of his daughter and son-in-law. “They told doctors it was out of the question. They decided to let God figure it all out instead.”
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When she was just 21 weeks pregnant, Jennifer was hospitalized, and doctors thought her triplet sons would be born any day. At such an early stage, there was almost no chance that they would survive. But much to the doctors’ surprise, the boys did not come the next week or even the next month. According to the report, Jennifer went into labor after 35 weeks of pregnancy and gave birth to three healthy boys.
The family gives all the credit to God and the prayers from across the world. While Jennifer and her unborn sons were in the hospital, Michael Conneely said he began calling Catholic churches all across the country to ask them to say special Masses for his daughter and grandsons. The Cathedral of St. Raphael in Dubuque was one of them. Conneely said he called churches in all 50 states and several countries to ask for prayer.
“It gave me so much comfort knowing that people I didn’t know, people from all around the world, were praying to God for my babies,” Jennifer remembered. “I was so grateful.”
“I had peace, which makes no sense because it was such a scary time, but I had peace,” she continued. “I am one thousand percent sure it was the prayers that helped us get through it.”
Her father added, “I will go to my grave believing that all those prayers contributed to the outcome we received.”
Triplets Liam, Aidan and Connor are 8 years old now. Their mother described them as typical, healthy boys who love baseball and do well in school.
The family told the Witness:
Remembering when abortion had been proposed as an option during her pregnancy, Schmidt said, “When I look at the three of them, I can’t imagine not having the other one or two.”
Like his daughter, Conneely said the triplets are a reminder to him of the preciousness of each individual life. “When I look into their eyes, there is so much life, so much potential. There is something beautiful in each one of them.”