The unimaginable happened when 14-year-old Taylor Hale went from messing around with friends in the parking lot to being rushed to the hospital. Moments before, Hale had been hanging out with some friends after a football game when she slid off the hood of a car and hit her head—hard.
“Taylor’s been in an accident. She’s laying in the middle of the street and the ambulance is on its way,” Taylor’s mom, Stacy Henningsen, recalled one of Taylor’s friends telling her.
Hale was rushed to the hospital. After doing everything they could, doctors had to put her into a medically induced coma to manage the swelling in her brain.
We don’t know how to medically explain this to you, but she’s breathing on her own.
Machines monitored the swelling, but the doctors weren’t hopeful about Hale waking up. They were also skeptical about the level of recovery for Hale. Would she be able to walk, talk or eat without a feeding tube if she woke up?
“She was the most serious patient there,” Henningsen said.
Hale’s situation got even more serious when she suffered a brain hemorrhage a week later.
“Her brain had slipped down into her spinal column … The brain had turned to mush,” Henningsen said. “They had to do CPR and go through extreme lengths to get her back.”
“The following day, [doctors] said, ‘We’re sorry—there’s nothing more we can do for her. You should probably say goodbye. We started talking about funeral arrangements.”
The “spunky little” high school cheerleader now needed nothing shy of a miracle.
That afternoon, Jeff Stickel, a chiropractor and friend of Taylor’s parents visited the hospital. Stickel wished he had been able to make it sooner. He told Stacy and Chuck he felt God was calling him to treat Taylor. They thought he was too late.
Stickel asked if he could pray with the family. Getting their permission, he put his hands on Hale’s neck and prayed for God to heal her. The family thanked Stickel and he left.
Later that afternoon, doctors turned off the life support that had been helping Hale breath since the accident. But then the unexpected happened—Taylor began to breathe on her own.
“A couple of hours later, the doctor came in and basically told us, ‘We don’t know how to medically explain this to you, but she’s breathing on her own,'” Henningsen said.
Strained as it was, she was breathing. To help her, they reconnected life support. The day went on and Taylor’s brain activity began to increase. Her eyes fluttered. She even made mumbling noises, trying to talk. Finally, Taylor Hale, considered brain dead by science, awoke from her coma.
“It was the hand of God at work,” Chuck said. “That’s the only thing that can explain it.”
Hale continued to improve and now lives with no lasting physical side effects. Her brain has almost made a full recovery as well, with the exception of not being able to remember anything before the accident. She even graduated from high school on time.