In May, Tionna Hairston, 26, was at home caring for her mother, Stacy Peatross, who had been diagnosed with COVID. At the end of May, Tionna also started showing symptoms of the Coronavirus that included losing her sense of smell and taste.
By early June, she was starting to feel nauseous and weak. However, it was these symptoms, that are common with COVID, that initially resulted in the family attributing her severe headache and loss of movement in her arm and leg as COVID symptoms rather than the actual cause, a major stroke.
Stacy only realized her daughter was having a stroke when “her eyes were going opposite of each other.”
She was immediately taken to Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where scans reported bleeding on her brain. But things continued to pile up on Tionna, while in intensive care she also had a heart attack.
For the next half hour, doctors fought to get Tionna’s heart working properly. Though they were able to do this, the medical staff was very concerned about her prognosis as her kidneys and liver were shutting down.
A CT scan revealed that the part of her brain not damaged by the stroke was severely damaged during the process of trying to restart Tionna’s heart.
Stacy told the Winston-Salem Journal (WSJ):
“The CT scan showed the one side of her brain not damaged by the stroke was damaged by her coding and the CPR process. Her brain stem was damaged.
“The doctors told us her brain damage was so severe that she had a couple of days at the most. If she did make it past two days, she would be a vegetable.”
Fox 8, reports that at one point after her heart attack, Tionna was declared brain-dead. At this point, there was nothing more that doctors could do.
Now it was up to God.
With her daughter in a coma and an utterly hopeless situation, Stacy now faced the tough decision about taking her daughter off life support and letting her die peacefully. Tionna is a believer and is bound for glory if she died.
Stacy told WSJ:
“I could not give up hope, and her faith kept driving me and pushing me. Her father, and family and church family, helped me to make decisions that would have been next to impossible to make on my own.”
Because of this, Stacy decided not to pull the plug and instead began praying and believing for her daughter’s healing. Along with this her church started multiple prayer chains calling out to God for Tionna:
“I would go in and place my hands on her stomach and pray, on her head and pray. We had Scripture readings in the room, music playing every day.
“We were surrounded by a chain of prayer going up for her.”
And their prayer and faith started making a difference. Things began to improve in early July, when Tionna’s liver and kidneys started working again. Then they noticed movement and Tionna regained consciousness and began recognizing and responding to her family.
Perhaps the greatest improvement came when Tionna was taken off the ventilator that she had been on for two months. Stacy told her daughter that the only way she could go home is if she came off the ventilator. Her daughter agreed.
Tionna is now home and though she has work to do to restore the damage caused by the stroke, in an interview with Fox 8, she credited her recovery to “My faith in God and the fact that I wanted to walk again.”
And in an interview with the WSJ, Dr. Jame McLean described Tionna’s recovery as miraculous::
“Just pick an adjective to describe Tionna’s recovery — incredible, miraculous, just amazing — to consider all she’s been through and where she is now. She had every system in her body collasped, everything shut down, and she’s got most everything back.”
But Tionna is alive today not only because of faith, but also because of hope.
The writer of Hebrews explains the intimate connection between faith and hope:
11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 ESV)
Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, we have power over death. Because of the stripes Jesus endured at His crucifixion, we have healing. And because of these promises, believers have hope.
This hope is the reason Stacy did not pull the plug on her daughter.
I would like to finish this article, with how Got Questions described the relationship between faith and hope:
Faith is grounded in the reality of the past; hope is looking to the reality of the future. Without faith, there is no hope, and without hope there is no true faith. Christians are people of faith and hope.
READ Local COVID-19 survivor walks out of rehab after being pronounced brain dead AND COVID-19 patient leaves hospital with miraculous recovery from near-death experiences AND COVID Patient Classified as Brain Dead in June Is Alive and Well AND Woman Brain Dead Due To COVID-19 Is Now Praising God For Miracle AND What is the difference between faith and hope?