From Death to Life

Twenty-one years ago, on a beautiful day in February, our family of four boys arrived at Archibald Hill to go tobogganing to celebrate our youngest son's birthday. My husband’s family joined us there, enjoying our time at the toboggan party.

Matthew, who had just turned seven, and wanting his dad to watch him, came down the hill for another run. The sled suddenly veered off to the side, slicing diagonally across the slope toward a steel handrail used for walking back up the hill.

Matthew’s sled hit a small embankment of tires beside the walkway, striking the steel railing with his head. He lay limp in the snow. My husband, who was on top of the hill, and an uncle saw it all happen. Matthew’s eyes were open, fixed, and lifeless. When they lifted his toque, his skull was pushed in at the top of his forehead. The indentation was about two inches long and an inch wide.

My husband, Blaine, picked Matthew up in his arms, and we rushed to our van, leaving our other three sons in the care of family. I noticed blood running from Matthew's mouth and knew this was a serious situation. I knew I had to use my faith instead of giving in to fear. Blaine placed Matt in my arms in the back seat, and as we drove to the emergency, we prayed violently in the Spirit. As I held him, he had a seizure; his body went straight like a board, stopped breathing, and went limp in my arms. This happened twice, and each time, I shouted, “Matthew, I command you to breathe, in Jesus’ name! I speak life into your body!” Within seconds he took a breath and continued to breathe very quietly. In those few minutes, as we drove, I remembered a story I had read as a teenager where an injured head had swelled to twice its size. So, I put my hand on Matthew’s head and declared that he would have no swelling and no bruising. When we arrived at City Hospital, my husband ran around the van to open the door, and in those few moments, I desperately called on the name of Jesus.

When we brought Matthew into the hospital, his eyes were “fixed and dilated.” He was not responding to any stimuli whatsoever, indicating the possibility of death or severe brain damage. They could not find a pulse on him but knew there had to be one as he was still breathing, albeit irregularly.

They took us into a quiet room where my husband and I joined hands to pray. Soon family members began to join us. We continued to pray and speak life over Matthew, believing for a total, miraculous healing.

Shortly after we prayed, Matthew began to cry very loudly. They sent us to Royal University Hospital, where they are better set up to treat children.

Later that evening, the same doctor who was at the first hospital came into the room where I was sitting with Matthew. He walked around the bed, pinching Matthew’s toes. When he saw me, he said, “You know he is a miracle, don’t you? He shouldn’t be alive!”

The doctor later explained to Blaine and me how a hospital has a scoring system. A normal, alert person scores fifteen, and a dead person scores three. Matthew scored three or four when he came in. A sick person usually gets worse before they get better.

The report we were given was that Matthew had a concussion, but it hadn’t amounted to anything. The only real symptoms were some short-term memory loss. He was doing better than he should be.

The Scriptures God gave my husband, and I were Ephesians 6:1-3, “Children obey your parents in the Lord...and you will live a long time on the earth,” and Psalm 91:15 & 16, “When they call on me I will answer; I will be with them in trouble and deliver them. I will rescue and honour them. I will reward them with long life and I will give them my salvation.”

We are so thankful for family members and church family who prayed and stood with us and for God’s overwhelming goodness in giving us a miracle.

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Cheryl Donauer
Saskatoon, SK
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