‘I’m a total believer now’

For many, unexpected trials and tribulations are a test of faith. However, for a mother, it’s exactly what she needs to make a leap of faith.

Having a child suffering from a life-threatening condition isn’t something any parent wants to go through, but it’s something Erica Edwards of Reno, Nevada, faced three years ago before The unthinkable happened right outside her house.

On the evening of June 6, 2019, Erica’s husband Shannon was taking the couple’s girls – Emma, ​​7, and Shaylie, 3 – to the park while Erica stayed home to clean up. Right after they left, Erica heard a series of related sounds and went outside to see what had happened.

“I ran back, looked over the fence and right in my view was Shaylie on the street,” she told Fox News.

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A car hit both Shannon and Shaylie. When he saw the oncoming car, he lifted his daughter off the road – but the car hit him, breaking his face in seven places and sending Shaylie flying 40 feet before she hit the pavement , fractures of the jaw, neck, femur and sacrum. She suffered a severe traumatic brain injury.

Shannon had titanium plaques on her face and had to undergo a full face reconstruction.

Shaylie’s recovery was uncertain and much more time-consuming, but somehow, instead of panicking, Erica felt an unparalleled calm envelope her. In the midst of the storm, she said, God came to her.

“A lot of it is just, ‘Calm down, calm down,’ she said. “It had to be a higher power, a God, someone who laid the groundwork for me for what was to come.

“Without that foundation, I wouldn’t have made it through the last three years of fighting to get my child back, because it’s a fight literally every day.”

At first, Shaylie showed no promising signs of recovery. According to Dr Kris Deeter, Pediatric Endoscopy, she had no muscle movements, no reflexes and was “completely unresponsive”.

“I could tell right away we were dealing with a pretty severe traumatic brain injury,” she said.

After two weeks of constant care and monitoring, Shaylie opened her eyes.

“When we started seeing that little twitch and the smile came on, we all knew we were fine,” says Deeter. “She’s a warrior.”

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And so the family fought. She underwent tests, rehabilitation, therapy, and lifestyle changes, but by the time Shaylie was 4 years old, she was still functioning at the level of a 5-month-old: She couldn’t eat, walk or talk.

But as the years passed and Shaylie worked countless hours, she regained many of her old functions and even graduated kindergarten – something they never promised.

“Trust for me and my journey is the number one priority,” says Erica. “Realizing that and following it just makes things a lot easier every day, because this fight is real.

“I was a very spiritual person before – I always believed in God, but I [wasn’t] she said.

“But now I fully trust… God always tells me. And it was by chance that this voice came to me.”

“I will have to keep fighting for her for many years,” she added. “I don’t know that it will ever stop. I hope that one day, but I’m not sure. And my beliefs are what got me through. That is a beautiful thing. “

The driver responsible for hitting the family was found guilty of two counts of reckless driving in May. They were fined $2,000 but not jailed.

According to the Reno Gazette, both Erica and Shannon attended the sentencing, intended to bring a close to Shannon.

“It was important for us to be there for my husband, who felt so guilty after the accident thinking he could have done more to stop the car or get Shaylie off the road,” he said. Erica said.

As Shaylie continues to make slow but steady improvements, Erica has some advice for other parents who find themselves in similar unexpected crises.

“Have faith and believe that there is a greater purpose,” says Erica. “Even if it doesn’t turn out positively, believe there is a bigger purpose. Because only. There must be something.

“You may not know it for years, but there must be something.”

This article originally appeared in Western Magazine.

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Mike Fahey

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