Photo Captures Image of an 'Angel' in Hospital Hallway
This photo shows an “angel” of light Chelsea's mother saw at Presbyterian Hospital in November. PHOTO COURTESY OF COLLEEN BANTON
Jane Duckwall / Charlotte Observer
December 23, 2008
Proving them wrong was the first miracle for Chelsea, now an Independence High School freshman.
“She spent the first four months in a neonatal intensive care unit,” recalls her mother, Colleen Banton of Mint Hill.
Before Chelsea was 2, she was admitted to the hospital for pneumonia, the first of several dangerous run-ins with the illness that have made her a familiar face in Presbyterian’s pediatric intensive care unit.
Among other health problems in her medical history: hydrocephalus, requiring a shunt in her skull and, later, several shunt revisions; life-threatening viruses; and, this past July, fluid retention that required more than a week’s hospitalization and three liters of liquid to be drawn from her body.
Prayer has helped sustain the whole family.
“We had been praying every day, my oldest daughter and I and Chelsea,” Colleen Banton said. “…Praying for a miracle.”
That miracle, Colleen believes, came Nov. 5 – seven weeks after Chelsea was admitted to the hospital for pneumonia.
What originally seemed like a bad cold nearly killed her.
“She was on life-support from the moment she got there,” her mother said.
Learn More About Nursing Degrees
That was Sept. 21. Over the next six weeks in the hospital, Chelsea faced one threat after another: pneumonia in her left lung, then her right lung, then sepsis, blood clots, staph infections, E. coli, a collapsed lung and feeding problems.
In late October, doctors met with the family to discuss “a plan of action,” Colleen said. One of the decisions she had to make was whether she would take Chelsea off the ventilator. Earlier, doctors had removed Chelsea from the ventilator several times, but had replaced it when the struggle to breathe became too difficult for the teen.
But a family meeting Oct. 31 was a turning point.
“At that point, the family… agreed that when she did come off the ventilator again, (they) weren’t putting it back in,” Colleen said. “Whatever happened, would happen.”