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Photo Captures Image of an 'Angel' in Hospital Hallway

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

When Chelsea Banton was born five weeks prematurely, doctors predicted she had 36 hours to live.

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.

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.”


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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    sidlil

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    Yes, there really are angels and yes, they really do watch over us. God bless you, Merry Christmas, and Happy Birthday!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    over 5 years ago

    Amazing and wonderful. I love angels.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    shirllinda

    over 5 years ago

    10 comments

    This is a picture of the real thing. PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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