"God Healed Me" --Kaylee Turley, 5
Don't miss any stories. Follow AG News!
Michele felt her daughter’s head — she was definitely warm. Perhaps it was the fleece pajamas? Changing her out, Michele took a cool water-soaked cloth, and softly wiped her daughter’s face and gave her something for her headache, trying to soothe Kaylee and calm her tears as she continued to cry, “My head, my head.”
After several minutes and seeming to recover somewhat, Kaylee told her mother she was hungry. Walking into the kitchen, Kaylee suddenly started throwing up and then went limp. Unsure what was taking place, Michele carried her back to the bedroom, where Kaylee roused and threw up on herself and Michele.
“I brought her to the shower, to clean us both up, and as soon as she got in, she went completely limp, with no response,” Michele says. Now there was no doubt there was something seriously wrong.
When they arrived at the ER in Fort Smith, Arkansas – a 15-mile drive from their home in Lavaca that didn’t necessarily take the “normal” time — the ER doctor took one look and sent Kaylee immediately back to a room.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever been to an Emergency Room, but you almost always have to wait,” Michele says. First determining that she wasn’t diabetic, the doctors did a CT scan, with Kaylee only being slightly responsive. The tech told Michele results could take up to an hour. As they brought Kaylee back to her room, it already had a host of nurses and doctors awaiting their arrival — Kaylee had bleeding on the brain, about one-third of it was already covered.
She was quickly prepped for an “Angel One” helicopter flight to the Little Rock Children’s Hospital.
Things didn’t look good. “You could see her breathing,” Michele says, “but there was no life in her.”
As Don and Michele’s teenage son, Kayson, drove them to the hospital in Fort Smith, Michele was busy texting and calling people, asking for prayer, including her mother, Sharon Stockton. Stockton, in turn, called their pastor, Robbie Willis, who quickly drove to the hospital.
Willis, who became pastor of Lavaca Assembly nine months ago, knows a thing or two about the ability of God to answer prayers and perform miracles, having himself been healed of Parkinson’s. The number of people praying quickly began to grow exponentially through phone calls, prayer chains, and social media, coast to coast.
The Turleys, who also know about healing as Don was supposed to have died from brain cancer several years ago and is steadily making improvement (he still suffers from what is believed to be medicine-induced seizures, therefore can’t work or drive), were also in a constant state of prayer.
But sometime during the flight to Little Rock, the first answer to prayer took place — Kaylee’s brain stopped hemorrhaging.
When Michele and Kaylee arrived in Little Rock by helicopter, Kaylee was immediately admitted into the children’s hospital’s ICU and the waiting room (pre-COVID) was soon filled by family members and the Turley’s church family.
“The children’s hospital wanted to run their own CT scan, and that’s when they learned that the bleeding had stopped, but she still had ‘something going on’ up there,” Michele says.
With Kaylee on seizure medication because of her brain swelling, doctors began running tests on her the next morning. An angiogram revealed that Kaylee had an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) — a tangle of blood vessels connecting arteries and veins in the brain — that had probably been there since birth.
“She couldn’t sit up, she could hardly talk – just mumble — and she had no motion on her right side of her body,” Michele says. “The doctors told me that we were looking at a two-month inhouse physical therapy stay and they would have to do brain surgery to remove the AVM and do what they could to clean it up and fix it to keep it from rupturing again.”
Willis confirms the doctor’s report. “I was there when they gave that last update about Kaylee being there for two months,” he says. “We went home after that, and along the way, I began organizing a fundraiser on the phone — Michele was going to be out of work for at least a couple of months.”
As surgery couldn’t be done until the brain swelling went down, therapists began coming to Kaylee’s room to help her try to recover some of what she lost. At first she resisted and became angry — perhaps due to not being able to speak properly or move her right side. Even through several therapists came in each day, little progress was seen.
Doctors showed Michele the scan that revealed the AVM – she recalls it being just a little smaller than a quarter. Would two months even be enough time for Kaylee to recover? Prayers continued to go up.
On Friday, a musical therapist came in, which caught Kaylee’s attention. But more than that, something totally unexpected was starting to happen in Kaylee’s body.
“She was suddenly alert,” Michelle recalls. “She began attempting to do stuff with the right side of her body.”
And the improvements came one after the other — in a miraculous rush!
“By early Friday evening, Kylee was walking down the hall with assistance,” Michele says. “By Friday night they moved her out of ICU and into her own private room, she had improved so much!”
On Saturday . . ., doctors sent Kaylee home!
“Instead of two months, in less than a week she was sent home,” Michelle says, still marveling.
“We believe in God and we started praying,” Stockton says. “Every time we’d turn around, the doctors were changing their story . . . about her walking, her memory, how long she’d be in therapy at the hospital, her surgery . . . I think the people at the hospital were just astonished!”
After returning home, Kaylee initially still struggled walking by herself and with her speech, but over the next five or so weeks, her improvements were remarkable.
“The prayer chains were going non-stop, coast to coast,” Michele says. “On Feb. 13, she went for her check-up and doctors were amazed at how well she was doing.”
Willis, who himself was amazed at the miracles God had performed already in Kaylee’s life, points out that the doctors, though shocked, were still confident that the AVM required surgery.
THE FAITH OF A CHILD
The pandemic hit the United States in March, and Kaylee’s follow-up MRI in May, to check out the condition of her brain and the AVM, was postponed. As she was doing far beyond all expectations, the doctors didn’t consider the test urgent. Michele says that Kaylee’s physical therapy people were now hunting for things to work on.
At church, Kaylee regularly went up for prayer. But as the weeks passed, Kaylee no longer had the urge to be prayed for and didn’t want to go to physical therapy.
“Momma, why (go)? Jesus has already healed me.”
“Nana” Stockton heard the same from Kaylee as did Willis.
“I would take her to therapy, and she’d ask me why do we have to go — God healed me,” Stockton says. “She loves the Lord, that little thing — she is special.”
Michele communicated that belief to Kaylee’s doctor during the February visit and then again, when the rescheduled visit came up in June.
The doctor, as Michele recalls, was a bit patronizing each time. “He didn’t believe us at all,” she says.
Perhaps not . . . yet.
On June 25, Kaylee went in for her MRI . . . “oddly enough,” the doctors could find nothing. An angiogram was scheduled.
“We thought the angiogram was being done in order to see the AVM,” Michele says. “What we didn’t understand was that the doctor doing the angiogram was also going to simultaneously do whatever surgery was needed to remove the AVM and repair the artery in Kaylee’s brain.”
In the meantime, Kaylee was not happy. Firm in her belief — as were her parents — that God had healed her, she didn’t understand the need for the surgery. However, the doctors insisted it was very important to remove the AVM to help reduce the chance of another rupture.
On July 27, after all the unexpected paperwork was signed by the Turleys, the doctor began the “find-and-repair” angiogram/surgery.
Only problem was, there was nothing to repair. The AVM had disappeared!
“You’re not going to tell me that’s not God!” Stockton exclaims. “It was a confirmation . . . this little girl is a miracle and we give God the glory.”
Michele says the doctor showed her the scans – the first (from December) clearly showing the AVM, the new second scan showing no sign of any abnormality. They had no explanation, but as Michele observes, “I now have medical confirmation.”
“The faith of Don and Michele — and Kaylee too — really astounded me,” Willis says. “They absolutely believed God through all of this . . . that He would take care of this. Michele was telling me that first week that they weren’t intending for Kaylee to have surgery; that God would heal her — they cooperated with everything the doctors asked, but held out that God had a plan.”
And when Kaylee was finally wheeled back to the recovery room, Michele told Kaylee the good news that God had healed her, to which Kaylee, a bit exasperated, replied, “I told you, Momma!”
The healing of Kaylee has again confirmed the Turley’s faith in God. But more than just the healing, Michele points to countless other miracles that took place over the months — many tied to God providing for them through the generosity of others. From bills anonymously being paid to people donating to Kaylee’s fund, the last eight months have been filled with blessings.
Kaylee’s testimony has also spread through the 2,400 residents of Lavaca and back out across the prayer chains. Stockton, who has attended Lavaca AG for nearly 40 years, says Kaylee’s healing gives people hope.
“People have been hearing of Kaylee’s healing and now are calling us to pray for them,” she says. “We’re just a small church of about 50 people, but we really believe in God . . . and if I needed prayer for healing, I would look to this pastor and this group of people. God is still on the throne and He hears our prayers and still heals!”
A PARTING TOUCH OF HUMOR
During Kaylee’s months between angiograms, Michele periodically fasted and prayed for Kaylee. Kaylee asked her about this spiritual discipline, and Michele explained it to her. Kaylee quickly made “a” connection, though perhaps not a divinely inspired one.
“Whenever I would serve something for a meal that she didn’t like,” Michele says with a smile and shake of the head, “she’d state matter-of-factly, ‘Oh, I’m fasting that today.’”
What’s a mother to do?