Here is a true story that recently took place in northern Kentucky. Mrs. Chastity Cooper is a young woman in her early 20s. She and her husband, Steve, were the parents of two boys, ages 3 and 4.
It was a rainy night when she dropped the two boys off at her sister’s to baby-sit. She was on her way to meet Steve at a family get-together. She skidded on the wet pavement, her car slid into the path of another car and their lives were changed forever. Chastity suffered severe head injuries and sank into coma.
Nobody, not even her husband, knew at that time that she was pregnant. Routine tests performed at the hospital revealed that she was two weeks into her pregnancy when the accident occurred.
She had good care after that time but remained in coma and continued to carry the baby until one week shy of full term. During the pregnancy, she had been slowly improving. Later she was able to open her eyes and follow people around the room but could not move or talk.
Abortion? Steve firmly shook his head and said no, that was never an option. And so what happened? Chastity went into labor and gave birth in a normal fashion, remaining in coma the whole time. She gave birth to a healthy little girl, seven pounds, seven ounces. Little Alexis’s mother smiled after the delivery and seemed to respond when the little infant was placed in her lap.
The doctors have been dumbfounded. Dr. Michael Hant, a neonatologist at the University Hospital in Cincinnati, said, “This is one of the only cases ever in the United States where a woman was in coma throughout the entire pregnancy.”
And how about little Alexis? Well, she slept through the news conference at the hospital, blissfully unaware of the amazing conditions of her birth. Her daddy said, “She’s precious. We waited for this baby a long time; she’s absolutely adorable.”
But now comes the hard part. Steve lost his job because he took too much time off and had to find another one. Without that income, they couldn’t keep up the payments on their mobile home, lost it and were living with relatives.
Steve says, “I try not to think ahead. I’m a firm believer in playing the cards you’re dealt, but I have three precious children and I want to keep them.”
There has been considerable publicity about this situation; in fact, it received national coverage. Steve was on the Paul Harvey Show, the British Broadcasting Corporation, a German TV station, and written up in a British tabloid. The story was told coast to coast — and what happened? Well, let him tell you.
He said, “Words can’t truly convey how much all of your support has meant to me and my family. At such a challenging time, your cards and letters really lifted our spirits. I never knew just how many caring and giving people there are in this world. I don’t know what to think about all the attention, but if it wasn’t for all the attention, we wouldn’t have received so much support. It’s extremely gratifying; it’s also mind boggling.”
Steve received several hundred cards and letters from as far away as Europe and over $25,000 in donations. He has used part of this to make a down payment on a home. In the meantime, his wife Chastity has been transferred to a top-notch rehabilitation facility in Cincinnati, Ohio. Since she has been there, she has made continuous progress. She now opens her eyes more and can use her fingers to respond to questions.
Her doctors still say that the odds are against a full recovery, but I’m a physician; I’ve been around a long time now, and I’ll tell you, in situations like this, as long as recovery continues, more recovery is yet to come.
Steve sends his thanks to the many people who have sent money, offered prayers and support, gave him an automobile, and — more good news — he’s had several good job offers.