Brittany Bakenhaster was a happy and normal 5-year-old who was active in her church and loved Jesus. She also suffered from seizures. While they were being controlled with medicine, her parents worried that she might not get to live a normal life or a very long one. One morning, Brittany’s mom, Jamie, went into her bedroom to wake her daughter when she saw something awful.
Her 3-year-old was on the floor having a serious seizure.
Jamie recalled the first seizure, saying:
“It was a biting and almost choking noise. Like a gurgling, can’t breathe, struggling. And I ran to her. I immediately picked her up and said, ‘Oh, God, touch her.’ I understood it because I had them myself. And I thought she would be just like me. I’d get her on medicine and everything would be all right.”
The medicine was helping a little, but Brittany was still suffering from seizures.
Her parents were worried that they would walk in Brittany’s bedroom one day to find her unresponsive. Jamie said:
“As a mother, you feel so responsible. They’re your flesh; they’ve lived in you. And when she would pull at me to help her and I couldn’t. I blamed myself a lot; I thought, ‘I’ve given my daughter this sickness.’”
Brittany continued to get worse, and the entire family started to suffer.
They struggled to provide physical care for their daughter. They were mentally exhausted, they were lacking their normal spirituality, and they were financially strapped due to the expensive medication that was keeping their daughter alive.
The toddler had to have someone care for her all day and night because a seizure could strike at any time. After suffering from another serious seizure, Brittany was hospitalized. Her parents feared the worst. Jamie said:
“She had been in the hospital for almost three weeks and they had tried everything; there was nothing else to try. They ran one more brainwave, and they said, ‘Her whole brain is seizureing, so we can’t even take out that part of her brain or put a shunt in to help her; there’s nothing else we can do.’ They just said, ‘Let her go home where she’ll be more peaceful in her own bed.’”
Brittany’s parents were devastated.
They were taking their daughter home to die. They felt as if God had failed them. Although they still had faith that he would heal their daughter, they weren’t sure how or when it would happen. Brittany’s mom added:
“I knew she was close to death. But I thought, ‘Lord, you said you would bring it to pass.’”
Then, something amazing happened. Jamie spent the entire night praying over her daughter.
By morning, Brittany started to respond to her. Jamie said:
“She kept saying, ‘Jesus, Jesus.’ And I could tell from the look on her face. Well, she’s responding, and she hasn’t responded or talked to me in a good year at all. So, when she could look at me and describe Jesus, with eyes like fire and the bright lights and the angels; who could tell a 5-year-old child that? I knew that she had encountered Christ.”
Brittany’s parents took her back to the hospital, and the nurses and doctors couldn’t believe it. They all explained that they saw healing in Brittany’s eyes and that it must have been a miracle. Her parents agreed. God had answered their prayers and brought their daughter back from the brink of death. They knew she was going to pull through and be OK.
God was not finished, though.
A few months after Brittany recovered, her mother started having headaches. She went to the doctor, and they found that her brainwaves were now clear, too, and she was no longer suffering from seizure activity. Her headaches were caused by her medication, and she no longer needed it. God had healed both Jamie and Brittany.
Brittany is now in college, and she still remembers her encounter with Jesus. She shared:
“The glory of God shone all around Him and angels were all around Him, in front, behind, everywhere. And you just felt so peaceful, so at ease. All I can say is there’s nothing like it and I’ve never experienced anything like it on this earth.”
Brittany is living the normal life her parents always dreamed for her. They know that God touched their family, and they hope their story inspires others who are dealing with serious illnesses or anything else in life.
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