This I Believe

Andrea - Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Entered on November 8, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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The Power of Prayer

It was a hot and sticky August day. My friends and I had just finished riding go-carts when my phone rang. I dug through my overfilled purse I saw that it was my dance coach calling me. “Andrea, Jacqui has been in an accident,” she said very slowly. “Is she okay?” I asked. “We have a pep rally Friday, is she going to be able to be there?” My coach then burst into tears. The next two minutes were a blur. I hung up the phone and looked at my friends who by that point were surrounding me. They were unsure of why I was crying. I tried to explain to them what had happened, but it was so hard to talk in-between gasping for breath. Finally, I got to the point where I could talk. I told my friends that Jacqui, our dance team captain, had been in a moped accident and hit a tree head on. She wasn’t wearing a helmet and had been life lighted to Vanderbilt. She was in a coma and doctors weren’t sure if she would make it or not.

The ride to the hospital was an eerie silence. I couldn’t stop thinking about Jacqui. She was the epitome of a model student in our high school. She was a magnificent dancer, absolutely beautiful, and a role model to everyone in our community to say the least. How could this have happened to her? Why? It just didn’t make since.

We parked in the parking garage and walked into the lobby of Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. I was shocked. There were at least 300 people in the lobby. Jacqui’s sister, Megan, ran and hugged me. She took me away from everyone else and told me that the doctors had given Jacqui a 20 percent chance to live. She had brain damage and was partially paralyzed. I told Megan everything would be okay. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to say, but I hoped I was right.

We walked back into the lobby hand-in-hand and noticed that everyone was huddled around the center of the atrium. Everyone was praying. Friends and enemies came together and they all had one person in mind- Jacqui. Megan and I joined in with the crowd and prayed to God to let our friend, sister, and fellow teammate live. We didn’t stop praying for several hours. Finally, we left the hospital to come home. Although we were exhausted, none of us rested that night, or the many that followed.

The next several months included a slow progress of recovery. Jacqui was transported to a facility in Atlanta where she began physical therapy. People proclaimed Jacqui McDaniel a miracle. She was not expected to live after her first night of intensive care. Her name was featured all across America. Diane Sawyer even came to meet with Jacqui and did a special piece on her life.

Jacqui had a strong faith in Christ. Her friends and family did as well. We called ourselves Prayer Warriors for Jacqui. I believe in the power of prayer and I have seen first hand that it can perform miracles.