Jessica's Story  - 28 Days...

A Journey Through A Miracle.

Below is the story my mom wrote about my stay in the hospital. 

I hope you enjoy it and get a blessing!. 


I want to say first that this testimony is not intended as anything negative towards doctors or nurses. They see so much of the natural and not enough of the supernatural. If it hadn't been for the fine doctors and nurses we came in contact with, Jessica would not be with us. We are grateful to them for choosing a profession where God can work his healing through their hands. There are so many verses that apply to this testimony, but the verses that we clung to most were these: 

I Corinthians 13:13 "And now abideth faith, hope, and love, these three, but the greatest of these is love....

Exodus 19:4 "I bore you up on eagles wings and brought you to myself."

The one that supremely speaks to us is this one:

Isaiah 45:18&19... (18)"For the Lord is God, and He created the heavens and the earth and put everything in place. He made the world to be lived in, not to be a place of empty chaos. (19) I am the Lord, He says and there is no other. I publicly proclaim bold promises. I do not whisper obscurities in some dark corner so no one can understand what I mean. And did I not tell the people of Israel to ask Me for something I did not plan to give. I the Lord speak only what is true and right." 

When we ask God for something He delivers and it is usually more than we could ever have imagined in our own thoughts.

My name is Julie Berry and I want to tell you a story about a baby, a heart and a miracle. In February of 1994, my husband Mark and I discovered to our wonderful surprise that we were expecting our third child. I had heard about Weigh Down Workshop, a bible based weight loss program, and was concerned about trying a "weight loss" program while I was pregnant. But my dear friend, who had told me about Weigh Down, shared with me that it was a natural, biblical approach to eating and also there was a pregnant woman on the class videos, so I decided to try it.

My pregnancy progressed well until around the 16th week. During a routine ultrasound at our doctor's office, it was suspected that the baby's abdomen was two weeks gestationally larger than its head. We were asked to return the next day to the hospital, near the doctor's office, for a much more detailed ultrasound. Mark and I had been growing spiritually and we had learned that giving things to the Lord to handle was better than trying to fix them ourselves. We spent the evening praying and giving this baby to God and asking Him to have His way. 

That next afternoon, after several anxious minutes in the hospital exam room, we learned that our baby was just fine! What a test! I continued to grow spiritually and otherwise throughout my pregnancy. Although everything progressed well I continued to sense that this baby would be challenged in some way. We decided that whatever the outcome, we would love our baby and that God could have His way.

On November 10,1994, at 8:30 a.m., Jessica Ann Berry was born. She weighed 9lbs and was 21 inches long and very, very healthy. Initially I was surprised at her health, but relieved that nothing was visibly wrong. She is our second daughter and third child. This was also my third C-section and I had always recovered quickly, but two days after my surgery I developed a fever and was given I.V. antibiotics. Then I began to notice some things about Jessica that heightened this strange sense that all was not right. She was not nursing well, and was lethargic. On the morning of the fourth day, I awoke to find that she was overly warm to the touch. I called the nurse who came in to check on her. She took a routine morning temperature and discovered that Jessica had a fever of 101.4. It was explained to us that newborns don't get a fever because they don't have immune systems like older children.

Jessica was whisked away to the nursery and given I.V. antibiotics as well. After my I.V. was discontinued, Jessica and I were moved to the pediatric unit for observation. After spending seven long days in the hospital, we went home believing that all was well. On the 13th day of Jessica's little life, I began to notice some unusual things; she was sleeping more than the normal newborn, not wetting diapers, and she was blue around her mouth. Mark took one look at her and agreed that she did not look well. We had been taking her temperature three times per day as her doctor had instructed. It had dropped from 98.6 to 93.3 in a matter of a few hours.

We rushed her to St.Joseph's Regional Health Center in Hot Springs, Arkansas. In the ER, several tests were performed and the diagnosis was septic shock. Somewhere, somehow a virus or bacteria had attacked her bloodstream. Everything that should have been going into a diaper was in her lungs and the vital organs were shutting down to keep the blood around her heart and brain. A spinal tap showed no sign of meningitis but there was still no clinical reason for her to be so sick. The decision was made to air lift her to Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas. 

We waited for the helicopter to arrive. At intervals of 2-3 minutes, we were told how far away the helicopter was. Seventeen minutes, fifteen, then twelve, then ten, five, two and....As those last two minutes ticked away we began to hear the rotors of the helicopter as it landed. A team of doctors and nurses came in to stabilize Jessica and prepare her for the flight. As sick as she was, she still fought as they intubated her for the ventilator. We were informed that she had been given drugs to paralyze and sedate her so not to expect any movement when we touched her. I remember, though, when I touched her little arm, her body jumped as if to say, "Mom, it's going to be OK..." We then said our final "good-byes" and at 1:30 AM Thanksgiving morning we watched from the hospital parking lot as the helicopter, Angel One, flew away with our precious baby girl. There are not words known to man that can express this feeling.

Jessica arrived at Arkansas Children's Hospital in 15 minutes. We would meet up with her in the hour it took to drive to Little Rock. I prayed for strength. I continue to be amazed and awed at how God dealt with the emotions we went through during this whole time. As Mark drove, God slipped me into a sleep that would totally recharge me for what was about to come.

When we arrived at Children's Hospital, we found Jessica in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit surrounded by doctors and nurses, cardiologists and critical care specialists; all of whom had an interest in her care.

Jessica on the ventilator...a very sick little girl!

The various machines routinely sounded and kept us on edge. However we came to realize, after a short time, what wonderful care she was getting. Around 7:00 a.m. we went to get something to drink. Mark went to tell the staff, at their request, where we would be. When he returned, he said that the doctor wanted to speak to us. We met with the critical care specialist shortly after 7:30 and with tears in his eyes he told us that Jessica had gone into cardiac arrest for five minutes. They had managed to get her resuscitated, but there was no other way to tell us except to say, "She's not going to make it through the day."

Her heart was functioning at ten percent of normal. The left wall of her heart was swollen and the mitral valve that separates the top and bottom chambers was separated and moving aimlessly. Clean and dirty bloods were mixing together.

We were so full of emotion, but didn't know exactly how or what to feel. We called family and friends and prayer chains were started all over the country. Mark's parents and our other two children were with us. We all cried and prayed together.

Around 10:30 a.m. we began to feel an incredible sense of peace. God was giving us that peace that passes all understanding. We knew He was working to help us stay strong. God had a plan, we only had to step aside and let Him work.

Jessica made it through that Thanksgiving Day. She held her own and even improved slightly over the next several days. At one point she was being given 8-10 different medications called pressers, to keep her heart rate and blood pressure up. There were daily ups and downs, routine adjustments and an actual improvement up to 18 percent in her heart function. Then on Sunday December 4th, the cardiologists met us as we came to visit Jessica. We were told that her heart function had worsened, and that the heart muscle itself was now damaged without any chance of recovery. Our options were either she needed a heart transplant or we could choose to remove the life-support equipment and not put her through it. We made our decision and chose every chance for life.

On December 5th, 1994 Jessica was placed on the National Heart Transplant list as a stage 1 critical at barely one month old. She was moved to the Cardio-Vascular Intensive Care Unit to wait for a heart. The days were long and we sometimes felt no end was in sight. Mark had to return to work so I spent days at the hospital alone waiting in anticipation never wanting to leave but not knowing really how I should feel.

One day in particular I was feeling quite alone and without anyone to talk to so I made the walk to the phone I'd used so many times before and called my grandmother. I am fortunate to have a grandmother who is a tremendous woman of faith and prayer. She reminded me that just God ........waiting for a heart........made Jessica's heart and He could choose to remake it if that was His will. We began to call people and ask them to pray specifically for these two things - that God would heal Jessica's heart and that it would be unexplainable in mere human medical terms. We prayed the answer not the problem.

One evening, after a day of work, Mark made the hour drive back to Children's Hospital. He later told me that God had asked him during this time, "Do you believe I can heal her?" Of course Mark's answer was yes. I told him about my conversation with my grandmother and he agreed. On this particular Saturday morning, Mark and I prayed before we went to see her, again praying this... the answer and not the problem. We noticed Jessica was more spirited than usual. It was a joyful visit with her and a delight to see her feeling just a bit better.

Around 3:30 the next morning the nurse on duty called us at our Ronald McDonald House room across the street. We thought it might be the call of information on an available heart for transplant. We were being so tested in our faith because if God was going to heal her we didn't want them performing a transplant! We HAD to have faith and trust the Lord to have His way.

This call, however, was not about an available heart but instead to inform us that Jessica, on her own, had pulled out her ventilator tube and was breathing fine without it!! Jessica had stopped breathing on four other attempts to wean her from the ventilator.

We told the doctors and nurses that we believed in miracles but they continued to tell us that hearts just don't heal by themselves. Once the heart muscle is damaged, that's it. We asked several times for an Echo-cardiogram of her heart but it was refused, due to expense.

The following Thursday, I walked in the CVICU just as one of the cardiologists was finishing an ECHO of Jessica's heart. She informed me that Jessica's heart was 50 percent improved and any available hearts would be turned down!! I had to say it out loud!! "Praise the Lord!" With so many praying how could she lose! All the nurses and doctors in the CV unit were smiling and laughing.

By Sunday, (one week later) all of her medications were weaned off except a tiny few by mouth, which were only maintenance precautions; her I.V. was removed, as was the central line in the vein in her groin. By that afternoon, she was moved to a regular room.

On Tuesday, a final Echo was preformed and the result was 100 percent normal heart function!!! God is so good!! We got the first thing prayed for - a healed physical heart. The other was the reaction of the doctors. They were in awe! One doctor, who had cared for Jessica in the PICU, was crying! Mark asked one of the cardiologists if he could explain this and his answer was "Not in medical terms." There has been a tiny few cases like Jessica's but none that we know of as serious as hers. She is a very normal four-year-old, on no medication, and continues to have 100 percent normal heart function. We still marvel at this wonder of God, our great physician.

Incidentally, we came home from children's hospital on Wednesday December 21st just before Christmas. What a gift!!!!! The unit-secretary on the CV unit told us that every year at Christmas they get a miracle and that year Jessica was it.

I have to add that the viral and bacterial cultures never grew anything that could have been considered the cause of her illness.

We have shared this testimony in several churches and have seen people come to a saving knowledge of Christ. One of the greatest blessings we received through this event in our lives was when Tim, Mark's younger brother, became a Christian. Tim watched our family draw near to each other and to God. He realized that he had never accepted Christ as his Savior. He made this decision and God is using him in a mighty way. He is currently a missionary in Sarajevo, Bosnia.

But you see the story does not end there. The Bible tells of another baby, a MUCH, MUCH greater baby and of another miracle. God gave us the ultimate baby and the ultimate miracle. He sent his son to die on a cross, and to donate the heart we all need. Just as our family had to have faith that Jessica would be healed, we as humans have to have faith that God sent his son as atonement for our sin and to save us from an eternity of existence without Him. It is exciting to believe that the awesome creator of this magnificent universe extended to us this incredible invitation to accept His Son as our Savior. He didn't ask us to understand it or prove it but to believe and accept it with all our heart. He will do the rest.

.......the father's hand........ 

You see, we all have a heart condition - a spiritual one. Our clean and dirty bloods are mixing and our hearts are swollen with sin, and we're dying with no hope of making it through the day. But, just as Mark and I made the decision at every chance for Jessica's life, God has given you a much greater chance for life with him. He wants to give you the miraculous heart transplant that you need to heal your broken and damaged heart. All you have to do is say yes. Confessing your sins, asking Jesus to be your Lord and Savior and letting Him take control of your life is all you need to do. He waits with a quiet anticipation for us to reach out and take His hand for all eternity. 

Don't hesitate to accept this one of a kind invitation. Do it now...let Christ be the Lord of your life so that HE can restore your heart function to 100 percent! (JOHN 3:16) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him shall have eternal life!!! 

If you would like to be reconciled to God today, please click here to learn how you can do that.

Thank you for reading this story and please.... Share it with someone. All we ask is that you please contact us for permission to copy it, and let us know of praise reports or words of encouragement. We keep a scrapbook of stories about people whose lives are touched by this story so Jessica can read it one day when she's grown. 

God Bless You! You may email Jessica at:

Dear Reader - are you at peace with God?  If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. You can even have that assurance RIGHT NOW!  Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake. 

To get to know God, to be at peace with God, to have your sins forgiven, to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity, to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help you understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life, because in Christ, it is impossible to put a value on the worth of your soul in light of eternity.


JESUS DID IT! and...


Remember: All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity. (Matthew 6:19-21 is our assurance)