Like any good mother, when Karen found out that another baby was on the way, she did what she could to help her 3-year-old son, Michael, prepare for a new sibling. They find out that the new baby is going to be a girl, and day after day, night after night, Michael sings to his sister in Mommy's tummy.
The pregnancy progresses normally for Karen, an active member of the Panther Creek United Methodist Church in Morristown, Tennessee. Then the labor pains come. Every five minutes.. every minute. But complications arise during delivery. Hours of labor. Would a C-section be required?
Finally, Michael's little sister is born. But she is in serious condition. With sirens howling in the night, the ambulance rushes the infant to the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Mary's Hospital, Knoxville, Tennessee.
The days inch by. The little girl gets worse. The pediatric specialist tells the parents, "There is very little hope. Be prepared for the worst." Karen and her husband contact a local cemetery about a burial plot. They have fixed up a special room in their home for the new baby, now they plan a funeral.
Michael, keeps begging his parents to let him see his sister, "I want to sing to her," he says. Week two in intensive care. It looks as if a funeral will come before the week is over. Michael keeps nagging about singing to his sister, but kids are never allowed in Intensive Care.
But Karen makes up her mind. She will take Michael whether they like it or not. If he doesn't see his sister now, he may never see her alive.
She dresses him in an oversized scrub suit and marches him into ICU. He looks like a walking laundry basket, but the head nurse recognizes him as a child and bellows, "Get that kid out of here now! No children are allowed in ICU."
The mother rises up strong in Karen, and the usually mild-mannered lady glares steel-eyed into the head nurse's face, her lips a firm line. "He is not leaving until he sings to his sister!"
Karen tows Michael to his sister's bedside. He gazes at the tiny infant losing the battle to live. And he begins to sing. In the pure hearted voice of a 3-year-old, Michael sings:
"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray --- " Instantly the baby girl responds. The pulse rate becomes calm and steady.
Keep on singing, Michael.
"You never know, dear, how much I love you, Please don't take my sunshine away---"
The ragged, strained breathing becomes as smooth as a kitten's purr.
Keep on singing, Michael.
"The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping, I dreamed I held you in my arms..." Michael's little sister relaxes as rest, healing rest, seems to sweep over her. Tears conquer the face of the bossy head nurse. Karen glows.
"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. Please don't, take my sunshine away."
The girl is well enough to go home! Woman's Day magazine called it "The miracle of a brother's song." The medical staff just called it a miracle. Karen called it a miracle of God's love.
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