A Sherman, Texas couple didn’t let fear stop them after doctors told them their fifth child, Urias wasn’t breathing after he was born following an emergency C-section in August.
“He was delivered without a heartbeat, without a pulse, and he was not breathing,” father Jacob Sheriff told CBN News during a telephone interview. “He lost oxygen and his body and all of his organs shut down sometime during the delivery and they resuscitated him in the delivery room. For all intents and purposes, he died during the delivery process.”
It appeared that little Urias, which means “light of God,” wouldn’t make it. But instead of giving up, his mother Hannah prayed.
“I really couldn’t do anything except rely on God for peace and pray,” Urias’ mom Hannah Sheriff told KTEN.
The doctors and nurses in the Durant, Oklahoma hospital delivery room decided they couldn’t give up on Urias either. They repeatedly tried to resuscitate the baby boy and his life signs returned about 20 minutes later.
The boy’s father, Jacob, is a pastor of Sherman’s Victory Life Church.
“We’ve seen the miraculous. I’ve seen people with stage 4 cancer healed. I’ve seen blind eyes opened. I know the power of God,” he told CBN News.
Jacob says fear was the biggest obstacle at the moment he saw the medical team working on his newborn son.
“Right then, we started praying the word of God, because it’s the word of God that changes things,” he said. “For me personally, that was Psalm 27. ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?'”
Jacob told CBN News that the medical team should have stopped trying to resuscitate the baby after six to ten minutes which was the hospital protocol.
Recently, the couple was able to talk to one of the nurses who was in the delivery room and they asked her, “Why did you keep on going?”
She told them, “There was something in the room that kept pushing us to keep trying and to not give up.”
Urias was then airlifted to a Texas hospital where he spent the next 20 days in the newborn critical care unit.
Doctors at the Texas hospital told Jacob the signs didn’t look good for the little boy. Most of the children who had the trauma that Urias had experienced would have cerebral palsy or epilepsy and some would suffer seizures the rest of their lives. It was possible that the boy would never talk, never walk, would never be able to feed himself.
“My wife and I are people of faith. We have a lot of people praying for him and I think my son is going to surprise you,” Jacob recalled telling the doctors.
The next day, Jacob decided he and his wife would not let fear win. They knew that God was in power and they were going to see the miraculous by teaching people how to pray for their son.
He asked his congregation to pray, but what he didn’t realize is how fast Urias’ story would travel around the world with thousands of people watching for the latest news and praying for his son.
“We thought it was going to be just a few people, but it ended up being other churches, friends of friends, and believers ended up being around the world, praying for our son,” Jacob said.
A Facebook page was created in order to keep followers updated with the news of Urias’ recovery. Both the Sheriffs wanted to show what it looked like to stand and fight during a family ordeal like the one they were experiencing. Thousands of users followed the page with many posting daily prayers.
“We were blown away by the response,” Jacob told CBN News. “I was expecting maybe a few hundred responses through friends and church members. There were posts from people and places that I didn’t know and that was an incredible shock. It was awesome to us.”
The Sheriffs said prayer became the best medicine as Urias continued to beat the odds.
“Medicine played its part but it couldn’t heal him,” Jacob said.
Finally, on Day 19, the couple took their son home. Now, nine weeks later, Urias is happy and healthy. His pediatrician even calls him ‘The Miracle Baby’ because he said: “There’s just a lot here that we can’t explain.”
But according to his parents, their son is a shining example to the world as to what prayer and faith can do.
“We’ve seen mountains moved,” Jacob said. “The doctors and nurses who were there the day he was born are all just blown away. ‘He shouldn’t be alive,’ they said. But here he is looking all healthy and normal.”