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Life-Threatening Illness Loses to Power of Prayer

Shawn Brown - 700 Club Producer

“I have autoimmune diabetes, and my blood sugar was high and I couldn't get it down,” says Shanequa.

On Sunday November 22, 2020, Shanequa Deas began having problems with comprehension. “I was sending texts to my medical director that I worked with and also a coworker that worked in Dallas asking, 'Why did I have to work on Sunday? And what presentation was I supposed to give?' And both of them were like, 'You don't work on Sunday and there's no presentation,'" said Shanequa.

Mary, Shanequa’s mother, also noticed something was off about her behavior. “I took her to the community hospital right down the street from us," said Mary.

Shanequa was diagnosed with Diabetic Ketoacidosis, a life-threatening complication of diabetes that can cause mental confusion. She also tested positive for Covid-19. She was transferred to University of Kansas Medical Center and placed in ICU, where she remained for six days. With her blood glucose now under control, she showed signs of improvement and was moved to a regular unit. However, Shanequa began having trouble breathing. Pneumonia had begun to set in.

“I started having some trouble, just gasping a little bit and coughing, and then I just lost my ability to catch my breath," said Shanequa.

At first, Shanequa was placed on a ventilator. However, it was not raising her oxygen level enough. Dr. Stepheny Berry, a trauma surgeon and Shanequa’s close friend, was there to help explain some of the medical terms to her parents who were not allowed to visit due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Dr. Berry recalls, "I knew at that time that she was severely ill with this. She was getting a surgery to get a tracheostomy at one point, which is where they move the breathing tube from the mouth and put it directly into your wind pipe in your neck and she was going to need a feeding tube. When you put in a tracheostomy tube it goes directly though muscles that we use to swallow. So, typically those two surgeries go hand and hand because it’s challenging to swallow with a tracheostomy. And so, I knew she was going to have a long-term recovery at that point. I never wanted to tell Mary how scared I was. Because I was worried I was going to lose my friend. Because I didn’t want her to lose hope. But I was really scared for a while."

The procedure left Shanequa heavily sedated. Mary and her husband Lucian, Shanequa’s father, began to pray. They are also faithful viewers of The 700 Club. Mary emailed a prayer request to CBN for Shanequa. Someone from the prayer center called her back.

“She prayed with us and she said, 'Jeremiah 33:6: Behold, God will bring health and healing to Shanequa, and God will heal Shanequa and God will reveal to Shanequa an abundance of peace and truth.' And we just kept on confessing that every night along with some other scriptures," said Mary.

Shanequa was intubated for two weeks. Her doctor’s prognosis wasn’t good. Still, Mary and Lucian continued to pray and believe.

“We continued to just be steadfast, unshakable, immovable, and holding on to His unchanging hands," said Lucian.

"As God would lay different people on my heart, I would just reach out and ask them to pray. And so we had her classmates, our classmates, church members, we had people all over the United States and even Africa praying for her," said Mary.

After four weeks, Mary was allowed to visit the still unconscious Shanequa. On December 24th, Mary and Lucian got an answer to their many prayers.

“I walk in and there are all these people in the hallway outside of her room in ICU. And I can't tell you how that felt. But the nurse, she came running toward me. And then she goes, 'She's awake. She's awake. She woke up!' And that was Christmas Eve," said Mary.

Soon, Shanequa began breathing on her own and was taken off of the ventilator. Shortly after, she was sent to rehab where she re-learned how to walk, talk, and write. After just three weeks of physical therapy, Shanequa was able to walk out of rehab on her own. She and her parents know that it is because of God’s faithfulness that she is alive today.

“I know that prayer works. And I know that God won't leave you," said Shanequa.

“I am just so incredibly proud of how far she’s come and how far she continues to move," said Dr. Berry.

“I believe that God is – He is a healer, he's Yahweh Rapha, just like He said He is. And I believe that no matter how – how big or how small your illness or malady is, God cares about us and He wants us to be healed," said Lucian.

“I feel so blessed that God spared our daughter's life," said Mary.

 

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