Their Baby Girl Was Supposed To Die, So The Family Prayed For A Miracle


After 3 healthy babies, you’d think the fourth pregnancy would be a breeze for Ashley Shirley. But this one was completely different. Instead, the mom of three got the worst news possible. Doctors said her baby girl, Jocelyn, had only half a brain, skeletal dysplasia and would be lucky to live one hour past birth. So, the faithful family turned to God in prayer, asking for a miracle. And they were more than lucky — they were blessed when prayer saved baby Jocelyn!

Doctors Give Bad News

Ashley and Ronnie Shirley were completely shocked when doctors told them at the 20-week ultrasound all may not be well with their baby girl. It got worse a few weeks later when the high-risk doctor confirmed there were major problems with how baby Jocelyn was developing.

Ashley explained:

“When we went to the high-risk doctor, he said her frontal lobe in her brain was missing, upper and lower extremities were measuring 3 weeks behind and her overall body was measuring 5-6 weeks behind what it should have been.

Her chest cavity was so small, her heart took up half her chest – it wasn’t allowing the proper maturity of her lungs. Her femur bones were severely bowed, too. All these things together gave us the diagnosis that she’d be born with Skeletal Dysplasia and that throughout the pregnancy it can become more lethal, but we were praying against it.

We were told her lungs didn’t have room to grow and that she wouldn’t be born breathing.”

Praying For A Miracle

The news was as bad as it could possibly be. Things seemed impossible. But Ashley and Ronnie are youth pastors in the Chattanooga, TN area. They’d seen God at work. And this faithful family knew that nothing is too big for Him!

“We were all praying together, believing God would turn things around,” she said.

Remaining steadfast in prayer, the family knew they still needed to make preparations in case Jocelyn’s survival wasn’t part of God’s will. So, they enlisted the help of Jennifer Wilkerson, a local photographer who volunteers for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. If you’ve never heard of Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, it’s an organization that offers free birth photography to families expecting or experiencing the loss of a baby.

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