'I Think Maybe It Was Jesus': Little Girl Drowns, Sees Man Helping Her in Pool
When little Annie Powell was just 9 years old, tragedy struck. She drowned in a swimming pool.
Annie doesn't remember much about the accident, but she does remember a man in white who helped her, and an unforgettable visit to heaven.
On Saturday, June 9, 2018, a day of fun at a park swimming pool turned into a nightmare.
Annie's dad, Dave, remembers, "I noticed that a man was bringing out a young girl and she was just drooped over his arms. And he was asking for help. He was, 'Help me! Help me!'"
As a lifeguard jumped in to begin CPR, Pastors Dave and Cathy Powell realized the drowned girl was their daughter, Annie.
'God, Don't Take Her. Let Her Come Back'
Cathy recalls, "During the CPR I noticed that Annie was blue from her chest up, and her eyes were rolled back in her head. She looked so lifeless. And she was my little girl. She was only 9. And I felt very helpless, and I was asking God, 'God, don't take her. Let her come back.'"
Dave shares, "I was at her feet and just praying that the CPR would work. But just praying that she would come back to life."
When an ambulance crew arrived, they gave Annie oxygen and rushed her to a hospital two minutes away. When the Powells arrived at the emergency room, doctors told them although she was stabilized, Annie was still critical. She had suffered cardiac arrest and respiratory failure. Now in a comatose state, Annie needed to be life-flighted to J. W. Ruby Memorial Hospital, a level one trauma center in Morgantown, West Virginia for specialized care.
"I was really concerned about her," Dave shares. And I think that's when it really started to click, you know, that she's not perfectly OK, even though she is breathing. And I was wondering what is going on there? And if she would ever be the same."
On the drive, the Powells prayed, calling on friends and members of their church to pray with them. Cathy says she prayed fervently, "'Please raise my Annie. Please give her back to me.'"
After the chopper landed, doctors said the next 72 hours were critical. Now in a medically induced coma, her blood and oxygen levels were dangerously low. The extended time without oxygen might have caused irreversible damage to her heart and brain if she survived. Even then, Dave and Cathy held on to hope.
Cathy recalls, "She looked like a little robot. She had a cap on her head with all these wires, and I found out that that was for measuring seizures. She had a trache, and I just felt so helpless because I couldn't do anything to help her."
By now, dozens of people filled the hospital waiting room praying for a miracle.
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