‘Pilots for Christ’ makes Christmas miracle possible for Alabama toddler with spinal tumor

spinal-tumor

CLARKE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — If you’re looking for a Christmas miracle, look no further than two-year-old Sadie Margaret Richardson.

Just a few months after she was born, Sadie Margaret started waking up at night screaming in pain.

SOURCE: Miranda Richardson

Courtesy Miranda Richardson

“She had terrible nights where she’d scream. It was very erratic, but it kept progressing more and more,” said David Richardson, her father.

“As a mother, I just knew something wasn’t right. I was a first-time mom. I took her to the pediatrician, and they told me maybe it was night terrors,” Miranda Richardson recalled.

The family pressed on, going to more and more doctors for months until, finally, Sadie Margaret was old enough to tell them it was her back that was hurting. They took her in for an MRI a few weeks ago, and everything changed.

”The room fell quiet. As a mother, I just knew,” Miranda said.

“There was a massive tumor in her spinal cord,” David added.

Doctors said they wanted to operate quickly to remove the tumor that covered nearly all of her back, worried that if they waited too long, Sadie Margaret would never be able to walk again.

“It was as high stakes for her in this surgery as it could be. There were a lot of variables that could go wrong,” David said.

Pilots for Christ, a local non-profit that relies on donations to fly critical care patients in need, flew the family to MD Anderson in Texas where doctors were able to remove 90 percent of the tumor.

Doctors weren’t able to take a biopsy before surgery so they’re waiting on the results. Miranda said they seem optimistic the tumor is benign.

“They said the scan did not match the child. It covered most of her back,” Miranda said.

What happened next, Miranda says, was nothing short of a miracle. Sadie Margaret was walking, just a couple days after the surgery.

“It was amazing. [The doctor] used the word, ‘miracle,’ and the word, ‘ astonishing’ that she could walk, much less play,” Miranda said.

“God had his hand in this the whole time. We had a lot of people praying for us, and it’s the power of prayer,” David said.

Pilots for Christ flew the family back home just a day after Christmas.

“It’s a blessing to us to be able to help them get back and forth in a timely manner and give them the peace of mind because they’re going through so much stress at that time,” said pilot Terry Chapman.

“If you’re looking to donate to an organization, this was just a wonderful organization,” Miranda gushed.

While Sadie Margaret will still have to see a doctor every three months to check on the remaining 10 percent of the tumor, they’re hopeful their problems are behind them.

“She’s our Christmas miracle, It’s amazing,” Miranda said.

If you’d like to get involved with Pilots for Christ, check out their website HERE.

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