Like any good mother, when Karen found out that another baby was on the way, she did what she could do to help her 3-year-old son, Michael, prepare for a new sibling. They found out that the new baby was going to be a girl, and day after day, night after night, Michael would sing to his sister in Mommy's tummy.
The pregnancy progressed normally for Karen. Then the labor pains came. Every five minutes . . .
But complications arose during delivery. Hours of labor. A C-Section
was required. Finally, Michael's little sister was born, but she was in serious condition. With sirens howling in the night, the ambulance rushed the infant to the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Mary's
Hospital in Knoxville, Tennessee.
The days inched by. The little girl got worse. The pediatric specialist tells the parents, "There is little hope. Be prepared for the worst." Karen and her husband contacted a local cemetery about a burial plot. The had fixed up a special room in their home for the new baby — now
they plan a funeral. Michael, kept begging his parent to let him see his sister, "I want to sing to her," he says.
Week two in intensive care. It looked as if a funeral would come before the week was over. Michael keeps nagging about singing to his sister, but kids are never allowed in Intensive Care.
Karen made up her mind. She would take Michael whether they liked it or not. If he didn't see his sister now, he would never see her alive.
She dressed him in an oversized scrub suit and marched him into ICU. He looked like a walking laundry basket, but the head nurse recognized him as a child and bellowed, "Get that kid out of here now! No children are allowed in ICU."
The mother rises up strong in Karen, and the usually mild-mannered lady glares steel-eyed into the head nurse's face, her lips a firm line. "He is not leaving until he sings to his sister!"
Karen tows Michael to his sister's bedside. He gazes at the tiny infant losing the battle to live. And he begins to sing. In the pure-hearted voice of a 3-year-old, Michael
"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray —"
Instantly the baby girl responded. The pulse rate became calm and steady.
"You never know, dear, how much I love you, Please don't take my sunshine away —"
The ragged strained breathing became as smooth as a kitten's purr.
"The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping, I dreamed I held you in my arms . . ."
Michael's little sister relaxes as rest, healing rest, seemed to sweep over her. Tears conquered the face of the bossy head nurse. Karen glowed.
"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. Please don't take my sunshine away."
Funeral plans were scrapped. The next day, the very next day, the little girl was well enough to go home! Woman's Day magazine called it "the miracle of a brother's song." The medical staff just called it a miracle.