Diagnosis: Dandy-Walker Malformation

Diagnosis: Dandy-Walker Malformation

The date was Friday, July 24, 2015 – approximately four months into Stacy Walker’s third pregnancy. Stacy and her husband, T.Y., received startling news about their unborn baby boy. He was diagnosed with Dandy-Walker Malformation.

Due to this condition, part of the brain that coordinates movement, called the cerebellum, develops abnormally. The main part of the cerebellum, the vermis, is either missing, underdeveloped, or is not in the correct position.  This syndrome can be accompanied by hydrocephalus, caused by excess fluid in the brain – dramatically increasing the size of the baby’s head. Children with Dandy-Walker Malformation can have low birth weight, learning disabilities, speech problems, problems with gross motor skills (crawling, walking, running), and can experience seizures and lower body paralysis.

Each of the doctors the Walkers met with encouraged abortion – a thought Stacy would not even consider. She told the doctors, “This is a life, imagine if I aborted my other two children, we wouldn’t have them now.” The genealogist told Stacy she was sorry if she was offended by the recommendations of abortion, but that she should “get used to hearing it.” The genealogist also warned Stacy the baby could develop slower than other children and “he could be severely retarded.” She instructed them to bring the baby’s body to the hospital for testing if Stacy had a miscarriage.

Prayer and a Vision 

No matter the diagnosis, Stacy knew “God would step in.” That night as she was getting ready for bed, she heard the LORD tell her “I make all things new.” Then she had a vision and saw a group of women laying hands on her head, belly, and back – praying for her. 

The next day, Saturday, July 25, 2015, Stacy went to the Healing Rooms at Gateway Christian Fellowship Church, in West Haven, for prayer for her baby.  She knew that her church family would stand with her in her belief that Jesus would heal her baby. Stacy needed that agreement/encouragement and was able to bring that hope home with her.

Two amazing things happened next…

Josiah – ‘Jehovah Has Healed’

First – Stacy heard one of the women in the Healing Rooms talk about her grandson, Josiah. When they discovered the Hebrew meaning of Josiah – ‘Jehovah has healed’, Stacy knew Josiah would be her baby’s name.

Then, Stacy left the Healing Rooms (after prayer) and was invited to join the Gateway Women’s Breakfast, run by her friend. Stacy told her about the diagnosis, and she invited Stacy to share this with the women’s group. The women, so overwhelmed by what Stacy shared, proceeded to gather around her, lay their hands on her head, belly, and back, and pray for her!  Stacy’s vision was now a reality! 

 A Dismal Future Predicted

One week later (after reading the results of Stacy’s MRI), the pediatric neurosurgeon had a dismal report for the Walkers. He told them a piece of their baby’s brain, called the vermis, was completely missing, the baby had excessive fluid in his brain, and he would need a surgical implant called a shunt to keep the fluid drained. He said, “The best you can hope for is he might walk and talk when he is two and be a B student, the worst that can happen is he will not walk or talk and will need 24-hour care.” When the neurosurgeon told Stacy that Josiah could need 24-hour care, he moved in Stacy’s belly.

Prayer of Faith

Stacy left the doctor’s office after her MRI. She put her hand on Josiah and told him – “You will walk and talk before you are one and you will be an A+ student, in Jesus name!”

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful (Colossians 4:2).

Friends and family, and their Gateway Fellowship family prayed for Josiah every day. Stacy and T.Y.’s son, T.Y., asked his 4th grade, Christian school classmates to pray for his brother. T.Y.’s classmates wrote their prayers in their prayer journals as they prayed each day for Josiah’s “head”.  

Stacy Prays Scriptures Over Josiah

Bible verses Stacy prayed over Josiah – as promises of truth.

  • Josiah, the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of this world which you have known, but will lay them on all those who hate you (Deuteronomy 7:15). 
  • Josiah, you shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord (Psalm 118:17).
  • Josiah, God sent His word and healed you and has given you a new vermis. He has made all the proper connections in your brain and delivered you from your destruction (Psalm 107:19-21).
  • Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men (Psalm 107:8).
  • Behold Josiah, Jesus has given me authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall by any means hurt you (Luke 10:19).
  • Josiah, with long life the Lord will satisfy you and show you His salvation (Psalm 91:16).
  • Josiah, I cried out to Almighty God and He healed you (Psalm 30:2). 
  • Josiah, Satan was caught stealing your health and your vermis, so now your health and vermis must be restored sevenfold (Proverbs 6:30-31).
  • And we know that ALL things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

Jehovah Heals

Two months after the diagnosis, Stacy had an ultrasound. The radiologist, (speaking to a student doctor), pointed to Josiah’s vermis (the part of the brain that was missing) and said – “The piece of the brain that was missing, is now there!”

Christmas Eve, 2015

Josiah was born on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2015, weighing eight pounds – two pounds above the average weight (5.9 lbs.) for a baby diagnosed with Dandy-Walker Malformation.  Not only was his birth weight above average, Josiah was bigger than his two older siblings, T.Y. and Neriah, who weighed only six pounds at birth.

Josiah spent two days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), undergoing a series of tests. Although he had a cyst in his brain, caused by excess fluid (hydrocephalus), an MRI confirmed (one week after his birth), the fluid hadn’t increased. All other tests were normal and Josiah has never needed a shunt to drain the fluid.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).

Josiah has reached all milestones faster than normal. He started to say words at a very early age (he said “mama” at 4 months old) and he walked when he was 10 months old!

Stacy says her faith has increased since Josiah’s miracle and what she already knew was confirmed when Josiah was born – By His stripes, Josiah was healed (1 Peter 2:24).  He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change His mind; for He is not a human being, that He should change His mind (1 Samuel 15:29).

She says even Josiah’s name is part of his miracle. “Every time someone says his name, they also say Josiah’s testimony – Jehovah has healed!” Your faith should not rest on human wisdom, but on the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:5).

Through this trial and miracle, Stacy has learned – “God has the final say.”

 

 

 

 

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