Charlotte’s Web of Prayer was an idea God put in my heart while in Yale New Haven Hospital with my 3 year old daughter Charlotte. She had fallen and hurt her leg one day and had not walked on it for over a week. We did x-rays, MRI's, saw a specialist, but found no break. After a week she became really sick and lethargic. My wife and our pediatrician both decided she was not okay and brought her to the hospital for tests. When she arrived at the hospital, they did blood tests, and found out she was highly anemic. The initial diagnosis was leukemia. The next day we found out it was not leukemia, but the doctors believed it was another form of cancer, because of the low blood levels and pain in her legs. The next day they found no tumors, but discovered blood clots in her lungs. After some more tests, they discovered blood clots had moved to her brain, causing her to have a stroke. We later found out she has a Rare Blood Disorder call Hyperhomocystamenia. The disorder is inherited from the parents, and causes the body to produce clots at a much higher level than normal. Somehow a clot traveled to her head causing the stroke. When she fell down it was not because she hurt her leg, but because she had the stroke.
The first couple of days in the hospital were really hard on Charlotte and all of us. She had bone marrow tests, CT Scans, MRI’s, along with blood being drawn every 4 hours. We had not seen her smile for over 2 days when a representative from Child Life came to visit. They are in the hospital, and give children toys, movies, books… all donated to them. They gave her a Sponge Bob movie and pillow, and there was the first smile from Charlotte in over 60 hours. My wife Susan and I immediately agreed we wanted to be able to return the favor, and give something to bring even a little joy to another sick child. As James, a 12 year old boy who is going through his 2nd round of chemo to fight leukemia said, "There is not a lot of Joy in here (Pediatric ICU’s)".
Throughout our time in the hospital Charlotte had people praying for her all over the country. People all over the Northeast, Oregon, Washington, California, Florida, Texas, North and South Carolina, Michigan, Ohio…. were lifting Charlotte up in prayer. Non-denominational Christians, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Protestants, and even friends at one time that claimed to be Atheists were reaching out to us, to let us know they are praying for Charlotte. Sue and I are blessed to have many Godly people in our lives that support and pray for us always. The outpouring of support, not only from our close friends, but people we barely know or did not know at all was over whelming. Charlotte had people in over 10 different prayer chains, and many individuals, totaling more than 500+ praying for her. As more and more people prayed for her, her health and spirit were continued to improve. I could not get over a sense of guilt when I looked at my sick neighbors in the hospital, and wondered if they had people praying for them. The reality is there are sick kids in every hospital in the country with conditions from leukemia, other forms of cancer, blood disorders, respiratory conditions, been in car accidents… that are in desperate need of prayer. Many of them are not lucky enough to have so many people praying for them correctly in the name of Jesus as we do. The Lord put on my heart this idea for a mission field. We could set up a massive prayer network through a web site, charlotteswebofprayer.org. The idea is to visit our local Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), offer these sick children a gift. I would then explain to them that are doing this because when my daughter was sick in the hospital, someone gave her a gift that really lifted her spirit. We would offer to pray for them, and ask if it is okay to post them on charlotteswebofprayer.org. We would update the sight daily/weekly with children to pray for, with specific prayer requests. People can visit the site pray for sick kids and get updates on children already on the site. Many of these children are in urgent need of prayer. Also, when you start your day praying for kids suffering in a hospital with a sorts of problems, the morning commute, your job, and money don’t seem so bad. If you are reading this then Charlotte’s Web has been hatched. Please contact me by email if you would like to get on the prayer network, or have a prayer request that we can post.