After the loss of a child last year, followed by a new pregnancy fraught with a series of complications culminating in an early delivery, one Texas family is asking for prayers on Facebook—and the response has been astounding.
Daniel Villarreal, a pastor in San Antonio Texas, asked for prayers and healing for his 39-year-old wife and fellow pastor, Jannelle, and their 11-day-old newborn, Eden, after they both wound up in separate intensive care units post delivery.
On June 30, doctors began closely monitoring Jannelle and thought she may have preeclampsia. The pregnancy complication effects around 3 to 5 percent of women in the U.S. every year, and can lead to kidney and liver damage, or even death. They told her she would likely be on bed rest for the next two weeks to two months.
Then, at 31 weeks, Jannelle’s condition worsened and she had to deliver their baby girl via C-section. “She immediately had to deliver the baby,” Daniel told . “She then started to really decline.” Their daughter, Eden Raine, was born weighing just 2.7 pounds.
After delivering the baby, Jannelle developed HELLP syndrome, a severe preeclampsia complication. Jannelle sustained internal bleeding and liver damage, and her lungs filled with fluid. Doctors transferred her to another hospital to prepare her for the liver transplant she would likely need.
Meanwhile, baby Eden was also struggling in the neonatal intensive care unit, and desperately needed to gain weight. “It was incredibly painful to watch,” Daniel said. “I have my wife and baby both on a CPAP mask and they’re trying to breathe. I was bouncing back and forth between hospitals praying over them both.”
Since the delivery, Daniel has sent out a series of prayer requests and updates to friends on Facebook. “My wife needs a miracle herself, after giving birth to one,” Daniel wrote on Facebook. “I’m laying my desperate call before you all. I’m asking for your prayers and intercession right now.”
Nine days after giving birth, Jannelle started to show signs of improvement. “The liver transplant is off the table,” Daniel said. “Some miraculous things are happening with her turnaround, but her kidneys still aren’t functioning fully, so that’s the next miracle we need.”
Now the Villarreal family is relying on their faith to see them through. Since Daniel’s prayer request on Facebook, the hospital waiting rooms have been filled with people showing up to support them, while the social media posts have been flooded with comments from people around the world. “We believe that God can turn this around,” he said. “There is hope.”
We’re pulling for you, Jannelle and Eden!