Miracles Happen: Burlington NC Photographer

Im so ubber excited to be sharing these images with you.  You see, this family has a story, it’s actually more than just a story, it’s a miracle!  You see, Craig (dad) needed a life saving liver transplant…I took this from Elon News

On the outside looking in, local youth baseball coach Craig Edwards was living the life of his dreams. He lived in his Burlington home with his wife of 13 years, Bethany, and their three kids, Audra, 12; Sam, 10; and Mary, 6.

“Craig was sick, and we couldn’t figure out what was wrong…then the doctors end up running all the tests, and that night they came in and said, ‘you have cirrhosis of the liver,’ and we just kind of looked at them dumbfounded,” Edwards said.That picture-perfect life took a drastic turn in February 2014, when the family took a ski trip over Valentine’s Day weekend. Edwards slipped on a patch of ice, and his body started swelling, something he initially attributed to his diabetes, which he was diagnosed at 27. But after gaining more than 30 pounds in a week, Edwards took a visit to the doctor’s office and the diagnosis flipped his family’s world upside down.

Now, because of a clot in the portal vein leading to the liver, Craig was in dire need of a transplant. Doctors told him that he could have as few as six months to live if he didn’t get a new liver.

The news was especially shocking to Craig, because after he lost his father at the age of 10, he made life decisions to avoid putting his own family in the same situation.

Even after the original diagnosis, it was pretty much life as usual for them. He tired out more easily than normal and found himself sleeping more than usual, but he continued to coach his son’s travel baseball team and work full-time to support his family.“I said I’m never going to drink, smoke, do anything, and I’ve stuck by that throughout the years,” Edwards said. “I was forced to grow up and become the man of the house at 10 years old […] I matured a lot quicker than my friends just in the way I went about school, everything else, making sure I got a good degree so that I would be in a position to support my family and hopefully not find ourselves in the situation that I was in when I was 10, but here we are.”

All of that changed at the start of the new year when he took a turn for the worse.

“We went to the beach right after Christmas, and on New Years day I found myself getting very, very sick,” Edwards said. “We came home and ended up in the hospital that following Tuesday and they said the blood clot had shifted and my liver was completely non-functional.”

At that point his MELD (Model for End-stage Liver Disease) score jumped from 14 to 18, and the following week increased to a 23. The MELD score is a measure from 6 through 40 to describe the severity of a person’s liver disease. Edwards’ MELD score is currently a 28, which places him at the top of the list for a liver transplant at both the University of North Carolina and Duke Hospitals.

Then the waiting game began….and then the MIRACLE

It was an answer to prayer that Craig would spend his 36th birthday recovering from a liver transplant at Duke University Hospital, something he and his family consider a miraculous outcome after their race against the clock to find a donor.

Family, friends and strangers in the Alamance County area and beyond have taken to online social media over the past month to share Craigs’ story, and his desperate need for a liver donor, with their efforts finally paying off.

On Thursday, a local family whose loved one suddenly passed away learned of Edwards’ need through a friend, and designated him as the liver recipient.

“He knew with this blood clot, he felt in his heart that he was going to need this directed organ donation,” Edwards’ wife, Bethany, said of the little-known process that the family had spread word about since the beginning of the year. “And it happened. Everybody said, ‘It doesn’t happen,’ but it did. It was a miracle. There is no other explanation.”

The family of the donor, a 44-year-old woman who leaves behind three children, didn’t know Edwards, but learned of his situation through a friend who was following the Edwards family’s story online.

That family friend of the donor happened to be in the hospital room when the donor’s family members were speaking with an organ donor representative about their options. She spoke up, alerting the family to Edwards’ need, showing them photos of the Edwards family, and sharing details about their story on the website Caring Bridge.

Edwards’ story struck a chord with the donor’s family, and they agreed to designate her liver for Craig. It ended up being a perfect match with the two sharing the same blood type.

I took this from Craig’s journal…I think it sums things up beautifully!

Three months ago today, I received my Miracle of Life thanks to the Grace of our Almighty God and the decision of Candice Sims to be an organ donor and her family’s gracious decision to donate her liver directly to me. I am forever grateful for the Life of Candice Sims and will make sure her legacy of giving and love continue on. I have had so many Miracles occur in my life over the last 6 months and The Lord obviously is not done with me and my life, as there is no medical reasoning for me to be alive and to be healing as quickly as I am. Therefore, I wake up every morning and thank God for my life and being able to be a Husband, Father, Son, Brother, and Friend and for the lives of all those who have been and continue to be there for me. Thank You All for sharing in my Miracle through the Prayers, Love, and Support you have so faithfully offered.

I have been given many opportunities to share my Story and Testimony in the past few months, and I am committed to making sure that I Honor GOD and Glorify his name as I said I would throughout this journey every chance I get. I have another opportunity to do that this coming Sunday as I speak at Rehobeth United Methodist Church in Greensboro, NC. This is my hometown city and community and it is going to be an unbelievable experience to be able to worship and love on these people this Sunday.

Finally, Please find time to read the following post I put up on February 19, 2015 at 3:06 in the morning. It establishes my commitment to my Savior Jesus Christ and was written just 12 hours prior to The Miracle of Life I received from my Angel Candice on her 44th Birthday and the day she was called Home to Heaven.   For those of you that do not know, Candice was living in the same City as me, and our God is THE GOD of this Community, City, State, Country, and World!  We still have work to do In the name of the Father as stated in the Scripture John 14:12-20, and sang in the song “God of this City”, “For greater things have yet to come Greater things are still to be done in this City”. Amen

So in the midst of all that, I got a call from a sweet soul who wanted to give a session to the Edwards family!  I was so honored that that sweet soul chose me and that I was able to do the session when Craig was full of life…you will see, his family is beautiful and I am blessed!

I ask one thing!  Please consider being a donor…if this story touched you even in the slightest…imagine what your life could do for someone else..you could be someone’s MIRACLE!  Become a donor  and to follow his story you can click here

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