They came bearing a care package. Not that the cards and stuffed animals would make any immediate difference to the 22-month-old girl who suffered life-threatening injuries at the hands of her father. The members of the Black Student Council of Edison High School in Minneapolis wanted to meet with the mother, Rae’Chelle, to say “we care” and to let her know she was not alone. It seemed to be appropriate activity for Martin Luther King Day. A teacher had facilitated the meeting.

Rae’Chelle was very happy to meet with them. The tears flowed freely, mixed in with a few smiles. The mother had no explanation for the father’s out-of-control behavior. He had provided a number of excuses. More importantly, he had seemed to have real regrets as he brought his daughter, Rae’Ana to the hospital. He was now in jail, charged with first degree assault. But none of that seemed important now. Whether Rae’Ana would survive was the critical question.

The toddler had incurred multiple injuries, including brain trauma, hemorrhaging, a lacerated spleen and kidney, and numerous broken bones. But today, as they met outside the hospital (sixteen was too many to go inside as visitors), there was better news. Rae’Chelle’s prayers had been answered. Her daughter’s eyes were now open and she was breathing on her own, even saying, “Mama.” Physical therapy was to follow. The mother also revealed the father had been praying for her as well. A good turn of events for the young couple also expecting a second child.

The teens’ visit, topped off by a group hug, was very meaningful to Rae’Chelle. “This touches me,” she said. No doubt about it—certainly they were an example of Love Lived Large!

(This story is based on one originally written by David Chanen that appeared in the Minneapolis StarTribune dated January 19, 2016.)


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