“I’m making a U-turn in the parking lot, about to pull off on the highway and Courtney goes, ‘Stop!’ And right then Courtney just began to pray for our babies,” recalled Brandon, Courtney’s husband. “Protection over our babies, pleading the blood of Jesus over their lives, not knowing what event would happen the next day.”
It was July 2019, Brandon and Courtney McKee had busy work schedules and decided to take their kids to her mom’s house for a few days. Two-year-old Max and his older brother, Brody, were excited to spend time with their Nana. Courtney said, “She has a big farm and a pool and they just wanted to spend a few days with her while we both worked.” Immediately after dropping the kids off Courtney was overwhelmed with an urgent need to pray for their safety. She says, “It was just like a presence of the Holy Spirit and just prompting me at that moment to pray, just pray for their protection. It was indescribable.”
The next day while at work, Courtney received a phone call from her sister in law – at her mom’s house. “She was…she was crying. And I could hear, you know, sirens in the background and a lot of commotion. And it was at that moment where she told me that they had found Max at the bottom of the swimming pool,” said Courtney.
Max was unresponsive when pulled from the pool. They called 9-1-1 and did what they could to resuscitate Max.
His brother, Brody, remembered the moment – and his response, “The only thing I could do is pray. So I dropped to my knees and I said, ‘God, can you help my little brother? Can you? You save him. Keep guardian angels around him, over you just help him protect him.
Max was revived and rushed by ambulance to a nearby trauma center. Brandon and Courtney each began their long drive to the hospital, praying for Max while wrestling with unanswered questions. Brandon recalled, “How long has he been down there? Was the outcome. I can’t hear him. I can’t talk to him. I can’t feel him. I can’t touch him. I don’t see him. And at that point, you just feel like, you know, ‘God, please help, help my baby, help my baby.’”
Courtney said, “And I remember just crying out to God. I was begging him, ‘God, I’ll do anything. I don’t know what you want from me, Lord, but I just beg you, save my baby. Don’t take my baby from me. Whatever you do, Lord, don’t take my baby.’”
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Dr. Marvin Mata- the Director of Pediatric ICU at Rapides Women’s and Children’s Hospital, knew the risks Max was facing. He reflected, “He was having a hard time breathing. Every minute matters when that oxygen…when their brain lacks oxygen, it can have some profound effects. It can cause memory issues, it can cause learning disabilities, and the most worrisome would be brain death. We need to really closely watch Max during that first 24 hours. That’s almost like the golden period. If there’s going to be complications that would happen, usually you will see it within that period of time.”
Courtney recalled, “And Max had tubes and wires and cords attached to him and monitors. And they lifted Max and they put me on the bed and they put Max on my chest. And I remember when they did, I just started to cry. And I kept saying, ‘Max, it’s going to be okay. Mommy’s here, Mommy’s here, you’re going to be fine.’ And I just remember the emotions of that moment. Just having him in my arms again was like the first time I ever held him.”
As word spread, hundreds of people from their church and community prayed for Max. “Our pastor came. Tons of friends that are prayer warriors came, and they just surrounded his bed. And we grabbed hands and we prayed and we just brought down the power of the Lord that day.”
Brandon said, “Oh, my goodness. It’s just knowing that the community of Christ, believers and faith come together at a time of need to pray for our baby. I mean, it’s just it means the world to you.”
After a night of prayer and waiting- they received their answer. Courtney recalled, “The next morning, Max showed signs that he was Max again. And I knew immediately there was no neurological deficits and Max was going to be okay.”
“You knew that at that point that our prayers had been answered and God really stepped in on behalf of our family,” said Brandon.
“And I know he’s here with no signs of any complications because of the power of prayer,” stated Courtney. “Because God can do exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine. So we knew who to call on and how to call on Him. And we just brought down the heavens with prayer for that baby.”
Max made a full recovery. Some time after the accident he revealed something to his parents. Courtney said, “And he looked at us one day and he said, ‘When I was in that pool, I wasn’t scared.’ And we were like, ‘That’s great, buddy.’ And he said, ‘When I was in the bottom of that pool, Jesus held me.’ And my husband and I just kind of looked at each other in shock. And then he stopped and he said, ‘Why does he have scratches on his hands?’”
“He had bobos and scratches on his hands and feet, here and here,” remembered Max.
“In that moment you’re just sitting there like, praising God, just like, thank you so much. You don’t hear of miracles that often, but they do exist. And knowing that He performed a miracle on my baby and that he held my baby at his most vulnerable moment of his two-year-old life. I mean, wow! I was just speechless at that time,” recalled Brandon.
“It’s Me and Jesus, and Jesus is holding me like he did in that pool,” Max said smiling while holding a painting he made.
“And I look back on all He did and how He brought my baby out of that water. He held him in the water. And that’s known beyond a shadow of a doubt in my mind. I’m so thankful. I am eternally grateful,” said Courtney.
Max declared, “I’m Max and I’m a miracle!”