A Michigan couple was arrested after they ignored a midwife’s advice on their jaundiced newborn before she died — then prayed for the baby’s resurrection instead of calling for help, a police detective testified.
Rachel Joy Piland, 30, insisted to the midwife that her daughter, Abigail, was fine, but the infant passed away two days later and an autopsy found that she died from unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia and kernicterus, two jaundice-related conditions, the Lansing State Journal reports. Piland and her husband, Joshua Barry Piland, now face up to 15 years if convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the girl’s death.
Lansing Police Det. Peter Scaccia testified last week that authorities only learned of the girl’s death after Rachel Piland’s brother called police from California to report that a baby had passed away at the couple’s home.
Scaccia testified that Abigail Piland was born on Feb. 6, with a midwife assisting in the home delivery. But by the next day, the midwife said Abigail’s condition had taken a turn for the worse, becoming jaundiced. The midwife urged Rachel Piland to take the girl to a doctor, warning of possible brain damage or death.
“Rachel declined to seek any medical treatment for Abigail, stating God makes no mistakes,” Scaccia testified. “She indicated to the midwife that the baby was fine.”
Rachel Piland then canceled a scheduled appointment with the midwife on the following day. The newborn began coughing up blood and not eating properly two days later. The ailing baby was placed “near a window wearing just a diaper” as Rachel Piland warmed her with a hairdryer, Scaccia testified.
The infant’s deteriorating condition eventually become obvious to Rachel Piland’s mother, Rebecca Kerr, who said the girl’s skin was “not the right color,” the detective continued.
After Piland told her mother about the midwife’s concerns, Piland then “went to listen to sermons,” Scaccia said.
When blood started flowing out of the girl’s nose on Feb. 9, Kerr urged her daughter to call police — but “Rachel would not allow her,” Scaccia said. Piland later found Abigail “lifeless and not breathing” in a bouncy seat before taking the girl to the father, who unsuccessfully tried to revive her.
“He attempted one rescue breath but had no success,” Scaccia said. “He did not want to perform CPR because he only knew how to perform it on adults, not children.”
The couple then took the girl upstairs to “pray for her” before reaching out to friends and fellow parishioners to come to their home to “pray for her Abigail’s resurrection” instead of calling police, Scaccia continued.
If treated, a doctor told Scaccia that the girl likely would’ve survived, he testified.
The Pilands, who had been apparently affiliated with a Lansing-based Bible school at the time of Abigail’s death, were released after posting $75,000 bail on Sept. 21.
They were scheduled to return to court on Oct. 5, the Lansing State Journal reports.
At six months pregnant, Monique Gray suffered a cerebral hemorrhage. The brain damage was too great, and doctors gave up hope for mom. Their attention turned to saving the baby. So, they placed Monique on life support. But one nurse refused to give up, and kept on praying for Monique. And prayer saved a brain-dead mom and unborn baby!
All Monique remembers from the day she went to the hospital is getting home late and hitting the sack. But at some point she called for an ambulance. Paramedics say she was complaining of a headache and throwing up.
By the time they got to the hospital, Monique was unconscious.
CAT scans showed Monique, who was six months pregnant, had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage.
“I have to tell you we didn’t think she was going to make it,” retired critical care nurse Barbra Hamm recalls.
Because of the brain damage caused by the hemorrhage, doctors didn’t think there was any hope for Monique. They placed her on life support in an effort to save her unborn baby.
RELATED: Parents saying goodbye as their baby is taken off life support get a miracle
Praying For Divine Healing
Barbra knew Monique’s and the baby’s fate was in God’s hands. So, she started praying. She prayed without ceasing, asking our Heavenly Father to send a miracle.
“The minute I started taking care of her, I knew I had to pray for her, and I prayed every day,” Barbra said. “It was almost like a prayer was going through my mind all the time I took care of her. I felt this compelling need to pray for her all the time.”
Two nuns who work for the hospital also felt compelled to pray for Monique. They came to her bedside and started praying over her. At the end of the prayer, something incredible happened.
The nuns felt a powerful presence enter the room — something they described as “the Ultimate Love.” The nuns knew instantly it was God. Then a voice told one of the nuns,
“Don’t worry, Nickie’s going to be okay.”
As it turns out, Nickie is the nickname Monique’s family gave her.
RELATED: Doctors gave a mom days to live until the whole church started praying
A Miracle Arrives
Immediately after God assured the nun all was well, Monique sat up, looked at them and asked for some water.
“And that was after three days, brain-dead, no brain wave activity, nothing registered at all,” Monique explained.
Barbra knew this was a miracle from God.
“I was just elated for one thing, and surprised,” she said “because they really gave her very little chance, very little chance of surviving.”
In just a matter of days Monique was well enough to remove life support. Her CAT scans showed completely normal brain function — something the doctors hadn’t believed possible!
“She became stable enough to be transferred out and that was a miracle,” Barbra said.
Three months later, Monique had a beautiful and perfectly healthy baby girl. She named her Cassandra.
“She survived all of this; all of that medication, all of that with absolutely no neurological deficits, no medication in her system, which is another miracle in and of itself,” Monique says of her baby girl.
The Gift Of Life
Today, Cassandra is 21 years old. Monique has enjoyed 21 years with the daughter she was never supposed to meet.
Monique doesn’t know why she received such a huge blessing from God, but tries to honor Him by sharing her story and living the best life she can possibly live.
There’s no doubt it was prayer that saved this brain-dead mom and unborn baby. And the incredible miracle only bolstered Monique’s own faith.
“I know without a shadow of a doubt that God exists,”she says. “The only reason I’m here today at the capacity I’m here, is because of Him, and His grace.”
Their baby girl was supposed to die, so the family prayed for and got a miracle!