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4-Year-Old Owen Photographed Praying for Grandfather Who Was on Life Support

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When the people we love are suffering or going through a difficult time, we can feel a little helpless. During this season, that helplessness is multiplied by the fact that when our loved ones are in the hospital, we can’t visit them and reassure them like we want to.

But as Owen from Atlanta, Georgia, knows, we can always pray.

Owen’s family had multiple members get hit by the coronavirus; according to WTOL-TV, his aunt, uncle, cousin, grandma and grandpa all contracted COVID-19.

“Every one of us, out of all four of us — our chief complaint was something different,” Bob Paulus, the uncle, told WTOL-TV. “We were able to interconnect that I had something similar with my mom or my wife had something similar with my dad, but at the time, we weren’t able to connect all the dots.”

On April 9, Owen’s mom, Brandee Hanes, posted an update, attaching a photo of her son.

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A stack of toy trucks was piled next to him on the glass table as he bowed his head, folded his hands and prayed for his grandpa, Chuck Paulus, who had been on life support and in a coma while he’d spent a month in the hospital.

“DAY 21 EVENING REPORT: It’s now been 3 WEEKS of this nightmare!” Hanes posted on Facebook. “About Mom & Bob: They went to the doctor’s office and got re-tested. They are now NEGATIVE for the active virus & POSITIVE for the antibodies.”

“Now about DAD: Today they started Dad on the CRRT (Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy) aka 24/7 dialysis. His creatinine (kidney function lab) is down further than it’s been in a few weeks. This has also resulted in Dad’s blood gases to even out a little more.

“This is GREAT news for his kidneys. Hopefully they will be able to continue to get all that excess fluid off of him!! Dad’s vent settings and sedatives are essentially unchanged. He has no fevers and his vitals are staying stable. They will continue to administer blood thinners to keep Dad’s blood thin and hopefully prevent the recurrence of clotting at his access sites.”

“Again, thank you all for your prayers and love!! If I may ask, please say a little extra for the grandkids. All they know is Opa is very sick and they miss him dearly!!”

The photo has touched hearts around the world. News outlets have picked up and shared the adorable photo, and many people who have heard about the family’s story are now sending their best wishes to Chuck.

“Dad’s a huge Ohio State fan, and very hard of hearing, so we have told the nurses, that if they yell OH, my Dad will reply IO if he can,” Hanes told WTOL-TV. “So, that’s another way that Dad knows we are in contact with the nurses and staffing, because how else would they know to say that?”

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Meanwhile, Hanes has continued to keep followers and friends updated on her dad’s (Owen’s grandpa’s) progress through Facebook.

The most recent news is hopeful, as Hanes details how her father is waking up.

“Dad is doing really, really good,” she said. “We have had more days of progress and that is a blessing — an absolute blessing.”

“Again thank you all for your support, love, and prayers!!” Hanes posted on Tuesday. “Our number of family members have grown drastically because of all of you!! Know We ❤ U and APPRECIATE you all!!”

As for Chuck’s wife, Nancy, she has some wise words for those who are following the family’s encouraging story.

“We hear a lot of doom and gloom and don’t hear the success stories,” she said.

“And there are some. Like the Bible says, this too, shall pass.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking