92-Year-Old Given Weeks to Live. Fights to Stay Alive to Meet Namesake Before Last Breath


When Jean received the news that she only had a short amount of time to live, she knew that she had a reason to fight.

Knowing her goal has allowed her to defy the doctor’s odds and continue living. She wanted to meet someone very special.

Jean was showing signs of renal failure and was only given three weeks to live. Naturally, when they heard the news about Jean, her family was devastated.

One of Jean’s great-granddaughters, who was pregnant at the time, quit her job to help out. “I just want to live long enough to see that baby girl,” Jean would tell her.

And Jean would get her wish. When Magnolia Jean made her entrance into the world, Jean was ecstatic to meet her namesake.

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Kayla, another one of Jean’s great-granddaughters documented the moment they met.

Jean’s entire demeanor changed after meeting sweet Magnolia Jean. She found a new source of energy! She was even cooking and doing chores around the house.

Since Magnolia Jean’s birth, Jean has been doing much better, too. She has lived nine weeks past the date she was given by doctors.

Jean and her husband just celebrated 75 years of marriage. And in those 75 years, they built a huge, loving family: 7 great grandchildren, 11 great-great grandchildren, and one on the way.

Kayla recalls fishing on the couple’s lake followed by ice cream cones at the house. She also remembers listening to Jean playing her organ at the local Baptist church.

During a photo shoot to celebrate their anniversary, Jean asked Kayla how her makeup looked. Jean was struggling with feeling beautiful after diagnosis because she had been put on bed rest.

Kayla told her that she looked beautiful and “beaming with love.” “That’s good, I’m glad I’m still beaming with love after 75 years,” Jean responded.

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True love has an amazing ability to sustain us when it seems like everything else is working against us. Jean and her family are an example of that.

“Taking these photos is one of the many reasons I became a photographer. To be able to pause these moments for my family and for them, means everything to me. I enjoy photographing them every second I get. I am so blessed to have been able to capture such true love.

“Such a love I can only hope for with my husband. I want everyone to see these photos and know, true love is real,” Kayla concluded.

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
Lifetime Member of the Girl Scouts
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