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Ellie Yahnke family

Family clings to God's promises during medical crisis

Jennifer Yahnke

Going back and remembering what those weeks were like is scary with a mix of unbelievable wonder. It was a time of feeling complete helplessness in trying to understand what was happening to our daughter Ellie. This bubbly, bright-eyed, hilarious, and active 18-year-old lay in a hospital bed unable to move the right side of her body or speak coherently.

It started months before with on-and-off fevers and severe sore throats. Every time Ellie was tested for COVID, strep throat, and mono, but all the tests repeatedly came back negative. So in March 2022 when it happened again and she was given another antibiotic for tonsillitis, none of us were surprised.

The surprise came when I went into her room one Sunday morning to check on her before church. She was lying on the ground. She looked up at me—actually looked through me—like she didn’t know who I was. I asked her if it was her throat that hurt or her head or stomach. Her response was something I will never forget. She replied, “It’s my personality.”
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