Matt and Kristin Loboda, from Tampa, Florida, and their five children traveled to Arizona to visit family last Christmas. On December 29, Matt suddenly realized he couldn't find their 19-month-old girl, Joy, and was frantically looking through the house.
She was just there standing next to Matt and Kristin. How could she be gone? A disturbing feeling overcame Matt, and he felt something was wrong. Very wrong.
There was a pool. He ran towards it, finding his daughter. Her lifeless body was floating on top of the water.
Matt leaped over the five foot, enclosed fence circling the pool and grabbed her body. The Lobada family began rushing out of the house, helping in any way they could to bring Joy back to life. Matt and his brother-in-law immediately began performing CPR while someone called for an ambulance.
“As I breathed into Joy, I prayed that my breath would be the breath of God into her,” Matt said. "Her lips were blue, and her beautiful blue eyes were wide open. I could see her pupils shrinking at an alarming rate. I knew we needed a miracle because I could actually feel her slipping away.”
When Sergeant Ronald Bryant, an officer for the Phoenix Police Department, arrived on the scene, he noticed Joy's frantic family. “Dad, soaked from the cold pool, was doing a great job with CPR and mom, Kristin, was kneeling, holding Joy's head in hands and praying like no mother ever wants to pray for their child,” he explained.
Bryant continues, “I scooped Joy up and ran her out to the front gate, giving her compressions and a couple of breaths as we ran out to meet the fire paramedics who were almost on the scene. Fire immediately took over and got to work on Joy's tiny, cold, blue, lifeless body. My heart was broken. I was convinced she had passed. Everything in me said it was too late, and she was gone, but I had to try everything I could."
As a police officer drove Matt and Kristin to the Phoenix Children's Hospital where the ambulance was taking Joy, Matt closed his eyes and began to pray: “'I know she is your daughter, but she is my daughter too. Now is not the right time.'”
After several minutes at the hospital, a doctor came up to Matt and Kristin saying that they could not find a heartbeat and things were not looking good. But after 30 minutes of constant prayer, Joy had a heartbeat.
Sweet, baby Joy was placed in a medically-induced coma and hooked up to a ventilator. Eight days later on January 7, Joy woke up and began breathing on her own.
“She's in my arms, reached for my face, and said, ‘Mamma,'" Kristin says. "Tears are flowing, and my heart is so full. Your prayers have been our strength and brought healing to our baby.”
The following day, the doctors removed Joy from the pediatric intensive unit. On January 10, Joy smiled and laughed for the first time since the accident. The family continues to see marked improvements every day.
According to Fr. Ignatius Mazanowski, (F.H.S.) associate director at the Holy Spirit Newman Center, miracles happen for two reasons: “First, God wants to reveal His love to that person, and second, He wants others to come to faith and to come to know Him as a result of the miracle. In Joy's case, I know God loves her, her parents, and our family very much, and I am grateful He has chosen to restore her to health."
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It sure is amazing to see the power of prayer. Share your thoughts about Joy’s story in our comment section! Please continue to pray for the Loboda family. In other news, a dog's mouth was duct taped shut and he was neglected for years. See where he is today! Check out his story here!