Like any good mother, when Karen found out that another baby was on the way,
she did what she could to help her 3-year-old son, Michael, prepare for a
new sibling. They find out that the new baby is going to be a girl, and day
after day, night after night, Michael sings to his sister in Mommy's tummy.
The pregnancy progresses normally for Karen, an active member of the Panther
Creek United Methodist Church in Morristown, Tennessee. Then the labor
pains come. Every five minutes. Every minute. But complications
arise during delivery. Hours of labor. Would a C-section be required?
Finally, Michael's little sister is born. But she is in serious condition.
With siren howling in the night, the ambulance rushes the infant to the neonatal
intensive care unit at St. Mary's Hospital, Knoxville, Tennessee.
The days inch by. The little girl gets worse. The pediatric specialist tells
the parents, "There is very little hope. Be preparedfor the worst. Karen and
her husband contact a local cemetery about a burial plot. They have
fixed up a special room in their home for the new baby, now they plan a funeral.
Michael, keeps begging his parents to let him see his sister, "I want to
sing to her," he says. Week two in intensive care. It looks as if a
funeral will come before the week is over. Michael keeps nagging about singing
to his sister, but kids are never allowed in Intensive Care. But Karen makes
up her mind. She will take Michael whether they like it or not. If he doesn't
see his sister now, he may never see her alive.
She dresses him in an oversized scrub suit and marches him into ICU. He looks
like a walking laundry basket, but the head nurse recognizes him as a child
and bellows, "Get that kid out of here now! No children are allowed
The mother rises up strong in Karen, and the usually mild-mannered lady glares
steel-eyed into the head nurse's face, her lips a firm line. "He is not leaving
until he sings to his sister!"
Karen tows Michael to his sister's bedside. He gazes at the tiny infant
losing the battle to live. And he begins to sing. In the pure hearted
voice of a 3-year-old, Michael sings:
"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are
"Instantly the baby girl responds. The pulse rate becomes calm and steady.
Keep on singing, Michael.
"You never know, dear, how much I love you, Please don't take my sunshine
The ragged, strained breathing becomes as smooth as a kitten's purr.
Keep on singing, Michael.
"The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping, I dreamed I held you in my arms...
"Michael's little sister relaxes as rest, healing rest, seems
to sweep over her. Tears conquer the face of the bossy head nurse.
"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. Please don't take my sunshine away.
The girl is well enough to go home! Woman's Day magazine called it "The miracle
of a brother's song." The medical staff just called it a miracle.
Karen called it a miracle of God's love. A few weeks later, Michael's
little sister was baptized at the Panther Creek Church.