Taylor Hale, 18, probably shouldn’t be alive today. She was declared brain dead, taken off life support, and her family started making funeral arrangements. But then the “Hand of God” intervened.

On September 11, 2011, Taylor was messing around with friends and fell off the hood of a car, hitting her head. She had suffered a severe brain injury and was placed in a medically induced coma, in hopes her brain would heal. A week into her hospital stay, an unresponsive Taylor had a brain hemorrhage. Her already poor prognosis got even more dismal. Despite attempts to save her life, a part of Taylor’s brain dipped into her spinal canal, basically ending the road for the teenager. Doctors told her family that nothing else could be done to help her and that she would never wake up again.

Soon after, chiropractor and family friend Dr. Jeff Stickel came to the hospital, saying he felt God was trying to tell him to treat her. Her parents didn’t feel comfortable with that given how far gone Taylor already was. Dr. Stickel then asked if he could pray with the family instead. With his hand on her neck, he prayed to God that Taylor would recover. “I could feel [her] life force in my fingers,” he said. He left a couple of minutes later, but came back. “It was like God nudged me back in there.” This time, he prayed, feeling her skull. “What if I could pray hard enough [for the skull to heal]?” he thought to himself. He left the room after the second prayer.

That day, doctors took Taylor off life support, but reconnected it after something amazing happened. She started to try to breathe on her own for the first time. That same day, her brain activity increased, and she mumbled words and moved her eyes. Then, finally, a technically braindead Taylor defied all odds and woke up.

Doctors said “no one comes back” from that kind of brain injury. So what happened? Her father, Chuck, said, “It was the hand of God at work. That’s the only thing that can explain it.” Taylor continued to improve in the hospital and was then admitted into rehab, where she “relearned just about everything, from swallowing food to talking and walking,” reports USA Today.

Today, Taylor is walking, talking and even driving on her own. She’s also set to graduate from Waukee High School in Iowa next week. Although she’s lost her sense of smell and much of her long-term memory, she’s very aware what a miracle her recovery is. “God can save people…I’m always thankful to all the doctors and nurses and therapists who helped me get better, but God did most of the saving.”


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