Pastor asks for prayers as wife, premature newborn battle for lives

A Texas pastor is asking for prayers for his wife who fell critically ill after giving birth to their premature daughter. Daniel Villarreal, who has been keeping supporters updated in a series of Facebook posts, said his wife, Jannelle, had difficulties while recovering from an emergency C-section performed on July 10.

The couple’s daughter, Eden Raine, was born premature at 31 weeks gestation, and placed in the hospital’s NICU. However, Janelle was transferred to Methodist Specialist and Transplant Hospital where doctors diagnosed her with HELLP Syndrome, a severe form of preeclampsia.


On July 13, Villarreal asked his followers for prayers after doctors closely monitored Janelle’s liver and kidneys.

“Our doctor just stated, ‘I don’t know if you believe in prayer, but if you do, there’s never been a time to be more focused on praying for two things, your liver and your kidneys,’” he wrote in the post, which was shared 277 times. “Jannelle is fighting for her life. There are two things we want to pray: 1.) For spontaneous liver rupture not to happen 2.) The damage that has happened to kidneys reverses and kidneys return to normal.”

Follow up posts revealed that Eden’s birth came after the couple’s son was born stillborn at 21 weeks last year. Villarreal, who also has a 12-year-old daughter with Jannelle, revealed that doctors tabled the liver transplant for Jannelle after hers began functioning again.

A July 17 request for a “Prayer from every nation” from Villarreal asked supporters to pray for Jannelle’s immune system and internal organs.


“7/18 2PM UPDATE: We are seeing progress…we will have victory… ‘I will NOT die but live, and WILL proclaim what the LORD has done’ (Psalm 118:17) #ThereWillBeMiracles #PrayerFromEveryNation,” Villarreal posted alongside a photo of him holding his wife’s hand.

The latest update said Villarreal had started spoon-feeding Jannelle as she continued to recover.

“Her kidneys still need to awaken. Her blood still needs to be in order. Her lungs are still weak. We are seeing GREAT progress but last night was long and was a struggle,” he wrote. “We pray for total healing and no long term effects. We need miracles.”