Mom Captures Daughter's Life-Saving Angel in Photograph

The mother of a severely ill teenager in North Carolina says an angel saved the life of her dying daughter, and she has the photograph to prove it, South Carolina’s The State reported.

Chelsea Banton was suffering from an advanced case of pneumonia in November – the latest in a string of illnesses in her short lifetime.

Colleen Banton of Mint Hill, North Carolina, describes her daughter as a fighter.

By the time Chelsea was 2-years-old, she had been to the hospital for pneumonia, later for hydrocephalus, shunt revisions in her skull, life-threatening viruses, and in July, fluid retention in her body required doctors to draw three liters of liquid from her small frame.

But this past fall, a bad cold turned into pneumonia and Chelsea spent seven weeks in the hospital on life-support.

“We had been praying every day, my oldest daughter and I and Chelsea,” Banton told the newspaper. “Praying for a miracle.”

The pneumonia spread from her left lung to her right lung. Then she had sepsis and blood clots, staph infections, E. coli, a collapsed lung and feeding problems.

In October, doctors wondered whether to take Chelsea off of the ventilator. They had tried it several times before, but each time, Chelsea struggled to breathe.

On Oct. 31, Chelsea’s family decided the next time she was strong enough to come off the ventilator, they would not replace it.

So Chelsea came off the ventilator on Nov. 1, and at first, she seemed to do well.

The next day, her health started to falter, and the teenager began having anxiety attacks with the oxygen mask over her face. Banton struggled with the decision over whether to remove her daughter’s oxygen mask.

“I wanted to do what the Lord wanted me to do,” Banton said. “And I really felt like I had her for 14 years, and if it’s time for her to go to heaven, then I know she’ll be healed.”

As family and friends went to visit Chelsea – for what they thought might be the last time on Nov. 5 – and prayed over what to do – a nurse practitioner called Banton’s attention to a nearby monitor, which displayed the door to the pediatric intensive care unit.

“On the monitor, there was this bright light,” Banton said. “And I looked at it, and said, ‘Oh, my goodness! It looks like an angel!”

Banton immediately took out her camera and captured the image.

Chelsea, who turns 15 on Christmas Day, went home from the hospital three days later.

Her family believes a miracle has occurred.

Click here to read more on this story and to see pictures from The State.