TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) Church friends stepped up to answer the prayers of a local couple whose own struggles have taken a backseat to the daily challenges faced by their young daughter who is non-verbal, blind and deaf, has epilepsy and require a tracheal tube and ventilator.
Addie Wolfe, 5, with her mother Stephanie. Church friends pitched in to buy a minivan for the girl and her parents. (Courtesy photos)
Addie Wolfe, 5, who was born with significant chromosomal abnormalities and sacrococcygeal teratoma, an unusual tumor situated at the base of the tailbone, faces a long list of daily struggles.
She has spent the last month in McLane Children’s Hospital fighting kidney failure.
Her health is complicated by her condition, which is not familiar to most doctors, and over the last few weeks she’s had extremely scary moments.
“She started spiking random high fevers with high heart rate and they have been searching for the cause for the fevers,” Stephanie said. “
It’s gotten as high as 107.2 the other day. We’ve rallied everyone to pray for her, hundreds of thousands of people.”
But there was one other prayer—a silent one--that Stephanie and her husband, Mathew shared.
Addie’s family has recently fallen on hard times after Mathew lost his job.
The parents share one car, a Ford Fusion, and it’s nowhere near big enough to accommodate Addie’s needs.
“When we take Addie places we have to have someone in the backseat with her at all times in case of emergencies because she has a trach so like her nurse will sit in the back and squeeze between the two car seats or I will sit and squeeze,” Stephanie said.
And on Sunday evening that silent prayer was answered.
The couple got an unexpected call from members of their small group at church who said they had a gift to drop off at the hospital.
“We thought maybe it was some balloons for Addie,” Stephanie said.
But when the couple walked outside to the parking lot, a 2008 Honda Odyssey was waiting.
“They showed up and took us to the parking lot and said ‘this is yours and here are the keys,’” Stephanie said.
“We just had tears.”
“We couldn’t even believe that his was happening to us. I’m pretty sure we’re both in shock.”
Meg Watwood is one of the small group members who gathered the money from about 15 couples to purchase the vehicle, which was offered at a discount after a dealership learned of Addie’s story.
“We’ve known the Wolfes have been needing a van for a long time. We gathered money for them a few weeks ago but then someone in class came up with the idea of putting money together for a vehicle,” Watwood said.
The minivan is much more than a set of wheels for the Wolfes who say it will literally change their lives.
“It’s such a blessing in so many ways,” Mathew said.
“It’s not just that it gives us more room to move around with both our daughter and our son but it also enables us to transfer all the equipment from her wheelchair to oxygen tanks to her gait trainer which she’s been working with to help her walk.”
Stephanie said they had a chance to tell Addie about the gift and they’re already looking forward to taking her for a spin in the roomier and more comfortable vehicle.
They’re hoping that will happen soon.
Addie’s latest CT scan came back clear.
On Friday she will undergo a surgery to get a gastrostomy-button or G Button so she can safely eat without aspirating her food.
Overall her family says she appears to be “on the mend.”
Addie’s parents, meanwhile, have a message for those who surprised them with their kindness.
“I think speechless is the word we’re going for,” Mathew said. “We’re just completely speechless.”
“We are so grateful and from the bottom of our hearts we want to say thank you,” Stephanie added.