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Mom, family lean on faith as daughter lies in coma

By Erika Pedroza | Published Saturday, September 29, 2012

Kayla Morrow Nichols, 41, of Bridgeport has been in a comatose state for more than 50 days. Insurance benefits are winding down as bills stack up. The future doesn’t look promising.

Kayla Morrow Nichols

But her mother, Judy Morrow, holds onto a greater hope.

“In times like this, you have faith in a higher power to help you through,” she said. “God’s plan is perfect. God makes no mistakes. We are waiting on a miracle from the Lord that we know He will provide. God is a miracle-worker.”

Kayla, a lifelong Bridgeport resident, had colon surgery on July 6, as doctors removed a benign mass the size of a grapefruit.

Her stay at Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine was prolonged by a major infection she contracted while at the hospital. After 15 days, Kayla returned home and received daily antibiotics via an IV, administered through home health.

Then on Aug. 4, she went into cardiac arrest.

“Really she’s really been down since June 23,” Judy said of her daughter. “She had a heart attack of the colon, caused by an electrolyte imbalance, which caused cardiac arrhythmia which caused cardiac arrest.”

Kayla stayed at North Texas Community Hospital in Bridgeport for 18 days before being moved to Denton Integrity Transitional Hospital Aug. 23, where she’s remained since.

How much longer, though, remains in question.

“We’re waiting on the results of an EEG now to tell us where we go,” Judy said.

Regardless of the direction the family is pointed, they know the road ahead is no smoother.

“Kayla’s husband, David, is a very hard worker and provides the best insurance his company offers,” Judy said. “But with any insurance, they set guidelines. They will only pay 25 days in a skilled facility. After that, we’re looking at a nursing home, paying $4,000 a month out of pocket. Or should we have to go home, to my house, that’s almost an impossibility. We would have to do repairs to a room to make it ready. And then home health would go for six hours. She requires care all the time, and home health would be there for six out of the 24 hours. That’s really an impossibility.”

But instead of wallowing in the hardships, Judy – who has not left her daughter’s side throughout the 54 days as of Friday – celebrates the accomplishments. Even if they’re minor, she contends their significance is monumental.

“We take every little baby step,” Judy said. “When she moved that little toe, it was hallelujah! Then when she wobbled her foot, we were ecstatic! All of these baby steps are all in God’s plan. Every time we take a baby step, that’s God giving me hope. God will continue to give her mental alertness.”

Each baby step is an answered prayer, Judy said.

“With the persistent prayer of family and friends, we are continuing to see baby steps of progress,” she said. “If it had not been for friends, family and prayer warriors, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Friends and family have been praying, praying, praying.”

That network includes Kayla’s husband, her children, Tiphanee, 18, and Toby, 12, and her father, Larry, who cares for Toby while David is at work.

Tiphanee graduated from Decatur High School in 2012 and is commuting to the Ogle School of Cosmetology in Denton.

“Kayla and Tiphanee worked and planned together getting Tiph enrolled in cosmetology school,” Judy said. “Because of her love for her mother, she is attending even though her heart is breaking for her mom.”

Toby is a seventh grader at Bridgeport Middle School, where he plays on the football team.

“He is displaying responsibility, is doing well in school and working hard in football for his mom,” Judy said. “Kayla is a wonderful mother who taught her children right from wrong, taught them to love and taught them the importance of honesty.

“I really want Tiph and Toby to feel how proud their mommy is that they are showing others that their mommy instilled or taught them great qualities.”

Judy’s biggest prayer is that her daughter, her “baby girl,” wakes up to see that.

“We claim all of God’s promises,” Judy said. “Exodus 15:26 says ‘I am The Lord who heals you.’ It’s not important what doctors say to me. God is the greatest physician. His plan is perfect. His time will be perfect. We are waiting to see when He is going to wake her up, and what a glorious day it will be. I have faith that God can move mountains. I have faith in His power.”

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