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Her middle name was Mercy

"Her middle name was Mercy" Continued...

Issue: "The wonder of life," Jan. 25, 2014

Six months after delivery, the Eskelunds were home on a short respite when they received a phone call in the night. Anneka’s liver had failed. They returned to the hospital, and there in a dark room, with only her parents and the surgeons who had worked so hard for her, Anneka died—exactly six months after her miraculous delivery. Kristi said she wouldn’t have chosen anyone else to share the moment with than that small team of doctors who had become like family. 

Twelve years later, Lydia is a normal girl with blue eyes and blond hair. She likes singing, archery, American Girl dolls, and organizing parties for her friends. She is healthier than anyone would have predicted, with mild scoliosis and a place where her heart is unusually exposed.

UNCERTAIN PATH: Lydia and Anneka as newborns.
Handout photo
UNCERTAIN PATH: Lydia and Anneka as newborns.
Lydia Eskelund
Handout photo
Lydia Eskelund
FAMILY TIES: Drawing of the twins made by the Eskelund’s son AJ.
Handout photo
FAMILY TIES: Drawing of the twins made by the Eskelund’s son AJ.

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The Eskelunds are still close friends with some of the surgeons who worked on Lydia and Anneka. Their willingness to live out their faith has given them unique witnessing opportunities. “When people see you completely live out your convictions, and really put your money where your mouth is, it lends a lot of authenticity to your ability to speak the gospel message.” She said she would remind women considering abortion that doctors often give the worst scenario. While they may be right, God works miracles. Kristi says, “I would do it all again. I really would.” 

Six years ago, Kristi returned to the same hospital to give birth—a surprise since she wasn’t supposed to be able to have more children. Some of the same nurses attended her when Jesse, a healthy son, came into the world. She called him her Job 42 baby, because after all the pain, God was giving it all back: “Being able to really rejoice in the situation after all the grief. … It was so much of a coming-full-circle experience for me.”

—Rachel Lynn Aldrich is a WORLD intern

Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is a student at Patrick Henry College. Follow Rachel on Twitter @Rachel_Lynn_A.

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