CINCINNATI, Ohio (KT) – The Kentucky boy who collapsed and nearly died on a Little League field in a small community last week received a special surprise Sunday.
William Burton’s aunt, Kyndra Moore, showed up in his hospital room with a big smile - all the way from Zimbabwe, where she serves as a missionary with her husband Nick.
For the first time since the ordeal started, William cried. But they were most certainly tears of joy. His aunt hasn’t been home since 2015.
Earlier this week she sent a video of Zimbabwe men praying for healing to William’s mother, Amy Burton, who is her sister. That video made Amy cry for the first time since the incident happened. Again, though, they were tears of joy and thanksgiving for the great big God that they all serve.
Kyndra is also home to grieve as her brother and his wife, Troy and Emily Huffine, bury their 2-month-old baby Natalie, one of their triplets, who died on Friday. The events of the week show the frailty of life even within the life of one precious family. But God’s grace was evident in both cases and continues to be sufficient.
Her nephew’s brush with death and her niece’s sorrowful death - and how the strong faith family responded to both incidents - has been an inspiration to anyone following along from outside. They praise Jesus in the midst of it all.
William suffered cardiac arrest while running along the outfield fence in Grayson, Ky., last Tuesday. Coaches and others rushed to his aid and performed CPR. Three ambulances were remarkably all within five minutes when the incident occurred and raced him off to a hospital in Ashland where he could be stabilized with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital being the eventual destination. When the helicopter landed, the cardiologist from Cincinnati happened to be the one who was already treating William, who had a similar cardiac arrest incident in 2015.
The family has watched several other “God moments” since that time, including the miraculous recovery for the 12-year-old boy with a big faithful heart. He is known to do some of his own witnessing about Jesus around town and is a friend to everyone, not to mention a good athlete.
The Grayson community and their church family at First Baptist Church of Grayson have rallied around the family in unbelievable ways. His story has touched people across not only Kentucky but the nation. Good wishes and prayers have flooded in from everywhere.
It was his mother’s wish that his story, no matter how it turned out, be a testimony for God’s glory. Because William was a believer - and with fruits to show for it - his mother said she was OK because he would either be in heaven or spending more time on earth.
She found comfort and security in his salvation and her own. In other words, as the song reminds, it was well with her soul.
Amy Burton’s other wish is that sports parks and schools would all have AED machines, as a requirement, along with staff on hand that knows how to work it. Her son had his own AED but it was his backpack and nobody knew.
Three ambulances – How is that not God’s provision? – showed up on the scene in minutes and were able to shock Williams’ heart back to life.
He isn’t totally out of the woods yet, his mother says. More tests will be run this week and a possible surgery for an ICD could happen on Wednesday. But the future looks a lot brighter today than it did last Tuesday when he was unresponsive after collapsing on the Little League field.
After walking through one of the toughest and most blessed weeks of their lives, William’s parents are doing one thing on this Palm Sunday – they are praising Jesus Christ.
MARK MAYNARD is managing editor of Kentucky Today. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org