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Meet Stennis Miller #WorldSickleCellDay

Stennis Miller |  Starkville

It’s not every day you meet a miracle like Stennis. One afternoon in September 2010, he started running a fever that led to a painful, sleepless night. Stennis’ mother, JuQuitta Ferguson-Docher, thought her son was having an all-too-familiar pain crisis brought on by his sickle-cell disease. When local doctors confirmed this

was something much more serious, they sent Stennis to Batson Children’s Hospital by ambulance.

After he was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), test results provided the terrible diagnosis: meningitis, a staph infection, accumulated pneumonia and a yeast infection in his lungs. He was no longer breathing on his own and needed more than six pints of blood. His liver and kidneys shut down and his body had swollen to more than twice his normal weight.   

“The next few weeks of my life changed me” says JuQuitta.

Weeks later, Stennis woke up with his eyes crossed, his mouth twisted, unable to speak or function on his left side. On top of it all, Stennis endured a series of strokes that caused brain damage. But… he was alive. Over the next several weeks, Stennis slowly progressed and was able to move from the PICU to a floor where he began physical and speech therapy. He regained feeling in his left side, successfully rode a therapy tricycle, and even sang nursery rhymes with ease.

By Thanksgiving he was talking, walking and running; a miracle indeed. Today, Stennis is a happy 9-year-old “… actively doing all the little boy things he wouldn’t have been able to do if it weren’t for Batson Children’s Hospital,” says JuQuitta. “I’m forever grateful.”

JuQuitta says that fervent prayers for a miracle helped her get through the terrifying experience. “With God all things are possible,” she says. “I’ll tell anybody that miracles do happen every day and they happen at Batson.”