A Miracle Turns Twelve Years Old

A Miracle Is Born

Could I have ever anticipated what joy my 2-week-old son would bring me while he was laying in the Neo Natal Intensive Care unit having two hundred breaths per minute pushed into his 5-pound frame? When I was told there were no living survivors of my son’s diagnoisis, could I have known my child would live without a ventilator? Could I have known he would crawl, roll and stand? Or how many people would fall in love with his light-up the room smile and personality?

It would have been wonderful to see these pictures twelve years ago. How they would have given me hope, encouragement and dashed away my worries. But we couldn’t look into the future to see if the doctor’s predictions would come true. We had to rely on faith which is defined in Hebrews 11:1 as “… faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Now, looking back over the past twelve years, I see the fruit of faith. As I celebrate Samuel’s 12th birthday today, journey with me as I share a few moments in time. As you view these pictures, watch a miracle unfold. A miracle of life. A miracle of faith. A Miracle In My Living Room.

A Miracle Lives

A Miracle Lives
Two Weeks of Life

This picture was taken before Samuel received his g-tube and tracheostomy. See the tape on his cheeks. When he received his tracheosotomy I was able to see his whole face…cute cheeks and all.

Miracle Boy
First Smiles

Here Samuel is a few weeks old. This is post tracheotomy placement. Now I can see his chubby cheeks. The tube with the clamp is his g-tube or feeding tube. This tube delivered Samuel’s formula.

Miracle In The Making
Little Mann

Here you can see how small our little man was in the NICU. But, he was not the smallest baby. Nurses told us they needed two hands to handle Samuel. Other babies only required one hand.

First Year Miracle
First Birthday Party

The big day of Samuel’s First Birthday. Samuel loved all the balloons so much he didn’t want to go to sleep. Many thought this day wouldn’t come. But, faith gave us hope. And hope kept us going.

But, faith gave us hope. And hope kept us going. Click To Tweet
2 Year Birthday Miracle
Samuel’s 2nd Birthday

My sweet boy celebrating his second year of life with a cute cupcake. At this point he wasn’t able to sit up by himself but he did want to grab the candles.

A Miracle turns 18 months
18 Months Birthday

Why bake a cake at 18 months? I wanted to celebrate Samuel’s life. Many times we were told he wouldn’t make it, but a year and half later, my miracle still lived.

A Miracle Turns Three

A Miracle At Disney
A Miracle At Disney

At age three, Samuel received a wish from the Make-A-Wish foundation. We were driven by limo to Orlando and stayed at Give Kids The World Village. With ventilator in tow, we visited Sea World and Disney for a memorable vacation. This was the beginning of many vacations. I wasn’t afraid to go out of the house anymore with my medically fragile child.

Hockey Game

Samuel goes to his first hockey game courtesy of Make-A-Wish. He is still needing his ventilator in this picture. I could not have imagined he’d be ventilator free eventually.

A Miracle At The Beach
First Beach Trip

Samuel’s first trip to the beach. I have the ventilator on my back as the machine helped Samuel breathe. The only thing competing with the swooshing sound of the ventilator was the gulf breeze and waves crashing onshore. I hoped sand wouldn’t get inside this life-giving equipment. (Thankfully, it didn’t.)

Mike & The Miracle
Mike & The Miracle

Mike Alstott, a former Tampa Bay Buccaneer, met our little man and signed a helmet for him. He called Samuel, Sam the Mann. It reminded me of all the times we would watch football in Samuel’s hospital room. All the nurses and staff kept checking the score.

The Miracle Of A Smile
Samuel’s Smiles

A wonderful photographer named Katie Alexander took the first professional photo’s of my little guy. She took so many amazing images capturing Samuel’s essence and precocious personality. This one in particular you see the cute smile and a “guess what I got” look in his eyes. She also shaded out his trach tube so the focus would be solely on Samuel.

A Second Miracle

A Miracle Smiles
Smiling Little Mann

That smile gets me every time. In this picture Samuel is no longer using a ventilator. Somewhere around age 9, we were able to put it in the closet. No one ever expected a child with Thanatophoric Dysplasia Dwarfism to be able to get off the ventilator. But God had other plans. This is what I call the second miracle.

A Miracle Continues

A Miracle Smile
Samuel’s Smiles Campaign

Samuel’s Smiles Campaign began to capture the joy of a medically critical little boy. To show how Samuel has overcome all odds. To not only give a smile, but to give others hope that nothing is impossible with God. And as this little miracle turns twelve years old today, my prayer is for his smiles to be contagious and go around the world spreading hope and joy.

Miracle Smile
Samuel Smiles At Church
Miracle Smile
You Got Smile

To see all Samuel’s Smiles Campaign photo’s, go to www.facebook.com/amiraclemann. To wish Samuel, “Happy 12th Birthday”, comment below. Thank you for following our miracle journey.

Written By: Evelyn Mann

Author, Miracle In My Living Room: The Story Of A Little Mann

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24 Thoughts on A Miracle Turns Twelve Years Old

  1. Happy 12th Birthday, Samuel! Thanks Mom for the beautiful collection of photos and tribute! Your faith story is so wonderful.

  2. Such a beautiful story I had to share it with my children. I love his smile, too!

  3. TWELVE!
    Samuel, you are just hopping along milestones popping up in the ‘Big Pond’ and you do it with style. We are celebrating your ‘birth’ day with you. Our family holds you and your giant smile and your 12 years in highest esteem. Be blessed young man.
    One more year to teenagerness.
    May your birthday bring you parties, games, singing, presents and smiles. God is your refuge and strength and to Him all praise belongs.
    Happy 12th Birthday Master Samuel.
    Congratulations Ralph and Evelyn.
    Love to you all, The Jewell Family in Michigan, Thanatophoric Dysplasia Family
    August 2, 2017

  4. Happy 12th birthday dude your story is touching keep on proving miracles can happen! Prayers for you to keep on moving ahead and may your smile always remain bright and contagious.

  5. Happy Birthday Samuel! Your life is so inspiring and hope you continue to be blessed for many more years to come!

  6. Happy Birthday Samuel. Hope your 12th birthday is a day of joy and laughter and lots and lots of smiles.

  7. Happy birthday Samuel! May God bless you with many more years with many more smiles!!!! 🙂 Thank you for sharing this! Our God is so amazing!

  8. Happy birthday Samuel!! ????

  9. Oh, his sweet face! What’s. blessing he is ❤️

  10. Happy Birthday to my little miracle man. You are a joy to be around. I love seeing you laughing, throwing kisses and all you can do. I love you Samuel and can’t wait til you walk, talk. You will one day, because you are Gods miracle for us to love and see His hand in your life. Happy. happy Birthday my sweetheart. I know you will be smiling all day. You are a blessing.

  11. Happy birthday Little Mann. Aww, Samuel , you are so precious. Love your adorable smile. Momma, your message is so sweet. I can only imagine,his birthday is even more special to you ,than it is to your little love. Wishing you , many more healthy and blessed birthdays Samuel ??

  12. What a beautiful smile! Happy Birthday Samuel!

  13. Happy Birthday Samuel!??what a beautiful journey, Trust in the LORD with all your heart lean not on your own understanding acknowledging him in all your ways he will direct your paths ! Prov.3:5,6. He is truly directing your path ❤❤

  14. Happy 12th birthday Samuel 😀 I hope that you have a fantastic birthday 😀 <3 . You are truly a miracle, and that smile brights up everyone's day <3

  15. His sweet smile melts hearts! What a precious gift from God. Happy Birthday little mann!!!

  16. Happy Birthday Samuel, I was not having a good day, and I seen your beautiful smile, and I have been smiling ever since. I wish I could be there and give you a hug. You are a beautiful little Mann.

  17. Happy birthday buddy! What a touching story that gives hope and inspiration. Keep smiling! 🙂

  18. Oh bless you and your wonderful family and network Samuel, happy birthday from this UK LP family beautiful boy. May this year be love filled and thriving for you as the last twelve! We will pray so too. xxxxxx

  19. Happy birthday to Samuel. You have touched my life in so many ways. God is so good!! Love from Ohio!!!

  20. Happy 12th bday Samuel! What an inspirational young man you are. And a special thanks to your mum for sharing your story.

  21. Happy Birthday Samuel! Our youngest granddaughter also has dwarfism. Like you, she has personality plus! She is loved by everyone that comes in contact with her! Thank you for sharing your life with us. Big hugs to you and your Mom.

  22. Happy Birthday to Samuel! My son has a rare disease- osteogenesis imperfecta type 3 severe. He has been in the ICU since January 2017 and just turned 9 months yesterday when the doctors said he would die at 2 months! We have witnessed several miracles happen with him. God is good and we just all need to pray and have faith and he will do the rest. Let Gods will be done! God bless you and your family!

    • Linda, thank you for sharing your inspiring story. The doctor’s originally thought Samuel might have OI but testing showed otherwise after birth. We also had similar reports from the medical books. So glad you too are experiencing miracles. Hugs, Evelyn

  23. Your family’s story is such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing it with us. Happy belated birthday to one special little guy.


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