4-year-old asks mall Santa to pray for a miracle for a baby

by Kelly Ledbetter |

(Lauren Sharpe via Facebook)Prestyn Barnette asked Santa to pray for a miracle for baby Knox Stine.

WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (Christian Examiner) – When Rebekah Lauren Sharpe took her four-year-old nephew Prestyn Barnette to get his photo taken with Santa Claus, she had no idea that his request would touch so many hearts.

The little boy told Santa he wanted a train set—and a miracle for a two-month-old in critical care he had never met.

"I don't know how they know of us or heard of us or anything, but I recognized their names, and I knew that they had said that they were praying for baby Knox, and for a miracle for us."
- Mindi Stine, Knox's mother

So Prestyn and Santa got down on their knees and prayed for baby Knox Stine, who was discovered not breathing in November by his father and has been hospitalized in critical condition since then.

Prestyn's mother, grandmother, and aunt had been following the story of a family they didn't know who are hoping for a miracle for their infant.

"We talk about it, and we pray for him and we've gotten Prestyn to pray for him in his nightly prayers as well," Sharpe told ABC News.

Sharpe shared Prestyn's story and photo on Instagram, which encouraged the Stines.

"I thought it was beautiful," Knox's mother Mindi Stine told ABC. "I thought the boy was precious and I think it's so sweet. It spoke to my heart. Even though I am experiencing pain that is unbelievable, that brought joy to me."

On Nov. 30, Knox Stine was airlifted from Arizona to a children's hospital in Las Vegas, where the Stines have been residing to be near their fourth child, Today.com reported.

"I never met them [Prestyn's family]," Mindi said. "I don't know them. I don't know how they know of us or heard of us or anything, but I recognized their names, and I knew that they had said that they were praying for baby Knox, and for a miracle for us."

Sharpe posted the photo of Prestyn and Santa to the public Facebook page supporting Knox. "I showed my husband [the photo]," Stine said, "and we both just smiled at each other, like, 'Something amazing is happening.' It was just beautiful."

PRAYING FOR A MIRACLE

After discovering Knox was not breathing, Stine's husband Carl performed CPR until medical professionals arrived. The baby was declared brain-dead and even removed from life support, but began breathing irregularly on his own. He had tracheotomy surgery to help with his breathing, according to Today.

A second examination of Knox's brain showed some blood flow. "It was amazing," Stine added. "We considered it a miracle. We did not expect that at all."

The two families have been drawn together because of Prestyn's prayers. The Stines got the little boy the train set he wanted, and Prestyn made a Build-A-Bear in Knox's honor. The bear is named Miracle.

"We wanted to send him something he can hear, feel and let him know we were there," Sharpe told WIS TV.

Sharpe's caption of the photo of Prestyn and Santa said, "Carl Stine Mindi Stine we were able to ask Santa to pray with our boy for yours today. ‪#‎prayforknox ‪#‎kneelingforknox ‪#‎teamknoxjoseph."

The Stines have since made an update page for Knox called "Team Knox Stein." They have asked for donations while Carl Stine is taking unpaid leave from work.

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