CMS student faces major surgery

Published 10:13 pm Saturday, March 7, 2009

A local church is requesting prayer for a young girl who is facing major surgery later this month.

Anna Wilson, 13, will go to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham March 25 for a necessary but potentially high-risk procedure. The procedure will involve moving her spine — which is pressing against her diaphragm — and putting in temporary rods.

The first concern is Anna’s ability to survive the surgery. The second concern is whether her lungs will be able to function after the surgery.

“We’re asking everyone and all the churches to be in prayer,” said Carla Wilson, Anna’s mother, who typically stays with her daughter 24 hours a day.

Anna is a seventh grader at Clanton Middle School, where she is in National Beta Club and science club. She has been homebound since December 2008 in an attempt to keep her as well as possible in the weeks leading up to the surgery.

The school has provided homebound services for Anna to keep her from falling behind on her schoolwork.

“The school has been real helpful and cooperative,” her mother said. “So far she’s doing pretty good.”

Anna suffered a life-altering injury in February 2004 at age 8. She was accidentally shot in the head, but miraculously the bullet did not penetrate her skull. However, she is confined to a wheelchair and classified as an incomplete quadriplegic, basically meaning that she has some movement in her legs and arms.

“Since the accident, Anna’s life has been filled with miracles,” said Greg Nobles, pastor of Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church, where the Wilsons are longtime members. “To me, it’s remarkable that she’s kept the attitude and love for God that she has.”

After the accident, word was that Anna might never breathe on her own or eat without the help of a feeding tube. She has been able to do both for more than five years, and the family prays this surgery will not change that.

“They may slowly try to wean her off the ventilator (following the surgery),” her mother explained.

If doctors are able to correct her spine successfully, Anna will likely be 4 to 5 inches taller than her current height.

Mt. Pisgah is hosting a prayer service in two weeks, on March 22 at 3 p.m., to pray for Anna and her doctor.

“If you can’t come to the church, we would like you to pray at your church or anywhere you are,” Anna’s mother asks.