Isla Hope's Journey

by Lindsay Miller

After seven years of hoping to be pregnant and giving up, happiness pulsed through our veins after a positive pregnancy test. We gave thanks to the Lord, told family and began making our new plans. Four months in, we knew we had a girl and we also knew she had a hole in her tiny little heart. We could call her Isla Hope, hope is all we had for the little one growing so close to my heart.

After my Amniocentesis test, the specialist in Huntsville confirmed the hole in her heart and gave it a name: double outlet right ventricle. In addition, he diagnosed her with racial dysphasia and cleft lip and palate.

We went to a second specialist , who told us “if she makes it full term, she will die at birth. You shouldn’t put yourselves through the pain. An abortion is your best option.”

We were speechless.

Why would God give her to us just to take her away?

We decided to move her care to Birmingham and prayed like never before. As months continued, we learned she had clubbed foot and that her cerebellum sat in her spinal socket too much. We knew that no matter the outcome, God gave us Isla Hope.

On October 18, 2016 Isla Hope was born. The Lord stood with us when she was born, no cry to be heard. We had a chance to glance at our daughter before she was rushed straight to Children’s Hospital. Within twenty-four hours, our daughter would die three times on an operating table.

Miracles surrounded Isla Hope. With also no immune system and a tracheostomy's, her body healed tuberculosis, healed her dying leg and her dying body, Her little body sings a song of grace and love that can only be written by our Creator. Her scars are a constant reminder of suffering, victory and hope. Much like my favorite hymn, it’s forever in our heart. An oxygen line attached to her track and feeding tube still remind me of the mound of cords that once rendered her nearly visible. Once blanketed under pace makers, ventilators, drain tubes, central lines, monitors dressings.

Thirteen scars will always remain as constant reminders of our hope in God.

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At the moment, we are staying at an apartment in Birmingham awaiting her thymus transplant at Duke in Durham, North Carolina. The Lord has taken care of us and put our family in the hands of Red Mountain Grace as a refuge until our turn at Duke. Every day I pray to be reunited with our family. Every day I want to take her home. Every day, He reminds me that His plans are bigger and no longer do we attempt to make our own.

— Brett Lesley

Isla Hope’s Mother


Isla Hope, her mother and father, are all safely home now. While Isla is still facing undeniable trials, Brett and her family are trusting God to heal their daughter. They are living each day in gratitude and thankfulness! While we miss them, we are so happy they are home.

Categories: Stories