‘Don’t Stop Believin’: Gilbert family praying for struggling families at children’s hospital

The community came to support a sick Gilbert girl while she was in the hospital, and now her family is paying it forward to other families with sick children.
Published: Jan. 3, 2023 at 10:07 PM MST
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GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Life is a journey, and for 11-year-old Journey Stephens, her life is full of friends, fun and love. But it’s a life she had to fight for after she became very sick on Dec. 23, 2021. “She had pneumonia, and it had had an inflammatory response so her heart and her lungs were not working at all. And her organs were starting to shut down,” said Lindsay Stephens, Journey’s mother.

Journey was admitted to Banner Children’s, where she stayed in the ICU for nearly three weeks. Lindsay said Journey worked hard for every breath, especially when intubated.

On Jan. 2, 2022, Journey was able to breathe on her own again. That moment came with a sweet message from Journey to her mother. “She whispered ‘Hi momma’,” said Lindsay. Journey added, “I said ‘Hey momma, I love you.’”

The Stephens family says they’re thankful for their community that visited Journey on Christmas Day in 2021 to pray for 24 hours. They also danced outside the building for Journey, who loves to dance.

Her dad’s coworkers at Gilbert Fire Rescue also stopped by and brought out the ladder to climb up to Journey’s window to say hello. “It was one of the most beautiful — one of the hardest but one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever experienced,” said Lindsay.

But now another family could be up in room 215, hoping their child will be okay. That’s why the Stephens did what their community did for them on Journey’s victory day, Jan. 2.

They gathered outside room 215 to pray. They plan to do just that every year now. They also left behind a sign that reads, Don’t stop believin’. Lyrics from the famous band Journey is named after. “It’s a way that our family can physically give back, and we absolutely believe in the power of prayer and God’s divine intervention and it is very powerful,” said Lindsay.