Michelle Shackle’s ultrasound is on December 31, 2014. The test that day revealed that Michelle’s unborn child may have Down syndrome. A scan report that their 13th child might have Down syndrome was no problem for this family, who had a special respect for life. Her husband, Dan, still remembers Michelle’s words when she heard the news. “To have such a child growing up in our home would be a great blessing to all other children.” were Michelle’s words.
But on February 25, 2015, the unborn baby was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition called fetal hydrops. This is a condition in which many parts of the baby’s body are filled with fluid and swollen. The doctors assured that there was zero percent chance of the child being brought out alive. The doctor at Vanderbilt University’s Neonatal High Risk Clinic said that in his 30 years of service, he had never brought out a child like this alive.
Doctors gave two options. Have an abortion. Or wait for the child to die naturally and then take it out as a chapilla. Abortion was not an option for the family who valued life. That family had a moment like Jesus’ passing at Gethsemane. That is how the founder of the Knights of Columbus, Fr. The couple sought the intercession of Michael McGivney. Dan, who was a member of the Knights of Columbus in the parish, Fr. After reading McGivney’s biography, The Parish Priest, he was working as an insurance agent for the Knights of Columbus. If the child is received alive, Fr. They also decided to name the child Michael, part of Michael McGivney’s name.
It was during this time that the Knights of Columbus arranged for them to travel to Fatima as a reward for their outstanding performance in insurance work. Realizing that only a miracle could save the child’s life, they requested their friends to seek Fr. McGivney’s intercession for them. Their only prayer at the time of Fatima’s visit was to make Michael a miracle. Michelle’s prayer was a little more intense: ‘Give me this baby with Down syndrome.’
At Fatima the Shackles attended the Mass where the King’s servant who approached Jesus with a request to heal his son was read. “Go away and your son will live.” Their joy was beyond words when they read that passage where Jesus said.
After that trip, the couple returned for another scan. At that time the fetal hydrops had disappeared. This cure astonished the doctors alike, for it was a disease which naturally had no chance of cure.
Fr. On May 27, 2020, Pope Francis signed a proclamation recognizing the miraculous birth of the baby through the intercession of Michael McGivney. The faith and selfless love of those parents was honored by the decision of the Vatican and the global church. Michael Shackles is now seven years old. Michael is running around today as the happiest kid in the family. These parents testify that Michael’s presence helps other children learn compassion and unconditional love.