A North Carolina family described their miraculous "God moment" of receiving news that a heart donor was available for their sick daughter, just moments after praying at church.
"On our way home from church we got the call that changed our world. Celine, our other coordinator, called and said we got the offer for the perfect heart for Ella," Melanie Leitner said in an interview with WBTV-TV last week. "If this wasn't a God moment, I don't know what could be."
The Associated Press reported on Sunday that the incident took place on January 29, when Leitner and her husband, Mike, were atteding Sunday services at their church in Mooresville.
The congregation took time to pray for their daughter, 1-year-old Ella Kate, who had a large mass on a heart ventricle and needed a transplant.
Following the prayer on their way home, the Leitners apparently received a phone call informing them that a donor match had been found for their daughter.
Dr. Gonzalo Wallis, the medical director of Levine Children's Hospital's pediatric heart transplant program, had previously said that finding a donor transplant was a life or death issue for the young girl.
"We were in a race against time for Ella Kate, she was starting to get very sick," he said.
Ella Kate had been on a transplant waiting list since November, with fears that her condition was getting worse.
"I had actually called into cardiology and I had said, 'she's getting worse. She's gray all the time and she's not breathing well and she's making these gasping sounds,'" Melanie Leitner shared.
The mother expressed her thanks to Abundant Life Foursquare Church in Mooresville and all those who prayed for her daughter.
"Said our little girl is failing, she's getting sicker and we need to pray. They prayed over her and they prayed over us," she said.
Still, the parents recognized that even though their daughter will get to live, the donation means that someone else lost their child.
"You know that another family has lost their child, and you know that in their darkest moments they were able make the decision that saved my little girl," Leitner said.
"We will be eternally grateful for that."
Doctors have said that Ella and the family are "doing great," AP noted.