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Zion's Mending

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Zion Edwards, nine-month-old recovering from a stroke.

Tragedy may yet turn into glory.

If $22,375 and many thousands of prayers can work, Zion Edwards may be on the road to recovery.

And as hard as it may be to imagine, he is a nine-month-old baby who had a stroke.

His doctors called it extremely rare and not caused by any underlying condition, so hope is high that his brain can be retrained and the use of his damaged limbs can be restored. After the first three of 12 weeks of therapy Zion is exceeding expectations for recovery.

For his Aunt Amber Lail and Uncle Josh Lail, it has been a journey of prayer and fundraising. Granddaddy David Emory and daddy Brian Conner have been in the thick of things, too. The money is needed to cover expenses for therapy which are not paid by insurance.

The prayers come from that local well of faith that flows through Element Church and other churches.

It was Emory who first dreamed up the gun raffle that raised $10,000 of the needed funds. Dale Ramsey, a local officer in the NRA suggested the guns that were offered as prizes.

Zion and his family live in Kansas City, Missouri. His mom is Chase High Class of '08 Kaila Edwards and his dad is Caleb Edwards from Polk County. They are full-time missionaries in the International House of Prayer. Zion's sisters are Isla who was adopted and Ivy who turns three in October. The girls are seven months apart.

Ongoing donations are being received at Zion's gofundme site, which is Taking Care Of Zion Edwards!

Zion came home from the hospital on June 11, but immediately began the 12-week therapy that hopefully will return him to full use of his stroke damaged side. His aunt said, "He still can't hold anything in his hand." But his therapists are impressed with his progress.

On June 21, Aunt Amber posted the results of the gun raffle on her Facebook page. Jacob Petri's name was drawn for the top prize of an AK15, a Smith and Wesson 9mm, a Tristar shotgun, and a Browning 22. Billy Bryan won second prize which included another AR15 and a Rugar 10-22 rifle.

His dad leads worship and prayer on The International House of Prayer's website each day from 4 a.m. until noon. The website conducts prayer services 24 hours a day.

Photos for this story were provided by Aunt Amber Lail whose business is Capturing Carolina Photography which can be found on her Facebook page.

The Lails said the outpouring of prayer and financial help has been truly inspiring. Amber said there is no way to measure how much it has meant or how widespread the support and love have been.

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