Matt and Kristin Loboda were visiting family in Arizona with relatives for Christmas when they realized their youngest daughter, Joy, was missing.
As originally reported by Dearly, Matt and the family searched everywhere for the 19-month-old girl. Then something told the dad to check near the pool.
Beloved Friends, your prayers are truly sustaining Joy and our family. I thank you with all of my heart for covering us…
The pool was surrounded by a gate, but the toddler had gotten through it somehow.
Matt was the first to find Joy floating lifelessly in the water. He immediately dove into the family pool to save her.
The family performed CPR until the paramedics arrived and rushed Joy to the hospital, but she was without a heartbeat for 20 to 30 minutes.
At the hospital, doctors were able to resuscitate the girl, but they said her outlook didn’t look promising.
The family stayed by her bedside as the hospital kept her in a medically induced coma.
Finally, on January 5, Joy opened her eyes.
She's in my arms, reached for my face and said mamma. Tears are flowing and my heart is so full. Your prayers have been our strength and brought healing to our baby. #miraclebaby #prayforjoy #thankyouwithallmyheart How can we pray for you in our hours together tonight? God heals our hearts and listens to our prayers. He is so close even in suffering. The pain and darkness may be there, but His light can break though. #Jesusitrustinyou #praying #fearnoevil #iamwithyou
Posted by Kristin Loboda on Friday, January 6, 2017
She started following her family’s conversations and movements inside the hospital room.
After two weeks, she was breathing on her own and laughing. As she continued to progress, Joy was moved out of ICU and placed in rehabilitation.
Matt told Dearly at the time:
“One of our nurses from ICU saw us in the rehabilitation center. She saw Joy eating and she couldn’t believe her eyes. She told me most coma patients don’t walk out of here. Joy is there and present, she knows what’s going on. She even tried standing up today.”
To the amazement of the hospital staff, Joy was discharged on January 25.
"If you want to change the world go home and love your family." ~ Mother Therese We are home! ❤️
The Loboda family continued to bring Joy to the hospital for further analysis and treatment.
Joy and I are at the hospital pretty much everyday for either therapy or doctors appointments. It is our new normal….
But at home, the family had a hard time healing after the incident.
In March, they took the kids swimming in the pool again.
Friends, I felt called to share how the healing process still continues for us. This is a video I took via Instagram last week. It was the first time I had taken my kids swimming since Joy's accident. Although Joy was safe napping inside in her crib, it was still extremely hard to be at the pool with our 4 older kids, who know how to swim very well. It brought me to tears of rejoicing when God put on the song "Come Alive," which is the song that we constantly played in the hospital for Joy. Isn't it amazing how He always works even in the small details to love us. ❤️ Ps. I was able to take a video with my phone because there were 2 other adults at the pool watching the kids with me. Safety before phones! Also, I am taking the next half an hour to pray for all of your intentions and needs. Please feel free to comment or message me with anything specific!! ❤️? #prayforjoy #weloveyou
Posted by Pray for Joy on Saturday, March 25, 2017
Then, six months after Joy’s drowning, Kristin decided it was time to take Joy back in the water — where she almost lost her life.
Friends and prayer warriors, who are so dear to my heart, I am happy to share some healing news with you all. ❤️This…
She wrote, in part, on Facebook:
This past week for the first time since Joy’s drowning 6 months ago I was able to get in our pool with her (the same pool that we found Joy floating face down and lifeless in). Still brings tears to my eyes as I type that…
I honestly did not think I would ever reach the point where I would be able to take Joy swimming in the same pool that she drowned in. The memory of her floating has just been too hard and traumatic. So, as you can imagine, this is a mighty big step in the healing process for me.
Joy had been taking swimming lessons for weeks, but Kristin felt uncomfortable carrying her daughter back into the pool where she drowned.
The mom of five didn’t like when Joy went all the way under the water, but she realized that the healing process would take some time:
… My panic is lessening with each swim. AND I am actually starting to enjoy the water again and beginning to relish in Joy’s smiles as she swims, kicks and tries to blow bubbles.
Now, Kristin is simply grateful for every new day she has to learn and grow with her daughter.
Posted by Pray for Joy on Wednesday, July 19, 2017