‘Jesus is the Winner,’ sings student recovering from brain bleed
Malori Maddox’s heart is overflowing with the prayers of believers around the world as she recovers from a deadly tangle of blood vessels in her brain.
On her Facebook page, “Pray for Malori,” her family expressed thanks “for every visit, card, text, hug and every generous gift. … Thank you God for every doctor, nurse, therapist and custodian we have encountered.”
Maddox, 20, a volleyball player for Lubbock Christian University in Texas and a member of the Green Lawn Church of Christ, came off the court during a Nov. 10 game against Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. Her vision became blurry, and she lost sight in her right eye. Her head began throbbing in pain. She collapsed in the locker room.
At a nearby ER, doctors found a brain bleed caused by an arteriovenous malformation, an abnormal connection between arteries and veins. Maddox underwent emergency surgery. By the next day she was in Zale Lipshy University Hospital in Dallas, where she will remain until at least mid-January.
Love and support poured in from Maddox’s teammates, family, friends, social media followers and even children in Africa to whom she ministered during a mission trip. The children sent a video to the Facebook page and told Maddox that their prayers are sent “in Jesus’ name.”
“Pray for Malori” has attracted more than 14,000 likes as Maddox’s family posts updates and fundraising opportunities to assist with medical bills. The page features videos of Maddox’s recovery, including one of her and her family singing “Jesus is the Winner,” a song from her Africa trip.
From her hospital bed, a smiling Malori Maddox gives a thumbs-up to supporters. (WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/PRAYFORMALORI)
Brooks Stephenson, a friend and a student at Oklahoma Christian University in Oklahoma City, described the Maddox family as a blessing to anyone who interacts with them.
“That’s part of the reason why it was so tough to see all this happen — the age-old question of why do these things happen to good people,” Stephenson said. “And we’re talking about Malori, who’s one of the best we have.”
Johnna Prather praised Maddox’s spirit in a column for Lubbock Christian’s student publication, The Duster Today.
“She is the definition of a joyful person, and the past month does not seem to have changed that about her,” Prather wrote. Maddox demonstrates joy “in all circumstances,” Prather added, referencing the apostle Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians 5.
On Nov. 19 Maddox was able to feed herself for the first time since the surgery. Four days later doctors successfully removed the drain that relieves pressure on her brain.
Though she’s made great strides, Maddox faces hurdles as she recovers. She receives therapy for speech and memory skills. She does not always remember her name, shapes, colors, letters and numbers.
“If it had to happen to somebody,” Stephenson said, “at least Mal and her family had the support to handle it in such a God-glorifying way.”