A baby born without a brain four decades ago says God created a brain for him and is inspiring others with his powerful testimony.
Jacob Phillips, 44, who is a resident of West Monroe, Louisiana, shares his story, which began at Louisiana’s Bossier General Hospital on Dec. 12, 1977. He was delivered by Caesarean section with “triple trouble,” and his doctors weren’t too hopeful that he would survive.
“I was born with hydrocephalus, more commonly known as water on the brain. I also had partial skull formation, which means I barely had any skull, [and] to top it all off, I had no brain,” Phillips said.
He adds, “My brain stem was what was keeping me alive. Finding this out, the doctor told my parents and family I wouldn’t live through the hour. I was given an immediate death sentence. I credit my faith in God for where I am today. I strive to keep a close relationship with God because He gave me what I needed to live.”
Phillips was blessed to have a Christian mother who prayed for God’s intervention and never gave up on him even. She had suffered a miscarriage with her first baby before some time he was born and on the day he was delivered, his dad was “extremely distraught”. “I can’t imagine what was going through [my mom’s] mind when the doctor gave the bad news. My dad was a quiet man who didn’t say much,” Phillips said.
The family received an outpouring of support from Phillips’s grandparents’ church in West Monroe. Phillips’s mother threatened to wheel herself to the nursery to feed her ailing son, despite her doctor’s disapproval, and she received the support she needed.
“I remember my grandmother telling me once that she told the doctor I wasn’t going to die. She looked him in the eye and said, ‘You don’t know what my God can do!’” Phillips said.
God created a brain
While the family was clinging on to their faith in God for Phillips, his nurse Susie also demonstrated her faith and called her pastor Don Logan, of nearby Shreveport, with the approval of his mother. Phillips’s grandparents also called their own pastor in West Monroe, Loel Ashbrook, whose friend, Duane Amis, happened to be in the office when they called.
“I call these three men the Power Trio,” said Phillips. “They came to the hospital to pray for me. God created a brain in my head because of the preachers’ prayer.” In his book ‘Born Without A Brain,’ Phillips has mentioned Nurse Susie’s recollections that she sent him via Facebook messenger, from a conversation she had with Pastor Duane Amis in 2014.
Nurse Susie wrote: “I remember the baby without a brain. His head was shaped like a peanut. He had hydrocephalus. We transferred him to Ochsner’s Hospital in New Orleans. The Lord healed that child. The neurosurgeon called him a vegetable that day; I was infuriated! The baby’s head was so filled with fluid, doctors didn’t know if surgery would help. I think Jacob [Phillips] was 3 when his mom brought him back to see me. I wept that day! I am so thankful the Lord let me see His power.”
Phillips who is legally blind and has undergone 25 surgeries in his life, beginning with a major surgery at 1 week old to have a shunt fitted in his head to correct hydrocephalus. The doctors later built him a skull using bone grafts. But at the age of 10, Phillips met with a life-threatening situation when his his shunt “supposedly malfunctioned.” He couldn’t hold down food and spent 26 days in hospital, where the shunt was replaced, and a stomach cyst caused by the malfunction was removed.
Phillips was bullied from preschool to high school because of the way he looked and felt better at home because almost every day he would return from school in tears. “That part of my life has been difficult to overcome, but I have left it behind for the most part,” he reflected. “I don’t really have a philosophy I live by; I just take one day at a time.”
He says that growing up amid people of faith helped him to overcome the negativity around him and he became “born again” at 10 years of age in his uncle’s children’s church. He was called into ministry at the early age of 17, and after 25 years he became a licensed and ordained evangelist minister.
He and his wife of 12 years, Charlene, 42, run a ministry called ‘Sons of Righteousness’ and travel across the country to share the goodness of God, “We met when I was 18, and she was 16, through a mutual friend over the phone,” Phillips said. “I went to see her a few days later, and when I stepped out of the car, I took one look at her and said, ‘I’m going to marry that girl one day.’ I couldn’t ask for anyone better.”
Phillips’ book “Born Without a Brain,” share the story of his life and inspire others in faith. He had to wait for 9 years to publish it. “I have a friend in Oregon who helped me get started, and a friend in Mississippi hooked me up with a publisher in West Virginia who would ultimately help me get published on Amazon,” he said. “I wanted to get my story out to show God still does miracles, and He wants to do something in the lives of others.”
Phillips has a message for all of us who are struggling, he says to pray to God about it. “I’m huge on having a solid prayer life,” he said. “There is nothing in this life that can’t be overcome.”
Are you inspired by this amazing testimony of Phillips? Share this story with your friends and family.