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  • Writer's pictureTia Louise Reilly

Colleen "Cole" Michele Reilly

Last week we asked you to pray for Colleen who had been hospitalized for a lung infection (they still do not know if it was an atypical pneumonia or other infection). The infection inflamed her lungs and made them unable to work in a healthy way. She had been from a small hospital to a larger one, and when that medical crew was unable to improve her condition, she was moved to the Cardiac Care Unit in a larger hospital. On Tuesday the doctors intubated her, and on Wednesday Tia flew up from Costa Rica to help out. Tia was able to visit with Colleen Wednesday night.

Wednesday night became precarious health wise. Deciding that she needed to be put on a lung/heart machine to give her lungs a break, the doctors decided to care-flight her to OSU Medical Center. During the move to the helicopter pad, one lung collapsed, and they had to abort that mission and bring her back to steady vitals. The next day (Thursday), they tried the move again. Delays occurred three times through the course of the day. First stormy weather, then pilot maxing out his flight hours, and then more bad weather.

Photo by Bekah R.

Thoughout all of these hours over a thousand people have been praying individually, in groups, on the street in front of her photography studio, in their homes. We have been so blessed and loved through the words and prayers of more people than we can count. (Thank you Bekah R. for the photo.)

Here follow the hardest words I have ever written.

After the medflight was aborted and she was moved back to her CCU room, Colleen went into cardiac arrest. We do not know why God answered our prayers the way He did, but we trust Him in His sovereignty and love. We know He is showing now to Colleen more love than we ever can, and He will do the same for us. The medical teams at Kettering Hospital did everything they could to bring her back here to us, but the Lord took her to Him.

We still do not know the cause of the aggressive infection. We know many of you have expressed love and we have not had the chance to read/answer, but please know that every word and prayer are treasures to us.

Our Pastor Craig Miller posted this about Colleen:

Pastor's Update

Sad News; Prayers Needed

It is a very sad morning for me as I let you know that Colleen (Cole) Reilly left her earthly life early this morning after a two week hospitalization for pneumonia. She was 24. Her condition continued to worsen to the point where medical efforts could not reverse the damage done. Many of us have been praying more and more urgently that God would spare her life here, but in his wise and loving will he knew better things were in store for her in his presence. We grieve with the family: her parents, Kevin and Tia (Grace members and missionaries in Costa Rica), her sisters Katy (and husband Darren) and Tara, her brother Sean and his wife Christina, and their children--Galen and Tali. Pray for Cole's boyfriend, Tanner Keuch, her roommate, Heather Herbst, and her many friends, as well. Cole's faith was strong, her love for Jesus evident, and in the midst of our sorrow we recognize that there is no sadness in Cole's heart right now--in fact, she is the one among us all who has no pain in this event, as she is in the presence of Jesus and all the rest who have gone before. She was an amazing photographer, and served so many people well, including the children of Grace. She finished her course, even if she and others thought there was more for her to do. At the same time, it just feels as if it was much too sudden and much too short. And so we feel this loss so deeply. At this time, the family is still coming together and dealing with this shock, but as arrangements are made we will let you know what they are. Please keep all the Reillys in your prayers, as well as those who have been particularly close to them and this situation.

Pastor Craig Miller


Answer me quickly,

O Lord! My spirit fails! Hide not your face from me, lest I be like those who go down to the pit. Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

Psalms 143:7-8

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