Condition of BYU Coach’s Daughter “Continues to Slowly Slip”

byu coach elsie mahe

byu coach elsie mahe

Elsie Mahe, the 3-year-old daughter of BYU running backs coach Reno Mahe, suffered severe respiratory distress last week after a tragic accident in her home. While there has been a collective hope that a miracle who restore Elsie to full health, an update from her mother last night revealed that will most likely not happen.

“Elsie’s condition continues to slowly slip. And yet we feel peace. Something that I had grappled with early on in the MRI diagnosis was “why was I able to save her, yet I was not able to save her?”

There were many miracles that I witnessed in the process of finding Elsie, performing CPR, and ultimately transporting her to the hospital.

I never really watch neighbors’ kids. Often, I think they wouldn’t think to ask me because I have so many of my own. I also am typically ashamed at being unable to keep up with the house and the mess that 7 kids make, so I don’t volunteer.

But my in laws had come and cleaned out my garages and basement the weekend before and the house was in acceptable enough condition that when a friend asked if I could watch her kids that morning, I said yes. If not for her little girl being at my home, I would not have found Elsie. While performing CPR (which I have never done before and only took one class for girls camp certification in high school, another recognized miracle), I sent my son Tank for help. My neighbor “happened” to be running a little late for work and was already walking out the door. Because we live here in Utah, where many members of our faith reside, my neighbor already had consecrated oil to give her a priesthood blessing. The first responders on the scene from the 911 call just “happened” to be at Cabela’s – less than 3 minutes from my home.

And so I had hoped that these miracles would preclude the miracle of Elsie’s life being preserved. But her brain is only functioning enough to give her body oxygen and perform very basic functions and those have begun to decline as well.

We received some much needed clarity while worshiping at the Salt Lake City Temple. The miraculous healing we have been praying for is not FOR Elsie, but FROM Elsie. We met this morning with a representative from the hospital organ donation team and feel confident that this is the Lord’s will for Elsie – to be a life saving miracle for others. It is not the miracle that we wanted, but it is the one we got. It is still a miracle.

She is comfortable and not in pain. We will stay by her side and continue to love her forever. We do not have a timeline for how long this transition will take.

Your prayers and fasting have been badly needed for Reno and I , for our children and for our extended families. We continue to be attended by angels – seen and unseen – and truly have been given strength beyond our own capacity. Thank you for this gift. My friends of all faiths, thank you for your sustaining love, support, prayers and fasts. I believe it to be the reason I have not fallen to pieces and am able to be a strength to my family. May the Lord bless each of you for your caring and kindness to my family.”

Through this whole tragedy, the Mahe family has been an incredible example of a family that goes forward with faith that the will of the Lord will be done. God bless this dear family in the days and weeks ahead which will surely bring with it tender moments of heartache and healing.

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2 Comments

  • About 7 months ago we lost our 2, almost 3 year old, daughter. She had been diagnosed with cancer 10 months prior. We had hoped and prayed for a miracle, but something that we came to realize was that she WAS the miracle. So many people who followed her story came to find, or redefine their view of God. While the pain of loosing your child hurts more than anyone can every know, I’m so glad you found peace and comfort in your own daughter’s miracle. And what a miracle! How amazing (and I imagine so hard) that you are willing to give for others. Love and prayers from a fellow parent who knows, to a small and oh so different degree.

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