Marybeth Hicks

But cutting the umbilical cord didn’t end Pearl’s life. Instead, she has proven herself a fighter who is defying all odds and using her imperfect, profound little body to reach into the hearts of people far and wide.

Across their Nashville, Tenn., community and into the far reaches of cyberspace, Pearl Joy Brown has stirred friends and strangers alike to rally around her family, enveloping them in care and prayer.

Now, the medical staff at Vanderbilt University Hospital where she is being treated have created a care plan — a life plan — for Pearl, acknowledging that this tiny soul appears to be going about the business of living, not dying.

And just by living, Pearl is changing the world around her.

“I see the humanity of an unborn baby more clearly than I ever did,” her father says. “And because of Pearl, I have fallen in love with humanity once again. For years I was cynical, but even in the worst of this, I see people connecting, responding, and walking with us.

“I don’t know how long we have with Pearl, but I believe one day she’ll be made whole. Now I’m not even sure of what that means.”

Perhaps wholeness means Pearl will be completely developed within a metaphysical body, as Scripture tells us to expect.

Or perhaps wholeness means the rest of us simply will see Pearl as God already sees her — complete and perfect in his image and likeness.

If you want to see what a perfect little baby Pearl Joy is, or wish to offer the family your support, visit

Marybeth Hicks

Marybeth Hicks is the author of Don't Let the Kids Drink the Kool-Aid: Confronting the Left's Assault on Our Families, Faith, and Freedom (Regnery Publishers, 2011).