Update: Daughter of BYU assistant coach Reno Mahe ‘continues to slowly slip’

Elsie Mahe. Photo: Facebook

LEHI, Utah, Nov. 27, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Nearly a week after her accidental choking by a mini-blind cord, the 3-year-old daughter of Reno Mahe — BYU running backs coach and former NFL player —  continues to fight for her life at Primary Children’s Hospital.

Mahe’s wife Sunny posted on Facebook Sunday that after the Tuesday accident, “Elsie’s condition continues to slowly slip. And yet we feel peace.”

The blind cord cut off Elsie’s air supply for an unknown amount of time. After Elsie’s playmate alerted Sunny, she performed CPR, and called medics who rushed Elsie to Primary Children’s Hospital for assessment and care. The toddler has remained there ever since.

Sunny Mahe posted to the Mahe Update Facebook page, which has 5,292 followers, at approximately 2:40 p.m. Sunday. The post has a strong element of faith. Reno and Sunny Mahe and their eight children are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The post reads, in full:

“John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

“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 worshipping 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.”

The Facebook page also has shared information on what doctors initially found. Elsie was sedated, and a ventilator helped her breathe. Doctors found no swelling or blood on the brain, but family members were warned that could change. The toddler had no broken bones. Her period of oxygen deprivation is the cause of her critical injuries.

A later post revealed that Elsie was breathing on her own, and had responded to a finger pinch, but doctors had warned that it was still too early to know the child’s prognosis.

A GoFundMe page was created to support the family, with $44,323 of a $50,000 goal raised in just five days, as of 4 p.m. Sunday.

Reno Mahe, who both attended and played for BYU, spent five seasons in the NFL for the Philadelphia Eagles and played in Super Bowl XXXIX as a member of the 2004 NFC Championship team.


  1. Our love to the Reno and Sunny Mahe family. You have always given much to others and we all love you. We pray for you at this difficult time. Your angel will always be yours and when we are all back home in the future, all of this will seem like only a flicker in time. With great love for you and faith in Father’s plan, The Escalante Family

  2. God is a miracle God let’s all stand unity in faith and pray pray for God’s favors over your precious beautiful daughter. God bless you all abundantly

  3. Sonny and Reno,
    Please know that your Westfield Dental family is sorry to hear about your daughter and know that we are keeping you all in our prayers. We admire your faith and pray for God’s will in your lives.
    Westfield Dental
    Doctors David Ashmore, Jason Derr
    and Staff

  4. I am so sorry that this sweet angel and her family are in the middle of this challenge. It’s a little hard to read about someone else experiencing what we did in May. There are impossible moments of grief and there are unheard of moments of miracles even now. Our daughter passed away almost exactly 5 months after her big brother lost his battle with mental illness. They left 4 siblings behind. We have the most loving attentive angels now who we know so well. That in and of itself is transformational. We are of the same faith on the other side of the country. We’llbhold you all in our hearts and prayers. As my niece did for us, we’ll join in claiming miracles for your family. ???????? http://www.mybluehearts.wordpress.com

    • You had two children die and you are able to move on. How old were your children. I would be in a mental facility if I had two children die.

  5. May the good lord put his loving arms around your beautiful daughter and give her peace and to her loving parents be strong for the good lord stands beside you both and give u both courage to continue to pray and believe
    In the lord for our lord is a loving God he will comfort you both and will always be there God bless. Love the Se’e Ohana

  6. I read your heartful story of FAITH for little but strong Elsie and automatically talked to GOD, To please come to her rescue as her angels are keeping her comforting, I told God if he wanted her time and for some reason had a plan for Elsie, why such an accident like that would he design, so God doesn’t or didn’t plan that to happen , sooooo he’s giving her a speedy recovery and is at Elsies Rescue to every second strenghening what he gave her to renew a greater breath of Life Once Again, Her time on earth is full of plans because of FAITH! Father Christ is getting her all better, Cause Elsie Believes, you your all family, friends, and I Believe………AMEN….Honi Honi’s ….The Freitas’s

  7. Your words of strength have brought all of us much comfort at this difficult time. We lost a 14 month old son , due to an auto accident many years ago. Such a difficult time, but the Gospel is the strength we all need. Things like this will never be forgotten, but healing will occur and you will find peace. The great blessing comes just to know we will all be reunited as an eternal family. May God continue to bless you. Love, Sheila Stegman, Fort Collins, Colorado

  8. I really do give you condolences for the loss of your precious little girl! But at the same time after watching, reading and following your story I REALLY feel like you didn’t want her anymore and that you just wanted to donate her organs. Forgive me if I’m wrong but that is what I’m seeing and reading. I honestly feel like you should have given her more time to heal rather then JUST a week!


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