May 2024


Austin proudly earned his Arrow of Light award during his transition from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts.

In 2018, five-year-old Austin took to the field, playing T-ball for the Rangers.

Austin completed the entire course at the Kids Run the Line event in February 2023.

full of COVID pneumonia that they had actually begun to collapse. There was no air moving into the lower part of either lung. So, they determined, based on all the evidence, that Austin was looking at around 30 days on a vent before his lungs would heal enough to breathe on their own.” However, just as he had defied all other odds, eight days later, he was extubated, and less than a week after that, they were headed home. In September of that same year, less than three months after his diagnosis of COVID, there was absolutely no evidence that he had ever had it. There was no scarring on his lungs, no residual cough, and no complications from being on the vent. “It was purely God that brought us through that time,” said Armstrong. “The amount of people who rallied around us and prayed constantly for us was surreal. Complete strangers were crying out to God to heal Austin and protect his frail body. It was breathtaking, to say the least. “ Taylor has impacted many over the years. Morgan Morton, Children’s Director at First Baptist Wake Village, said, “Ministering to Austin has been different from ministering to any other child the Lord has trusted me with. Having a child in your ministry who is so very aware of mortality is significantly rare. Watching Austin flesh out his knowledge of this while also lining it up with the love that God has shown us through Jesus Christ has been an amazing blessing to me. Watching him process his emotions about what he is dealing with while listening to the Biblical truths the Lord has given me to teach, seeing him tear up—many adults would walk away from

their faith because the pain is too much. But Austin has persevered. He continues to come. He continues to listen. He remains faithful to our God. It has been an incredible encouragement to me as his minister, but also God has used it to minister to me in my life. It’s amazing how our Lord does this.” These days, Taylor spends his time playing video games with Red Lick School’s esports team, drawing, and playing percussion in the middle school band. He is an active member of his Boy Scout troop and is on the path to gaining his Eagle Scout in the coming years. He is a member of his church youth group. When he is down mentally, he takes quiet time to either play video games or watch YouTube. When he is down physically, he tries to sleep until the pain subsides. He is learning how to live an active and wonderful life in spite of his diagnosis. From Taylor’s resilience in the face of adversity, Armstrong has learned many profound lessons. “He handles everything with so much more grace and strength than I ever could. Even in his darkest times, he can still put a smile on his face and find something to be grateful for. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have sad moments, scared moments, and fears, but he never stays in those moments for long… I encourage him to remember that he is allowed to feel all of his feelings, but he is in complete control of how he reacts to those feelings. He can either let those feelings control his life, or he can trust that God has prepared him with enough strength to get through whatever it is he’s going through.”



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