Alabama woman, 92, rallies from kidney failure to see first great-great-granddaughter

Credit: Kevin Frayer

Credit: Kevin Frayer

A 92-year-old Alabama woman dying of kidney failure was determined to see her first great-great-granddaughter. On Jan. 31, she got her wish.

Two months ago, doctors had told the family of Jean Roper that the Trussville resident only had a few weeks to live, People reported.

“It was very hard for all of us to think that we were going to lose her,” said Roper’s great-granddaughter, Kayla Tracy. She’s always been the heart of our family.”

Then something remarkable happened.

Tracy’s sister, Amber Harris, was about to give birth to her first child and told Roper the baby girl would be named after her. Roper’s condition began to improve, People reported.

“She was over the moon with excitement,” Tracy told People, “She kept telling everyone, ‘I just want to live long enough to see that baby girl.’”

Roper and her husband, Edward, have been married since 1943. They had three children, seven grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great grandchildren, but almost all of them are boys.

“To know that she was going to soon have a great-great granddaughter was like medicine for her,” Tracy told People. “It was so amazing to watch her transformation that I knew I had to document it.”

A photographer with her own business, Kayla Tracy Photography, Tracy began to spend more time with her great-great-grandmother and documented her improving health.

The birth of Magnolia Jean Harris “absolutely helped me to survive and pull through my diagnosis,” Jean told People.

“She helped keep my mind off how weak and terrible I felt,” she said, “and I thought she was the most beautiful baby girl I’d ever seen. She was so tiny and every part of her was just perfect.”

On March 5, the Ropers celebrated another milestone -- their 75th wedding anniversary. The couple met on a blind date in 1941, People reported.

“I thought he was mighty handsome, as well as kind and gentle,” Jean told People.

“And I thought enough of her to ask her on a second date,” Edward Roper told People. “I mean, she was such a doll.”

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