Prayer Requests for Dakota, Boy Airlifted with Repeated Seizures –Unproven! 

Summary of eRumor:

Prayer requests for a boy named Dakota who was suffering from continuous seizures and was airlifted to a hospital in Dallas made the rounds on social media in December 2016 and May 2017.

The Truth:

Prayer requests for a boy named Dakota who was reportedly suffering from continuous seizures have been widely circulated on social media, but we weren’t able to verify that the boy actually exists.

Different versions of the prayer request for Dakota have been circulated since December 2016. These different post make references to a few specific people and places, but we weren’t able to use those details to independently verify details of the prayer request.

One version of the prayer request appeared at an online prayer board managed by Woodland Hills Baptist Church in Longview, Texas. That version contained a few specific details, including Dakota’s last name,”Wells,” and that he was from the Big Sandy area of Texas:

Please pray for Dakota Wells. He is a child from Big Sandy  area … he is having continuous seizures and has been air lifted  to Dallas. Please pray for his healing … pray for his family and the Medical staff taking care of him. Thanks

Those details, however, proved fruitless as we were unable to track down a boy or family by the name of Dakota Wells there. We also didn’t find any reference to a boy named Dakota Wells in news reports, obituaries, or online family lineage sites covering the areas surrounding Big Sandy.

Social media users posting another version of the prayer request for Dakota say that he’s the grandson of a friend or of a friend’s cousin in December 2016. One version actually identifies a woman named Joyce Randolph as Dakota’s grandmother. The original poster later added that she had shared the prayer request “not knowing if its real.”

Another version of the prayer request for Dakota that began circulating in May 2017 identifies Dakota’s father as “Michael Bass.” Again, we couldn’t find any record of a man named Michael Bass with a son named Dakota:

And it should be noted that the May 2017 version of the prayer request is nearly identical to the version that circulated in December 2016, aside from the name Michael Bass, which means that the may version would, at the very least, be out of date.

Expanding our search, we found a number of news stories related to children named Dakota suffering from continuous seizures — but none that matched the particulars of the prayer request for Dakota. A report that appeared in the U.K.’s Mirror in 2015, for example, told of a little girl name Dakota from Massachusetts who was suffering from continuous seizures — 80 a day — and needed to undergo a pioneering surgery:

Little Dakota Roberts was born with West Syndrome, a one-in-250,000 condition. Her mum and dad need to raise the cash so that she can have surgery in Massachusetts, US.

After being resuscitated, she was diagnosed with meningitis, which she survived, with the epileptic condition infantile spasm seizures – known as West Syndrome – and with cerebral palsy.

The epileptic condition causes Dakota up to 80 seizures a day.

She spent Christmas in hospital after contracting an infection but parents Amy Trow, 22, and her partner Daniel Roberts, 28, are fighting back on her behalf.

They have kicked off the New Year with a fundraising drive to raise £20,000 for pioneering surgery at a hospital in Massachusetts. Little Dakota, who turned one in October, is still in the children’s ward at Wrexham Maelor Hospital with her mum at her bedside.

Even though that version hits on a few of the particulars for the prayer request for Dakota — the age, name, condition — of the child, other important details don’t match. In the end, we weren’t able to confirm prayer requests for Dakota that have been circulating Facebook since December 2016.

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Collected on: 05/03/2017