Fact Check: Prayer Request For Olivia Is NOT Current

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Prayer Request For Olivia Is NOT Current 2017 Photo

Did the aunt of a 7-month-old baby recently post a prayer request after the baby, Olivia, had open-heart surgery? No, that's not true: While this prayer request was originally posted by Olivia's aunt on October 11, 2017, this post is no longer current and is now being circulated by people who are not her aunt.

The prayer request and photo were originally posted on October 11, 2017, by Crystal Green and edited to add a link to a gofundme several days later. The photo and text from the original post without the gofundme link resurfaced in 2021, such as this post published on Facebook on July 10, 2021. The caption of the post reads:

All my Facebook friends and family I never ask for much but tonight I really need a favor.. my niece Olivia is 7 months old she had open heart surgery and isn't doing well so can you all please pray for her... please $hare her picture in hopes of as many prayers as she can get and for her recovery
Prayer Request from Crystal Green
#gratefulchallenge please pray for this baby and the family

This is what the post looked like on Facebook on September 7, 2021:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Sep 7 14:07:56 2021 UTC)

Lead Stories reached out by telephone to Olivia's grandmother on September 7, 2021, who we are not naming for the privacy of the family. She conveyed that Olivia is very much loved, is 4½ years old, requires 24-hour care and may need to have more heart surgery in the future.

Lead Stories has written about the misuse of prayer requests and photos of hospitalized children for social media engagement in the past, (here and here).

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Southeastern Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


 

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