Monday, January 4, 2010

And He was there with Melissa....

Melissa - January 1, 2010

November 27th. ER Trauma room

Do I believe in miracles? Oh, yes. I believe. I have seen miracles. I AM a miracle. My daughter, Melissa, is a miracle.

When I think back to that Friday morning, November 27th, God readily reminds me of what He did in Melissa's life beginning that very day. Indeed, a miracle had just started taking shape.

After several days of feeling bad and not getting any better, I knew that it was time for Melissa to go to the doctor. She didn't want to go. She said she was too weak to get up and get in the car. All the doctors offices were closed due to the Thankskgiving holiday, but I finally managed to get her up and out the door and we headed to the ER at our local, small-town hospital. I was still thinking that she had the flu and just needed some medicine and then we would be on our way home.

When we got there, the nurse asked Melissa what was wrong and she said in a very soft voice, "I think I have malaria". I wish you could have seen the look on the nurses face as she took a step back and just kinda looked at us both for a moment.

Melissa quietly told her it wasn't contagious, but explained about her trip to Africa for 10 weeks and said that she had been home for 10 days, so with the incubation period,  it was possible that she did have it. Melissa saw a lot of malaria while she was working at the hospital in Cameroon, Africa. She was familiar with the symptoms and treatment of it. Most of the time they gave them medicine for 3 days and then they went home, so she didn't seem too worried about it.

As I really began looking at Melissa while we were waiting, I noticed that her eyes and face seemed very yellow. She had been in bed the last few days in the dark, so I hadn't really had a chance to see her face very well. I quietly took out my compact to look at my eyes in that room lighting and my eyes were very white. I handed the mirror to Melissa so she could look at hers and she was a little taken aback and just looked at me with fear in her eyes. It was at that moment that I knew there was something seriously wrong with my baby girl. My heart began beating fast. But, He was there.

As the girl from the lab came in to draw blood, I had her look at Melissa's face and eyes. She agreed that she was very yellow and after she drew several tubes of blood, left to go find the doctor.

The doctor on call sent for another doctor, Dr. Toe Ho, who is from the Philippines, and she was very familiar with malaria. Once she arrived, things started moving and they began drawing more blood and asking many questions. I had told her about Melissa's eyes and skin color and she said that she was definitely jaundiced.

When Dr. Toe Ho came back in, she told me that she herself had done a blood smear and lyced the red blood cells and that based on her knowledge, she was 99% sure that she had malaria. She also noted that her platelets were extremely low - 19,000 - and said that Melissa needed to be at a bigger hospital, where they could give her platelets if necessary.

After 5 hours at the ER in Oak Grove, Melissa was headed to Monroe by ambulance. I was alone as my husband had left that morning for New Orleans to watch a football game. He didn't have his vehicle and had no way home. I was scared and I was angry.  My heart was racing and anxiety was threatening to take over. I began to pray and to seek comfort in the Lord. And He was there.

The next 12 hours  are a blur. We wound up in the ER trauma room all night until they could find her a room in ICU. The doctor on call, Dr. Warnke, was from India and he was very familiar with malaria - God just kept putting the right doctors in the right place.

They spent the better part of the night and morning researching on the computer and trying to find her the medicine that she needed. They contacted CDC in Atlanta and by that afternoon on Saturday, her clinical trial doses of Artesunate and Malarone, were being flown to Monroe on a Delta flight and being picked up by a pharmacist and delivered to the hospital. Her first dose was given with much fanfare. Many came to watch, as this was something new and different.

Final diagnosis was P. Falciparum severe complicated malaria. The parasites had taken over her red blood cells. They had destroyed her platelets. They had settled in her liver and spleen, causing enlargement and pain. Her AST liver enzymes were in the 300's - normal is 5-40. Her hemoglobin fell to below 6 (normal is 12-15). She was almost at the point of blood transfusion, but God took over. Her bilrubin was over 16 - normal is .3-1 mg/dL. Her platelets dropped overnight to 11,000. She was 1,000 away from getting platelets. But God took over. She had fever spikes to 105. She was lethargic and weak. She hurt all over her body. She was retaining fluid from the systematic nature of the illness. She was a very sick girl, or as Dr. Parker put it, "she's one sick little puppy."

Each step of the way, God was there. He was guiding, leading, comforting, strengthening. He was performing a miracle on Melissa. He was letting others see His power and might. He was helping me learn to lean on Him more readily. He was there.

Over the next 6 days, Melissa slowly began to heal. Her counts began to normailze and she began to have a little more energy. By the time we brought her home, she was still very weak, but she was on the road to full recovery. And God was still working.

 At her last 3 check-ups, she has steadily gotten better results. Her last lab work showed her liver enzymes to be normal for the first time. ALT was 32 and AST was 36! Her platelets were 274,000. Her bilirubin was 1.8 ( a little high, but still very good.) Her hemoglobin was still only 10, but he said she was making so many red blood cells, that the differential of them was causing it to be a little low. She goes back on the 28th for more blood work, since her numbers were still a little off.

Did God perform a miracle? Oh, yes. He took my sick little girl, and put the right people in the right place at just the right time. He healed her body. He healed her soul. He was there.

Did this miracle impact others? Oh, indeed. Doctors that came in heard us giving glory to God in all things. Nurses heard the gospel. People in the ICU waiting room were witness to His sovereignty and power. Everyone that asks about her gets to hear about the miracle of her healing.

After 5 weeks, Melissa was finally feeling good enough to get out of the house. She went with a group of 40 kids from her church in Baton Rouge to the Passion 2010 conference in Atlanta. She wasn't feeling well as they left that Saturday morning at 4 am, and called me crying, but I prayed with her over the phone and she was determined to go. I told her if the devil was that intent on causing her to miss it, that God has something amazing for her to experience! She is having a wonderful time and I look forward to hearing about her trip. God saved her for a purpose. He saved her spiritually and he saved her physically.

And He was there all the time.



chadandnikki said...

So glad she's doing much better. We've been praying for your entire family.

mholgate said...

God be praised for your miracle! :)

Happy New Year!

Andrea said...

I am praising GOD for the miracle I witness through you and Melissa. Thank you for continuing to share Melissa's journey of faith and healing with us. HE will continue to do a miraculous work in and through her life.

Blessings and hugs,

3 Blessings said...

Such a beautiful miracle. Thanks be to God.

Yolanda said...

Beth, that is such a beautiful picture of God's miracle working power TODAY. Not just yesterday, like 2,000 plus years ago, but TODAY. GLORY TO GOD!

I have a young friend that is at Passion 2010 as well!


Irritable Mother said...

What a wonderful, wonderful testimony, Beth!

To GOD be the glory!!!

Would you choose to go through the whole thing again? Mmmmm, probably not. But what a wonderful thing God has done in the lives of so many, because of the trial He allowed you and Melissa to endure.

Praising Him with you!

Heart2Heart said...


It's so hard to understand the complexities of God's divine plan within all of us, but I am confident and blessed to see just how He was there through it all and just how many people were changed through the entire process of being around Melissa.

Praising God for all His goodness and knowing just what to do to allow her to begin to heal.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Faith Imagined said...

Oh Beth!!! How completely scary!!! I am praising God that your precious daughter is doing better. What a miracle! Thank you for sharing this and I will be praying for Melissa's continued healing.

-Alisa Hope

Jerralea said...

Beth, isn't it wonderful that we know He is there through all the trials we encounter? What if we didn't know Him?

I'm so glad that Melissa is so much better! I know God is going to use her for His glory.

Lisa said...

Praising God with you! Seeing a miracle like this will cause you to never be the same. Your faith will be so much deeper, your love for Him so much greater. May we never forget His healing power!

Blessings ~ Lisa

Beth E. said...

What a wonderful, awesome, mighty God we have! I'm so glad that Melissa is better.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my! Amen and Amen. I have kept up with Melissa throughout this but reading this just now brings it ALL back to present memory and all I can say is, "What a Mighty God we serve!" Praising HIm along with you and everyone else!
With love and prayers, ~ linda

Anonymous said...

Tears are springing from my eyes... thanks so much for sharing. I've wondered and prayed for her and your family. She's so beautiful and she is a miracle. I'm so glad He was and is and always will be there (here, too!)

Nancy M. said...

Awesome testimony! I am so glad she's feeling better!

Nezzy said...

God is good. This is a miracle for your gal, Melissa. That stinkin' devil will throw a wrench in things anytime he can. Aren't you ecstatic that our God reins!

Have a wonderful day and enjoy your miracle!!!

sonja said...

Yes, He was there all the time! Isn't it incredible to walk through times like these and know that He is there. It changes us.

I've loved sharing in prayer for Melissa and now to see her sweet face in the picture... worth 1000 words!


A Stone Gatherer said...

Oh Beth what an ordeal! But also what God moments! So glad she is better now!


Amen to all of it --- and she looks so beautiful and HEALTHY!!!
Praise God from Whom ALL blessings flow!!

Choosing GREAT JOY with you,
JESUS ONLY in 2010

Annesta said...

God is good, all the time! Thank you for sharing that story. How amazing!
May God continue to bless you and strengthen your daughter.
My faith has been strengthened by your story.

Jackie said...

Oh, Beth - I weep and rejoice all at the same time for the miracles He has done for our daughters!! As I read your post I sooo related to the miracle journey you and Melissa have been walking through. So overjoyed that she is able to be to the conference in Atlanta! Can't wait to hear what God ministered to her while there!

I'm finally catching my breath from such a miraculous whirlwind December and wanted to stop by and thank you so much for your faith-filled prayers for Katie! There aren't enough words to express how much your prayers and the prayers others strengthened me and ministered to Katie! God literally brought her back to life! Praise His Name for Evermore!!! We serve an awesome God!!!

Sweet Blessings!

Anonymous said...

Praising God with you, Beth, for Melissa's healing!


Greg C said...

Praise God for saving her. He does have a purpose for her. I bet it is something great.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

An astounding miracle indeed. Thanks for the update. I pray that with every passing day, Melissa's health will continue to improve and bring her back to fullness of life!

What a joy to share in the healing!


Nancy said...

That is a remarkable story of God's healing power and I'm glad that Melissa is getting better all the time.

kanishk said...

But what a wonderful thing God has done in the lives of so many, because of the trial He allowed you and Melissa to endure.

Work from home India

lisasmith said...

Reading about melissa's miracle this morning. Building my own faith. And lifting your precious family.

love you, lisa xoxo