With my husband’s chronic unemployment and health issues, cash is very tight most of the time. When telemarketers call, even for good causes, I simply do not have the resources to help out. Usually I try to just get off the phone as soon as possible. A few years ago we had a month when things were not quite as tight. I was able to donate to what sounded like a good cause. It wasn’t much, but it felt good to be able to help someone else. It was only once or twice, but I was glad I could do anything. Since then my name has been on their yearly list, and lets just say some years are better than others. Today they called again. I recognized the telemarketing opening, done by the Firefighters of Utah. Rather than panic because funds are low this month, I listened carefully. They were raising funds to benefit the U of U Burn Camp for children who have been traumatized by burns.
My daughter will be attending that very burn camp this summer. The burn camp does amazing things for children whose lives have been so very difficult and painful. We were highly encouraged to participate because it is such a wonderful experience that will be so very healing for my daughter! We were so excited to find out that people actually did fundraising so that any patient who wanted to could participate without worry about the cost.
What are the odds that I picked this particular fundraiser years ago to donate to over all the many, many worthy causes out there!
One of the wonderful things about our religion is our claim to the biblical priesthood power, or the authority to act in the name of God. This includes the gift of healing. A gift my husband, her father, holds.
As we were preparing to be flown to SLC, we knew that it must be serious and we made arrangements to give her a blessing. In that blessing she was promised that she would have a complete recovery. It seemed very reasonable at the time. We went on with the events that unfolded, comforted in the knowledge that all would end well. It gave us great strength to know she would pull through.
Once she had had her initial evaluation and surgery, the doctor came out and said the exact same words, that he expected a full recovery. As things progress and we have our ups and downs there are days that I wonder if a complete recovery is still possible. It is testing my faith and I am sure hers as well, but deep down in I believe we know all will be well. What a gift.
Yes, it was Friday the 13th when our nightmare began. The blisters did indeed grow overnight and we knew she needed immediate care. Long story short, she was admitted to the emergency room that morning and given the worst case diagnosis. It was Stevens Johnson Syndrome, a devastating syndrome that would make her skin separate and sluff off. Once the reaction was started it would need to run its course. Typically up to 30% of her body would be affected. She would need hospitalization in the burn unit. Only in a few cases was this diagnosis fatal, but our local hospital was simply not equipped to handle this type of problem, so she would need to be flown to a larger hospital for treatment.
We were given the option of flying to Las Vegas or Salt Lake City. We immediately requested Vegas because I had family there. Arrangements were made and I began to prepare to travel to Vegas. In the midst of those preparations the hospital called. They had been rejected by the Vegas hospital because they were full. Her only option now was Salt Lake City, 5 hours away from us. It was an emergency situation, so we did what was needed.
By that night it became apparent that it was again divine intervention that the Las Vegas Hospital was unable to take her. During transport her situation again worsened and spread to more than 30% of her skin. This lead to her having another classification. She suddenly no loner had Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) but TENS – all of her skin inside and out was becoming toxic. (Look it up at your own risk, it is stomach turning.) Her risk of complications and even death had just skyrocketed. Had she arrived in Vegas under those conditions there is a good chance they would have preferred to have her moved to Salt Lake anyway. The hospital here in Salt Lake has a large Burn Unit and is especially well prepared to handle this severe of a case. Upon arrival Katie was immediately assigned to one of the best burn doctors available, and scheduled for life saving, emergency surgery. Even while waiting for her operation she continued to worsen. Finally she was in surgery where 70%+ of her skin was removed to prevent widespread, fatal infections from overcoming her. I won’t go into all the details, but here are the miracles of this terrible day.
Divine intervention put her exactly where she needed to be.
Divine intervention put her in the care she needed at exactly the time when it was most critical that she be there. Her operation shouldn’t have been one minute sooner or later than it was for the best possible outcome.
Miracles of medical knowledge, technology, and faith combined that night to save a young girl’s life. Even a few years ago she may not have survived this.
Tomorrow I will cover the even greater miracle given to us on this day.
If anyone is still interested, I need to re-start recording my daily miracles. My daughter became ill 3 weeks ago and we almost lost her. I am doing the mother vigil thing with her in critical care, and need to record some of the many miracles that have led us to know that she will have a full and complete recovery. Today I think I will start at the very beginning.
My daughter, Katie, was up in the mountains participating in a youth conference with some of her friends. She started to feel ill, but didn’t want to miss out on the activities so she pushed through it. Her joints were aching, but she attributed it to sleeping in a tent on the ground. Her throat also was getting sore, but those things happen. She didn’t want to worry anyone, and she didn’t want to be thought of as being a wimp because she wanted to go home.
Friday night there was a fireside where they spoke about recognizing answers from our Father in Heaven. Katie decided to put those recommendations to the test, and immediately felt strongly that she should go home. It was very late and she was very far from home. Katie spoke up and soon found out that there was a leader heading home who would be happy to take her. She told the appropriate adults, and to her surprise they fully supported her decision. I think they could feel that there was something not quite right as well.
The adult who was heading home shared with Katie that she had been undecided if she should go up or not because it would be very late when it was time to get home, around midnight, but that she felt that someone may need a ride, so she went anyway. Katie was very grateful for the ride. She was also concerned if we would answer the phone to let her in the house. We go to bed pretty early, and by the time Katie was in cell phone range it was almost midnight. That night, however, we had gone to a rare late night movie and had just started off to bed when Katie called. We had no problem letting her in and helping her get settled in.
Katie felt very strongly that the events of that night had been orchestrated in her behalf. And they had. The only thing we did not yet know was how serious this illness would prove to be. Our Father in Heaven knew, and he stepped in to help before we even had a single idea that there was anything seriously wrong. It did not take long before Katie’s ability to recognize this intervention would prove essential to her recovery. One week later, as she was being wheeled into emergency surgery, in the worst pain of her life, we were able to take a moment and together reflect on the ways that Heavenly Father had already opened doors for her, and she was able to acknowledge His hand in preserving her to that point. She was comforted in the understanding that these miracles were not happening so that we could prepare to lose her, but so that we would know that she would come out the other end victorious.
Sometimes beating the odds is simply a matter of chance. Roll the dice enough times, win the lottery, whatever. More often than not, I think Divine Intervention and personal effort can affect outcomes. Today I want to recognize all the couples who beat the odds by remaining married through:
chronic illness or pain
a child with a chronic illness
the loss of a child
financial changes or bankruptcy
different cultural backgrounds
alcoholism or substance abuse
These stresses, and others, decrease the odds of a successful marriage, so if you have experienced any of these roadblocks and find that both partners have worked through things sufficiently that you are happily married to any degree, count it as a miracle.
Yesterday we watched parts of the Rootstech conference. One statistic I had actually heard before, but they reviewed it. I realized they are expecting the impossible, and expecting a miracle, – step one to receiving one.
Indexing is the process of making collected records searchable via computer. Indexing has revolutionized family history work, and billions of records are now available with the click of a button. However, we have so many records to index, it is a nearly impossible project. At current rates, to index just the records that the LDS church has already collected will take 300 years. Wow. That does not include records not yet collected, nor any records from Africa or most of Asia. That said, their goal is to get everything indexed within 20-30 years. I have no doubt that they can reach their goal. They are on a mission, they are pursuing a good work, and they are actively working on solutions. They expect to do their part and they also expect God to do his part. Even if they reach their goal, there will be many more records to work on, but what a great example of expecting a miracle!
We held a family fast this last Sunday for my son. He has finally shown the first signs of being ready to make some long overdue changes. The morning after we had fasted for him he shows up bright and early at our home to help his dad with something. That in and of itself could have been its own miracle as his sleep habits are wildly out of control and he has not felt a desire to help anyone with anything for at least a year. Miracle number two, he was smiling from ear to ear. Smiles are good. Again, he went at least a year, probably more without ever smiling. When I commented on the smile and downright cheerful attitude he just smiled back and told me he was having a great day. At 8 am he was having a great day? Unless I had seen it with my own eyes I wouldn’t have believed that one. I asked him if there was any particular reason he was happy, he told me he wasn’t quite ready to share or talk about it yet. (Now that was simply reassurance I really was talking to the same kid) He did tell me that he had spent a lot of contemplative thinking time the day before, and is simply very happy about some of the things he was thinking about.
We never told him he was in many, many people’s prayers and fasts that day. It seems to be working, however.
My daughter has been on her new medication for over a month now. It is wonderful to report that she is doing well. I feel so blessed that she is responding so positively to the first medication she has tried. I would say she is a new person, but she is actually just closer to being herself. When I ask the doctors about her treatment they can give some basic answers like there are some chemicals that are over or under produced, and there are synapses connections that are over active or under active, that need blocking or rerouting. When you really get down to it though, despite some basic principles, our brains are so complex we really do NOT understand how all the medications work. We have no idea what “normal” levels of any of the brain chemicals are. I am amazed that life altering treatments are available when we don’t even completely understand what we are working with.