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.
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.
In my church we take time each month to visit individuals. It is an attempt to not forget the lost sheep. As we visited yesterday and shared the message that the Lord does not forget anyone, two of the sisters I visit opened right up. Both were sisters I have been visiting with for a while now, and both are less than fully active in our faith. As we started to share, each one of the sisters felt a connection to that lost sheep, and after months, and even years for one of them, of my visiting monthly they actually shared with me the root of their own personal struggles to full participation in the gospel of Christ. Each struggle is unique, and each of us has our own personal demons.
I don’t know how to fix either problem. I rather suspect that it is not my goal to fix the problem, but rather my privilege to support them through it. One of them I share the same struggle, I just have chosen to deal with it differently. However, I think step one in helping anyone change their heart is to love them as the Savior does. I hope that by having someone to support them through it that each one of these daughters of God can have a miracle in their life of being reconverted to Christ.