This entire ordeal my daughter has been stronger than anyone else I know. If the Lord doesn’t give us trials greater than we can bear, she must be one incredibly strong person. Even the doctors and nurses can see her strength.
However, I suspect there are times when we are given more than we can handle. These are the times that teach us to rely only on our Savior, times when no one else can be there for us, times when we have used all of our strength. Katie has spent weeks in that very state. I can do nothing for her. As a parent this is heartbreaking. It is unrelenting beyond my comprehension. Although she is constantly supported and cared for by incredible technologies, expert physicians, and powerful medications, even they need to ultimately rely on her own body for healing to occur.
Even within these terrible circumstances, there have been some reassurances of hope. Hope is a powerful thing. As we have interacted with the social worker, she has reminded us about how effective the mind is, with its ability to close down on overload. The Sunday speaker in the hospital ward also reminded us about what the Savior did when He was here. He healed the sick. His ministry was to those who were sick, afflicted, and suffering. We were reminded that the Savior is still aware of those who are suffering, and that He lives today, and He has a special place in His heart for those in distress and suffering due to the pains of this world.
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.