About 6 months ago, this little five year old came to Kudjip Hospital in a coma: she was paralyzed on her right side, not responding or speaking, unable to eat or drink. These were all signs that some sort of badness was going on inside her brain. Not uncommonly we see patients with these sorts of CNS symptoms. It is difficult to make a firm diagnosis because we do not have access to CT or MRI. The one CT machine in the country is located in Port Morseby and the capital city is accessible only by plane. The cost for travel is usually prohibitive to our patients.
Dr. Susan took care of Jessica on pediatrics ward and made the diagnosis of tuberculosis meningitis. At least that is what we hoped the problem was. Why would we hope such a thing? If we give TB medicines and the patient improves, then it is probably TB and there is hope that she will recover. If the patient worsens, the more likely cause is a brain tumor or something else that we are unable to treat here.
So Jessica was started on treatment for TB. Over the next several months, she slowly began to improve. She started to open her eyes. Eventually she was able to sit up and eat on her own. She began to move her right side. She learned to walk and talk again! I took care of her during the last several weeks of her hospital stay. It was so fun to see the little bits of progress that she made each day... more steps taken, another word or phrase spoken. On the day of her discharge, she still had a long way to recovery but was well on her way.
It has probably been about 4 months since I last saw Jessica. Today I opened the door to my exam room and saw a very smiley little girl waiting to see me. She ran down the hall as we went to say hello to Dr. Susan. She loves to shake your hand or even better--give you a hug. She is so full of energy and life! Thank you, Papa God, for this precious miracle.
"But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you."
~ Romans 8:10-11