We survived. Let’s recap.
Reese was taken by ambulance to Phoenix Children’s Hospital on March 9 with acute respiratory failure. What started as a cold, quickly turned into Pneumonia. Pneumonia took a toll on her body and she ended up on a ventilator in the middle of the night. Honestly, I wasn’t sure we were leaving the hospital with Reese at that point. I called Mario after they intubated her at 2:30 am, and we cried together and submitted ourselves and Reese to the Lord. We encouraged each other that if this was it, God would take care of her and us. It was a low low. Doesn't get much lower than that as a parent. Just sayin.
But she pulled through. She spent 7 long days on the ventilator. She got a little better every day, with a few scary moments mixed in. What they didn’t tell us that first day was that the ventilator was doing 100% of the breathing. So glad they shielded me from that frightening fact.
My goal when we entered the room in the PICU was to survive Pneumonia. I had no other goals. I wish I could say my goal was to glorify God or to grow spiritually, but no. It was primal. It was to save my daughter’s life.
There is a desperation in that place. An all out cry for help. And God met me…like he always does…but I still doubt, sometimes, that he will...THIS TIME.
A dear friend sent me a podcast to listen to. Turns out I listened to the wrong one…but it turned out to be the right one. Because it was the one I needed to hear at that moment. This gal talked about prayer. And power. And that was what I needed to hear. She reminded me about the Parable of the Persistent Widow in Luke 18 and how Jesus told his disciples to “always pray and not give up” like the widow who kept asking the judge for justice until he finally gave in…really because she was just driving him crazy with her unrelenting requests! And she reminded me of James 4:2 where James reminded believers that “we do not have because we do not ask God.”
I cannot tell you how many times over the 16 days in the PICU I laid hands on Reese, and through tears I said to Jesus, “It’s me. I’m that persistent widow. Reese’s mom. I’m asking you to heal her lungs. It’s me again. You told me to ask and keep asking. And I really believe you will heal her." And he heard me. And he heard you and the countless number of prayers from family and friends around the world. And He healed her.
On day 14 something happened. That very slow progression sped up into high gear. The doctors couldn’t explain it but her health improved dramatically, so much so that there was not time to discharge her from ICU to a regular room. 2 days later, she was ready to go home.
As we were packing up to go, Gigi, our Child Life Specialist came in to say goodbye. Her job is to play with the kids and keep the parents sane, I think. She had checked in on me every day and had been in the room during some scary moments. She said, “I don’t talk about God in my job, but I want you to know that if someone didn’t believe in God, they would after walking into this room. I can feel Him when I walk in here.” Tears streamed down my face. She apologized for upsetting me. I told her she had not upset me but completely blessed me. And I thanked her.
I was an occasionally crazy, somewhat delirious, sometimes stressed-out mom, living out my primal instinct to save my much-loved child. But God met me there because that is what HE does. He WAS in that room. He DID save Reese. He IS real. And He IS faithful to the end. So I'll leave you with something you need to remember today…pray and do not give up. Ask and keep asking. I can't say I always understand why, but God said so and I believe Him.