After a long night of contemplating the what ifs and the whys of our situation, we met with Anissa’s doctor the next day. It was a breath of fresh air and an amazing relief to hear the doctor say :
“It took a hand higher than ours” he admitted. “Your daughter’s kidneys are functioning and her fever is gone. We tried everything we knew to get her kidneys to function. Nothing worked. You can thank the good Lord that you still have a daughter.” Even the nurses were excited over the good news that Anissa had wet in the middle of the night, the first time in several days. Her eyes were open and even her fingernails had returned to a normal color. Everyone acknowledged that Anissa’s improvement was miraculous, there was no other explanation.
We firmly believed that this miracle was the result of the prayers of many. I knew also that my prayer to God in the middle of the night had been answered. I knew in my heart that God had another plan for Anissa’s life which was not to include a lifetime of institutions, but a special agenda that the Lord had for her. On that same day February 27th, 1968 Anissa was baptized in a small out-of-the-way hospital room. What a different outcome for this day than it could have been had God not shown His grace!
We still realized that as the doctor said, Anissa would suffer from the rare form of petit- mal epilepsy called myoclonic seizures. At the time many people suggested we file suit against the doctor but we decided that it was not his fault that Anissa had such a reaction to the drug Phenergan. However, it was found by the FDA a short time later that this drug should never be given to a child under two years old due to the immaturity of the brain.
Next up the doctor recommended to us that we admit Anissa in a research study on this type of epilepsy that was underway. A noted neurologist from New Zealand, Dr. Fritz Dreifuss was at the University of Virginia hospital leading the study. It gave a us a ray of hope we so needed. The next day we drove to the hospital and entered Anissa in the research program.
At that time we owned a motel and had plenty of work to keep us busy, which was probably a good thing because of the long week that Anissa was gone. We were also glad it was not the busy tourist season since the waiting time was unpredictable concerning hospital visits.
We continued on to search out anything we could about myoclonic seizures and even met some parents of a boy who had the same type of epilepsy, in his case requiring institutionalization .
Our trips to see Anissa were not very hopeful. Since various drugs had been tried, along with injections of the hormone ACTH, with no positive results, Dr. Dreifuss gave us a dismal prognosis. As a preventitive treatment against other types of seizures, Gemonil ( metharbital) was prescribed.
As a matter of fact, he suggested we put Anissa in an institution and go on with our lives.
Clinging to my faith that God had a special plan for Anissa’s life since the miracle of her kidneys, I believed the only chance for her survival would be in our home. Dr Dreifuss questioned whether I could handle the continuous 24/7 care necessary for a brain- damaged, hyperactive child. I thought of the many stressful events experienced while balancing family and business. I quickly stated that if I was able to keep my sanity during the 14 years of operating a motel and restaurant, than I could surely handle Anissa.
The doctor then indicated that if we planned on keeping our child at home, it would be best to live where she could be outdoors most of the time. Little did we realize the trials and frustrations that were ahead !But in our times of weakness, our fervent prayers to God enabled us to receive the necessary strength to carry on, experiencing a taste of His excellent grace.
To contact Anissa’s mother email firstname.lastname@example.org
To visit the website go to http://www.wellspringhealingretreat.org