Because of Anissa’a vegetative state, she had to be fed and cared for like a newborn baby. My only consideration was getting her to Spears hospital in Denver. Everything seemed to fall quickly into place. The necessary arrangements were made for the flight, as well as the hospital. My parents had already planned to spend the winter in Florida and were willing to stay with my husband and our son.
In mid-January 1972, I boarded a plane with my daughter, whose eyes by that time were covered with a dull film. As I looked out the window of the plane and saw my family waving goodbye, I suddenly felt so alone. Though I tried to overcome the feeling, I was painfully aware of the awesome responsibility for Anissa and the unknown path that lay ahead.
I was relieved when we finally checked into our room at Spears, but disappointed to learn that the pediatric ward had been closed down since we made our original plans. I was hoping for a time of respite with nurses caring for Anissa. The following morning she underwent a thorough examination with blood tests and X-rays. The next day we met with the hospital administrator, who explained in detail the results of the tests:
“A brain malfunction such as Anissa’s does not readily respond to therapy. It takes at least two weeks to know whether or not the skull-molding technique would be beneficial. Her X-rays show enormous pockets of intestinal gas, the size of an adult’s, which could be causing her pain and discomfort.”
A therapeutic program was to start the following day but he warned me not to get my hopes up too high for the brain malfunction of Anissa to be fully corrected by therapy. Discouragement tried to take control of my heart as the dismal report played over in my mind. I felt the need for fresh air. The outdoor temperature was an unseasonably 68 degrees. Since I had only winter clothing with me, I decided to head for a shopping area to purchase a lightweight blouse as it was extremely warm in the hospital. Carrying my 4 1/2 year old daughter did not seem a heavy burden until the 6th block. Several blocks later I noticed a “SALE” sign in the window of Ruby’s Fashions.
Once inside, I noticed that the blouses were of a higher quality than I needed, so I started to leave. The owner, Ruby Nikaido, had inquired about Anissa’s condition and also suggested a discount store close by for the type of blouse I needed. As I took hold of the door knob to leave Ruby asked me if they could pray for my daughter. Stunned momentarily by her request, she asked again if they could pray for Anissa and I replied “Well I am afraid it would take a miracle.”
In the same store at that time was Gladys, a sales lady and also Vern Howell, a minister and president of “Acts Fellowship”- a ministry where the miraculous was commonplace. He just happened to stop by that day. I sat Anissa upon the store counter and they lay hands on her while praying for a miracle. Their sincere prayers touched me deeply as tears flowed freely. Afterward Vern offered us a ride back to the hospital for which I was most grateful. He waited while I got Anissa diapers and a cool blouse for myself.
On the drive back to the hospital, Vern asked “Have you ever said the sinner’s prayer?” I replied “Well, I pray a lot and I belong to a Methodist church.” He then questioned, “Would you like to have Jesus as your personal savior?” I said “I believe in Jesus.” Then Vern asked “Would you like a closer walk with Him, to know Jesus personally? Would you repeat a prayer after me?”
I decided to do so but when it came to the part of the prayer where I was to say “I am a sinner” it was as though the words were stuck in my throat and did not want to come out. Determined, I repeated after him “I am a sinner. I’m sorry for my sins. Forgive me Lord Jesus, cleanse me and be the Lord of my life.”
At once I felt as though a great burden had been lifted from me. As I left Vern’s car and walked into the hospital, I actually felt different, both physically and mentally. In the morning, Anissa was more alert and the dull film had lifted from her eyes. She began her first therapy session and by the afternoon she wanted to walk and began to speak words clearly. By the end of that day there had not been even a hint of a seizure. The following day she was outside running, even trying to catch soap bubbles.
Three days later she tried to ride a tricycle and still no seizures. During my stay at the hospital, I learned to perform various methods of therapy that would be beneficial to her overall health.
One day Ruby visited us at the hospital. The Holy Spirit had directed her to explain to me the meaning of new birth, gifts of the Holy Spirit and the blood of Jesus. Though I believed in God, daily Bible reading was not a part of my life, but suddenly there was a strong desire to do so. I really began to look forward to Ruby’s visits and prayers, since many questions were running through my mind as to what Anissa and I had experienced after our day at her “fashion” shop.
Little did I know how greatly I would be depending upon God’s excellent grace in preparation for the ministry God had for Anissa and me that was soon to begin.
To contact Anissa’s mother, email firstname.lastname@example.org
To go to the ministry website- http://www.wellspringhealingretreat.org