Again and again, it appears to be an unending venture in seeking a cure for my daughter. Through the search, it is my hope that others who suffer with uncontrollable seizure activity, or are diagnosed with Lennox Gastaut Syndrome, such as Anissa, will receive helpful information.
“But in our trouble God has comforted us—and this, too, to help you: to show you from our personal experience how God will tenderly comfort you when you undergo these same sufferings. He will give you the strength to endure.”
2 Corinthians 1:7 TLB
Upon our arrival in Tulsa, Oklahoma and the City of Faith Medical Center, we thought it best to transport Anissa to and from scheduled appointments in a wheelchair because of seizures being so unpredictable. She enjoyed the rides and was especially happy to be outdoors in the beautiful weather. Sometimes God answers prayers in areas we least expect, but need the most. While many were suffering from severe allergies due to an abnormally high pollen count that season in Tulsa, Anissa showed no sensitivity to the outdoor air.
The faith-filled atmosphere that encompassed the City of Faith complex was so peaceful. We were especially impressed with our first appointment when the neurologist, Dr. Liphard D’Souza, asked Pastor Joel Vesaner to come into his office and pray for Anissa. Surrounding her, we all reverently joined hands in prayer.
The honest concern that Dr. D’Souza had toward Anissa and our situation showed his heart of compassion. For several months, her digestive tract had been upset and was making grinding noises. He recommended an enzyme tablet with everything in it. I realized, then, this doctor knew the benefits of good nutrition. After two days of enzyme therapy, the noises subsided. It was then we learned the medical name given for Anissa’s condition is Lennox Gastaut Syndrome.
After getting the results of Anissa’s blood tests, there were several drugs that Dr. D’Souza wanted to try. He handed me his 1986 Physician’s Desk Reference Manual so I could read the description of Depakote (divalproex sodium), the drug he was considering. Since that drug is equivalent to the Sodium Valporate given to Anissa in the past, we hesitated in our decision to give Depakote a try. But after learning the tablets were enteric-coated with less chance for gastrointestinal upsets, we gave our approval.
While it controlled the absence seizures, after Anissa ate any mildly spiced foods, she would vomit, so her diet was very limited. It took high dosages of a combination of the drugs, Depakote, Valium, Tegretol and Tranzene to keep her seizure-free for three months. After that time, however, reactions set in: multi-seizures returned and in addition, her hair began to fall out, sores appeared in her mouth and blood in her stools.
Upon hearing this, Dr. D’Souza was very disheartened and said, “I’ll keep praying for her and we’ll come up with something!” True to his word, he has phoned me throughout the years to check on Anissa and discuss various drugs that may be helpful. Several years ago, while on a business trip to Florida, he and his wife came to our home – not as a visiting doctor but as good friends. The following quote by Nobel Prize winner, Francois Mauriac, describes our time in Tulsa:
“No love, no friendship can cross the path of our destiny without leaving some mark on it forever.”
When taking Anissa outdoors, Dr. D’Souza prescribed a wheelchair for her protection against injury. We followed his advice and for several years were able to enjoy the sunshine blessings of living in Florida. I have learned that when God places someone special in our lives, then no one can separate what has been joined together by His Excellent Grace.
To contact Anissa’s mother email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
To take a virtual tour of the healing center go to http://www.wellspringhealingretreat.org