Story of a Miracle

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic


Sometimes God gave us the opportunity to be a protagonist of many miracles that make a dream come true. This is a short story that summary 15 years of my daughter's life. She passed her whole
childhood condemned to a sure death, but she survived because God made it possible. This story was written just as a way to honor the miracle of the faith that can defeated the hopelessness.

Submitted: October 01, 2017

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Submitted: October 01, 2017

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There are stories that deserve to be told. This is about how the faith defeated the hopelessness. God -or the Energy of the Infinite Love- gave us the possibility to be protagonists of a miracle. Not just one but multiples miracles that made a dream come true.

 

Today, my daughter Anais Rodriguez is 15 years old, but before she was 3 months old was diagnosticated severe dilated cardiomyopathy. “She will be entering and leaving  the hospitals until death occurs”, said Dr. Leopoldo Romero, her cardiologist. My baby was condemned due to her only option was a heart transplant. But in Chile there are not donors for children or babies. She was discharged after 5 days of hospitalization, because nothing else they could do for her.  

 

Of course, since that lapidary diagnostic, my whole life turned upside down. The priority was keeping her alive. And feed her with a dropper or being awake all night wasn’t even near the hardest. No. The hardest part was not let myself into despair.

 

When Anais was 6 months old, Dr. Romero, at the end of the appointment, tried to comfort me saying: “The miracles exist, are scarce, very scarce…Well… For something they are miracles, but they exist”. His gentle voice  surprised me, especially because his behavior was always cold and distant. He thought that her life expectancy was less than zero and was very careful not to give me any hope, but the opposite.

 

Then, I was so impressed for these unexpected words. I got in the car with the anxiety of a condemned that receive the possibility of forgiveness. With avidity I took out of my pocket the stamp of the Saint Father Pio of Pietrelcina. My sister had given it saying he is very miraculous in disease cases. Under these devastating circumstances, I had prayed with the image untiringly. That plea starts with quotes of Jesus: “In truth I tell you, ask and receive, seek and find, call and it will open.” That promise was my hope, my salvation.

 

Those first 5 days in the hospital had been like a terrible nightmare. Anyone can understand the horror of looking your fragile little daughter very helpless and vulnerable, connected to many tubes and machines. It was impossible for me carry her little body in my arms, embrace her, make her feeling protected. The doctors told my husband that our daughter wouldn’t leave the hospital alive. Nobody said it to me, but it was not necessary. I could see in their faces how pessimistic were all. Then, I decided even if everyone lost the hope I wouldn’t ever lose mine. I grasped to God with all the strength of my soul. That little stamp symbolised the promise of God to whom pray with faith, so I put it under her pillow. And something very strange happened, a little blood droplet fell from her neck and went to stay just in the upper side of the image. I wanted to believe that it was a signal of God, in some mysterious way was connecting with her.  And when Dr. told me about the miracle as an option, I immediately thought that was another signal.  I started to pray in the car with the stamp between my hands. Suddenly, a little gust of wind surprised my soul with a memory. The Father Pio had been called to the “Celestial Award” on September 23th and we were in that month. I confirmed with a calendar what my heart already knew: It was September 23th!!!. I hugged my little and fragile baby who seemed like she was gonna get lost in my arms. I cried deeply moved with the certainty that God was hearing my plead. At that moment, I did the promise: If my daughter could live till her fifteen years old, we will go to Italy, to Father Pio's grave, to thank for the miracle.

 

The years passed and weren’t easy. Medicine never offer us an alternative. But I discovered the amazing and wonderful “Johrei”. It is a method of channeling energy through the palm of the hand. A gift of God. His creator was the Japanese master Mokichi Okada, “Meishu-Sama” for his followers. As Father Pio, he lived in the twentieth century and  although their cultural and religion roots are very different, their teachings are similar. Maybe for this, actually I don’t feel a religious person, but a spiritual one. I don’t belong to any Church and I feel closer to God than ever.  

 

The truth is that when everything said NO, the Johrei always said YES. Her japanese therapist, Jasuaki Tsukiachi, was the honor guest since her first birthday. Anais won many fights that seemed impossible to overcome. Three times different doctors told me that  was nothing more they could do to save her. In fact, in 2009, in her 7 years, she got admitted in the hospital very bad. The doctor explained me that her heart was almost not contracting. A parameter that works normal at level 50, was in 9!!!. At the third day of being there, the 5 doctors of Intensive Care Unit called me to a meeting. “It looks like she is in the final phase of her illness”, said one. She had had a severe arrhythmia and she could barely breath. I got out of there devastated, but I had been very firm about my decision. One I had taken since her first hospitalization. Because it was not allowed to stay with the patience all night, I would take her to my home. I would not permit that my baby would die alone in the bed of a hospital. “If she dies, I must be with her”. I went downstairs to look for my husband to tell him what had happened. He was outside smoking. It was a very cold and gray day like if the sky could feel my profound pain. I was crying while I told him. In his suffering face, I could see mine too. I embraced him like if our hug could comfort us and knowing, at the same time, there was not any possible consolation. He said: “I just want it to be like before, I want her to be just like she always has been”.  Then, he began to cry. “All these years praying. So much faith, so much Johrei... For what? Where is your God now?“. I felt he was being so unfair. “Don’t say that, God gave us our daughter for seven wonderful years. We should be grateful and just give her back to God, trusting He will take care and will love her.” It was a crucial moment. Trust in God until the point to put all in His hands, knowing whatever happens it will be fine, is the most difficult thing to do. For me, it was the biggest act of faith. When I went back to Anais’s floor, something amazing had happened. Despite the bad symptoms, a new echocardiogram showed that her heart was responding better. Her contraction have increased to 17 %, almost the double. Then, again, not everything was lost. They wanted to keep her in the hospital for at least 3 more days. I said ok, but with the condition that I would be with her at all times. And that’s what I did. For three days and three nights I spend it just beside her bed, stand up or in a chair. I went out just for few minutes. It was a moment of intensive Johrei. My friends, Graciela and Natasha, were like heaven’s angels. After six days in the hospital, Anais went back to the house, with multiple supports (payed for us) that included oxygen, nose-gastric feeding and cardiac monitoring. Besides a lot of medicines. I was her full time nurse and I learned all the stuff that she needed.

 

Finally, against every pronostic, she surpass this severe crisis and others minors that occur after. My sister, who is a doctor, was always there by my side. Thanks to her, Anais had a private medical service that came when she felt sick. At least 3 times, I had to sign a form refusing the hospitalization, because the public health was very bad and the private, so expensive. Besides, the medicine in Chile never gave us a real solution. I passed too many nights alone with her in tremendous anguish not knowing if she would get worse at any time. Still, it hurts me to remember the impotence of those moments when I heard how hard was for her to breathe.

 

At the end of 2014, Anais was already 12 years old. She had been stable with the medicines and not any severe crisis had occurred, but many times she had bronchitis and asthma. And I realized each time was worse. By other hand, her body was late growing and she had a desnutrition by her illness. My fears were getting increasing as she was becoming a teenager. I asked her doctor if her heart was stronger and if she would continue stable. “No one, even I can’t tell you that for sure... her condition is very fragile”. Then, added: “I have seen many cases like Anais that end up really bad”. That said, I dared to ask: “If she was your daughter, would you take her out of this country? For example to US”. “If I had the choice, yes”. That answer plus the affirmation that she can take an airplane, was all I needed for a final decision. I remembered my prayers, I did say many times: “Save her now, when I can do something, I will do it.”  

 

We sold our only house, one we bought with the work of entire life. And we came to  US in February of 2015. Some people told us that we were brave, but that’s not true… It was cowardness, I had terror to go through another severe crisis, one that she may not survive from. We settled in Florida. For more than a year, Anais was taking her prescriptions that I brought from Chile and was very well. Furthermore, due to the warm climate, she didn’t catch colds or bronchitis that were so frequent on cold and pollution Santiago de Chile. However, against our desires, her illness was still there. In july of 2016 (just one month after we receive our permission to live legally in US) she began to feel worse everyday, more tired and with shortness breath. In august, she felt so bad in her school, “Challenger Middle” of Cape Coral. The nurses, the social worker and everyone treated to help us. We realized that we could not wait anymore and went to Golisano Children’s Hospital in Fort Myers. The cardiologist Suying Lam said her: “You look better than what I expected”. She had already seen her bad echocardiogram. It was necessary to hospitalize her for 5 days. However, Dr. Lam explained me that was so important an evaluation as soon as possible at Miami Transplant Institute of Jackson Memorial Hospital. For this, she had have her health insurance. Undoubtedly, It was a BIG miracle to get it. In fact, just 3 months before, it had been approved a new rule that allowed that children could get Medicaid not matter how long were legal resident in Florida. Previously, they had to stay at least 5 years living in the state. Any way it was so complicated and confused, because the system changed her from one to another health insurance twice.

 

Finally, in november 2, we could to travel to Miami (almost 3 hours from Cape Coral) to our first appointment with the pediatric cardiologist, Paolo Rusconi, who decided to hospitalize her immediately to start the evaluation. There was a reasonable doubt that just the catheterism would solve. The pulmonary pressure was very high and the lungs could be irreversible damage after a whole life of bad heart function. In that case, she wouldn’t be candidate for transplant. Those were days full of anguish, but I had the best support one can desire. My friend Graciela called from Chile to Miami Johrei Center and explained the situation. A woman called Milagros (that means Miracles in Spanish) was the first person who contacted me at the second day at the hospital offering me the whole group assistance.

 

Since then, neither Milagros or Rossy left me alone. They were always there in each difficult moment. I knew that every time they come at 6:00 am to give me Johrei and support, it was God and Meishu-sama sending them to me. And that was also an incredible miracle, because although I was far of my country and my people, even far my husband and older daughter  (who were in Cape Coral), I always had the best family by my side.

Finally, the exams resulted positive and on November 21th of 2016, Anais officially was included in the waiting list for heart transplant. And after long and difficult four months, on March 14th of 2017 Anais got the biggest gift of God: A new heart.

 

It was so shocking the first echocardio post transplant, there are no words to describe my deep, and sometimes contradictory, emotions at that moment. The gratitude to God, the gratitude to that young man who was the donor, infinite compassion for his soul and beg to God to take him in His loving arms, compassion for that mom who was unspeakable suffering for her losing,  infinite love to my daughter who had been enough strong to win many battles. A flashback came to me with the many ecos that Anais had had through her whole life. And just then I understood how sick and fragile was her heart, now it sounded totally different... too much louder and stronger. She had a new heart inside her body and it was working!!! Absolutely miraculous. When I commented to Dr Rusconi, answered me: “Her heart was very big, bigger than the one from an adult with her same illness”. I felt nostalgic for that heart, now discarded, which despite how weak was, had resisted for many years... until the exact moment.

 

This was a very big surgery not without post complications. In her case was too many: rejection, pneumothorax, pneumonia and some infections due of the severe immunosuppression. It was so hard sometimes, but Dr. Rusconi was always there. He has a tremendous vocation, really compromised and constantly worried for his patients. Undoubtedly, an excellent doctor but a best person. For the people who believe in God the coincidences don’t exist, his nationality as Italian was another sign that Saint Father Pio was always with us.  

 

Anais got her birthday of 15, in the hospital, on April 1, 2017, just 17 days after the transplant. The miracle was done, everything in a perfect place like a divine puzzle.

 

However, just one thing left. We didn’t have the money to accomplish my promise to travel on September 23th to San Giovanni Rotondo, in Italy, where is the tomb of Saint Father Pio. I was so sad and disappointed. But finally I understood if it is in this way, it is for some reason. To write this story of faith and hope is the best way to honor God. Maybe I can help others to recognize that the MIRACLES EXIST.  And now with yourhelp to spread the story, you can be part of one.  

 

Note: I would like to mention all the people who in differents ways help us in this long journey, they have my eternal gratitude, especially the personal of PICU in the Holtz Children’s Hospital, Jackson Memorial, Miami.

 



© Copyright 2020 Jacqueline Araneda. All rights reserved.

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