Story of Healing
Claire's road to health has been nothing short of miraculous since she was a baby. Just after her first birthday Claire started experiencing a strange set of symptoms that were similar to acid reflux, but exactly. We tried medication but it didn't help, so her puzzled pediatrician referred us to Doernbecher Children's Hospital for some further testing. She had an upper GI procedure done, which revealed she did not have reflux at all. It did however reveal she had a congenital birth defect that caused all her digestive organs to be in the wrong place, and her intestines completely backwards! The "mystery symptoms" that led us to Doernbecher in the first place completely disappeared after that. They were simply a means to discover her unique anatomy. I firmly believe God gave her those, strictly to let us find the birth defect, and not in an emergency situation. Its really hard to diagnose things like appendicitis when your appendix isn't where it is supposed to be, and has lead us to many treatments for digestive issues resulting from her "guts" not being in the correct place. We were able to do surgery when she was 19 months old to repair the problem. This was yet another opportunity for the Lord to watch over Claire and perform a miracle. The surgery to move her entire digestive system was fairly invasive and we were told to expect her to be in the hospital for a minimum of 7-10 days. She was placed on no less than three different prayer chains (and her mom was placed on some prescription anxiety meds). She made it through the surgery with flying colors, and was home from the hospital, and eating a normal diet a mere 3 days after her surgery!
As a result of her particular birth defect and surgery, Claire will always be at risk of some complications. In a normal anatomical person, landmarks like a stomach or other organs are perfectly placed to hold the intestines where they are supposed to be. In Claire's case, those landmarks are all there, but since they aren't where they are supposed to be, there isn't anything to hold her intestines in place. They can't be anchored in because they have to be able to move to be able to get food to go through. We were told at the time of her surgery, that there is a risk of her intestines getting twisted up, or kinking (like a garden hose). This is a life threatening complication which will require emergency surgery. Even with surgery, she runs the risk of having to have portions of intestines removed or sepsis. We have always trusted God that he will protect her, but communicated with her caregivers or teachers what to look for. Just a few weeks into kindergarten, Claire was sent home due to abdominal pain. I took her to the doctor, and they did x-rays which revealed, not one, not two, but THREE spots where her intestines were twisted. She was rushed to Doernbecher for emergency surgery. The entire time she was writhing in pain, thrashing around and vomiting digestive fluid. Around the time we arrived at the pediatric emergency department, her pain went away. The ER doctors ordered another round of x-rays and by a miracle, all three spots were gone. Here we were, praying she wouldn't aspirate her lunch in the operating room, or have so much intestines removed she required a colostomy, and God had a different plan. Her medical team was blown away. They admitted us anyway, just because they could not wrap their brains around the fact that two hours earlier she was in a potentially life threatening situation, and all of a sudden she was fine. The only explanation is that the Lord did a mighty work yet again. I don't know what the future holds for Claire's digestive health, however I know that she has been protected by the power of prayer in remarkable ways for her first 10 years, and that is incredibly comforting.