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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Redemption and Rejoicing

The RVA student who has been in a coma since Saturday woke up this morning! After four days of worrisome unconsciousness as malaria parasites plugged up the small blood vessels of her brain, the prayers of the saints and the careful treatment of her medical team finally pushed her back from the edge of survival. She is quiet in that unsure sort of way, but looking us in the eye, and smiling.

Scott and I have been asked to be the first-line contact for the student health as school physicians starting in March, a sideline to our regular jobs in the hospital. We've pitched in a little this week due to crisis, not only the crisis of the young woman with cerebral malaria, but also the epidemic of 72 other students (15% of the school) out with flu and gastroenteritis. So we've felt deeply, both as parents and as doctors, the gravity of this case and the nearness of disaster. Please pray for us to have insight and caution and care with the precious burden of other peoples' children. If there is any group of kids that would be under attack, it is this one, as they represent the easiest way to remove a thousand missionaries from service.

So another small redemption occurred in student health, in the midst of the sea of flu a young man who had persistently been febrile and occasionally sprouted an impressive urticarial rash, which the excellent nurses had the foresight to photograph in case it was gone by the time we saw him (it was). Turned out he had gone rafting on the Nile and boating in Lake Victoria a few weeks ago. And we remembered the time Julia and Caleb BOTH had classic Katayama Fever, the relatively uncommon phase of acute schistosomiasis; it took us a week to figure it out a decade ago but this time we realized immediately what was going on. A little piece of suffering redeemed for someone else's good.

There is much relief and joy on campus today for the daughter that was almost lost and now is found.


Anonymous said...

Dear Jennifer, I am rejoicing with you over the child who recovered. You continue to fight the good fight even when you are bruised and battered. Your hands are used in God's service. Your life comes to my mind when I think of those who faithfully remain with the suffering Christ. May God bless you in your new home and in your new roles. Love, Judy in HMB

Heidi said...

ain't no such thing as "small" my view of the world at least :) Glad to hear you're getting plugged in. Much love.