I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith. (2 Nephi 27:23)
This time, one year ago, my wife was complaining of headaches. They started out that way, but quickly became intense migraines. I was fairly sure they would just be something ‘simple’ and would shortly pass. Unfortunately however, they didn’t – I was wrong, and so was our doctor. His verdict had been that she was suffering from a virus, and that she should rest and would soon improve. She sure rested! – in fact the migraines were so intense that she remained in bed for a number of days.
What we didn’t know at the time, is that these migraines were the initial symptoms of a far more severe condition – my wife was infected with tuberculous meningitis!
From 20 August 2010 to 27 August 2010, she continued to suffer the migraines at home. With no signs of improvement, she called for the doctor on 28 August, and he said he would visit her at home, and take some blood samples. He was however unable to make the visit, and so at about 1:00pm I drove my wife to the ‘Emergency Doctor’ clinic at the hospital. That afternoon, they admitted her into hospital for assessment.
At first they thought it was viral meningitis. Then they thought it was a bacterial meningitis. In all, they weren’t sure exactly what they were dealing with..
From Saturday 28 August to 2 September her condition actually worsened. She became more and more confused, the migraines continued their intensity, and she was finding difficulty with her speech. However, the doctors thought they had finally got the treatment right, and she began to show better signs on the afternoon and evening of 2 September. I left the hospital that night at about 9:30pm, and the head nurse assured me that her condition was much better.
Unfortunately however, I was awoken at 4:45am with a phone call from the Hospital to tell me that her condition was deteriorating badly, and that I needed to come in. Her conscious levels were very poor, and they moving her into intensive care, before being able to fly her away to Liverpool for specialist treatment. That’s not exactly a pleasant wake up call!
My two little boys (aged 3, and 1 and a half) lay sleeping, and I rang my Dad to inform him of my wife’s condition. He said he would come up to my home for our boys, and I should start packing a bag to go to Liverpool. While waiting for his arrival, I got down on my knees and prayed.
I recall telling my Father in Heaven that I knew he could heal my wife. I was pleading with him to save her. I told him that both myself, and my boys needed her to remain with us.. but I also told him, that regardless of what I wanted, he knew what was best, and that his will should be done. That if it was his will that she should not make it, then to let it be, but to give me the strength to overcome.
I knew God to be a God of miracles. I knew he had power to save. But what I didn’t know, was whether it was his will that my wife should survive. See, God knows what his best for each of us. Sometimes he allows bad things to happen – he doesn’t save everybody from every ailment, nor from death itself. He gives us trials, and tests our faith. What I didn’t know at that time, was what the ‘test’ was in this circumstance.
The Lord said through Isaiah: ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts’
When I arrived at the hospital, I was taken into a room to be spoken to by the Ward doctor. He summarised what had happened during the night, and told me that the nurses had been unable to get any response from my wife in terms of her conscious awareness. He also told me that her condition was now critical. Following the discussion with him, I sat outside my wife’s room while the nurses finished prepping her. It must have been a good 20 mins wait.. and all the time I was wondering what might happen – and potentially what it would be like raising our two boys alone.
When I went into the room and saw my wife, I saw that her eyes were rolling around. She had no awareness that I was there. Her jaw had spasmed, and the only sound was a grunting. A very depressing sight indeed.
The nurses soon took her down to intensive care, and there they kept her in isolation. As time moved on, my Uncle came to the hospital, and we were permitted to lay our hands on her head and give her a blessing through the Priesthood authority that we both hold. My parents both arrived and spent much of the day there with me. Our church congregation fasted and prayed for her.
Concerningly, the doctors were still unsure about what they were dealing with, and consequently what medication to treat her with. She was well and truly in God’s hands.
[Part 2 continues here]