Modern Day Miracles
As a pediatrician, I am accustomed to caring for sick children. However, until I came to Guatemala, I had never treated severely malnourished patients. I had never witnessed firsthand the amazing transformation that occurs when a hungry child receives proper nourishment. Now, I am privileged to see it every day. I watch God bring these children back from the brink of death to new life. They often arrive at Hope of Life just in time.
Ana Esmeralda is one such child. Early one February morning, I received a call from the ministry’s founder. He asked me to accompany a team from the ministry to rescue an 8 year old little girl dying of severe protein malnutrition, otherwise known as kwashiorkor. Up to that point, I had only read about kwashiorkor and answered board questions about it. I had never seen it with my own eyes. That day, I saw its devastating effects. As I lifted Ana Esmeralda into the ambulance, I was struck by her total body swelling and her fragile, peeling skin. As I examined her, I found that her blood pressure was dangerously low and her heart was beginning to fail. As we raced to the hospital, I observed her closely – there was no light or hope in her eyes. As with every rescue, the team sprung into action when we arrived at the hospital. We drew blood and immediately started rehydrating her. We treated her with medications that I hadn’t used since I was a resident in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. The first few days were tenuous – we honestly weren’t sure whether or not she would survive…
…But she did. Over the next six weeks, I watched as Ana Esmeralda’s life was restored. Initially, she lacked the strength to lift food to her mouth. Within a couple weeks, she was devouring everything we gave her. In the beginning, she answered us only with painful cries. After two weeks, she responded with full sentences and a smile. When she first arrived, she couldn’t walk. Once she recovered, she was all over the hospital, often accompanying us from room to room during rounds. When I first met her, she was lifeless. As God healed her through medicine and the prayers of His people, Ana Esmeralda came alive again. The pictures below illustrate this beautiful transformation.
It is such an honor to participate in these modern day miracles. I am constantly reminded that it is God’s hand at work here. Our team works hard, but it is He who restores life and hope. I Corinthians 3:7 says, “So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.”
What a joy to see this growth in Ana Esmeralda and in the many others we treat here.