Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Miracle Boy

I know there are miracles in many small things each and every day. We simply have to open our eyes and look for them! However, some times you are struck by something so huge, you just have to shout, "This is a miracle!" That is what happened one evening during my recent trip to Haiti. I walked into the courtyard after dinner one night and there he sat. The little boy who I thought for sure was going to die when he stopped breathing on our plane flight from Miami to Washington, DC. There stood a sweet, smiling Angelo! As you might expect, tears were pouring as I went to hug him. He looks amazing and is once again the sweet talking, happy boy that I met that first morning in PAP before he and I left for the US. For anyone who doesn't know the story about what happened to Angelo, you can look at the posts from April for the full blog. A quick summary is that Angelo had a large brain tumor that took up over half of his brain stem. He was struggling with excessive fluid on his brain as a result of this tumor and had lost his ability to see from either eye. He had terrible headaches and was very unsteady, eventually losing his ability to walk. The plane flights for Angelo were torturous. The pressure changes caused problems with the fluid and on our second flight he was unconscious and not breathing well. We had to make an emergency landing in Charleston, SC where some wonderful doctors, nurses and church friends did everything possible to help us during our stay there. Angelo needed a vent and the docs put him in the PICU and relieved the excess pressure. Once he was stable, the transported Angelo to Toledo, OH where Children's Medical Misions had arranged for him to undergo surgery for the tumor. Angleo's first miracle was that his tumor was not malignant.
However, he struggled terribly after the surgery. He was unable to see, he was suffering from Cerebella Mutism and could not speak, developed pneumonia and was even unable at one point to swallow his own saliva. He was having so much trouble there was even a discussion as to whether the radiation he needed would make him worse not better. However, God gave Angelo a second miracle...his mother was able to travel to OH to be with him. For this sweet, momma's-boy, that made all the difference. He left the hospital with his mother and his aunt and had radiation therapy to shrink what was left of the tumor. In August, the family returned to Haiti and Angelo continued to improve. When I saw him last week, he excitedly told us that he was going to school now and was also playing soccer. His mother was so happy and thankful that he is doing so well.

I took a video of Angelo talking with my friend Karen. He has such a sweet, quiet voice that it is difficult to hear, but it is easy to see how happy and full of life our miracle boy is these days!


Ben F. said...

I gave a 10 minute presentation to my church this morning on our recent Haiti trip, and as part of the presentation I showed a photo of Angelo with his mom and Vanessa. I reminded the congregation about his very dramatic story, and when they realized that the boy in the photo was the same one that had nearly died on the plane their eyes widened and jaws dropped. What an awesome story!
Thanks for posting this Fran!

Fran said...

Hey Ben,

It was great having you with us on the last trip. I love your ideas for the clinic in Pestel! Seeing Angelo was definitely a highlight for me. Thank you for sharing his story with your is an amazing testiment to God's love and his power to change lives!