This I Believe

Jessica - Fort Atkinson, Iowa
Entered on May 22, 2006

I Believe

I believe that miracles really do happen. Miracles occur everyday all over the world. Everyone hopes and prays for a miracle sometime in their lives but few actually receive one. I was fortunate to know a girl who received a miracle when she was only nine years old.

It all started with a doctor’s appointment on November 1, 1999. By the end of the day, she was in a hospital bed in Rochester, Minnesota. Her doctors were telling her and her parents that she had cancer, leukemia. She had Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, or A.L.L. The girl was terrified, as were her parents. She started chemotherapy within days.

A week later, the girl was released. When she arrived home, she discovered food and gifts galore. She was overwhelmed by all of the cards, which said that people were praying and hoping for her.

Over the next few months, the girl continued chemotherapy treatments and doctor visits to the Mayo Clinic. She was noticing some of the side effects of her treatments. Her hair was falling out and she was getting weak. However, her family and friends kept her strong. Everything was going well until one March day. That morning her father found her unconscious.

Within minutes, she was rushed to the hospital by ambulance and airlifted to Rochester. In the P.I.C.U., it was discovered that she had experienced a stroke. A chemotherapy drug had mixed with a clotting factor, which resulted in a blood clot in her brain. The clot had caused bleeds on both sides of her brain as well.

The doctors did not know what to do. They did not want to cause another clot or worsen the bleeding. It was decided to put her on a ventilator and in an induced coma for seven days. When she finally woke up, she could not remember anything that had happened. She was totally paralyzed on the right side of her body. She could not even talk. The girl and her parents were thankful that she was alive.

She also had a blood clot in her right leg because of not being able to move it. A few days later, a piece of the clot moved to her lungs making it hard to breathe. A filter had to be put in her vena cava vein, putting her back in the P.I.C.U., to prevent any more clots from entering her lungs.

That hospital stay lasted one month. The prayers and support of her friends and family kept her strong. The girl’s own will to live motivated her as well. This girl overcame blood clots, the inability to speak, a stroke, paralysis, and cancer on top of it all. It took a long time but she finally recovered.

If it had not been for her loving friends and family as well as her wonderful doctors, this girl may not be alive today. I believe that miracles really do happen because that girl was me.