Gerhard and I became foster parents of twins in July 2017 when they were 27 days old. Our little boy Tobi is a healthy, normal little guy but his sister Leah was born with a genetic disorder. She has a number of challenges but the biggest is the fact that she was born without an anus. When she was 2 days old the surgeons at Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town performed a colostomy and since then she had a colostomy bag.
In July 2018 surgeons performed an operation to surgically create an anus for her. Unfortunately there were complications soon after the operation which caused narrowing of the new passage and the scar tissue became very tight. She had weekly dilatations under anaesthetic and treatment with a cancer medication to slow down the cell growth. Leah had a bad reaction to the cancer medication and was left with severe nerve pain in her bum. She could not sit because of the pain and was admitted for 5 days before her pain was brought under control. In October, after the sixth procedure the surgeon said that the treatment did not have the desired effect and that the operation will have to be redone. We received a date for 11 November 2018 when this surgery would be performed.
I felt devastated at this news and spent a day in bed crying. The thought of having to start this process over was just too much. I wrestled with God for two days. On the Saturday morning I woke and decided that I will trust Him for her complete healing. The Sunday morning in church the Lord gave me peace about the situation, whatever the outcome.
During the next couple of weeks I had to take Leah for follow-up appointments at various clinics at the hospital and shared with the staff my faith for her healing. This was met with everything from polite smiles to a doctor who said that she will stand in prayer with me. I trusted the Lord to heal the scar tissue so that the final part of the procedure to attach her bowel to her anus and to close the stoma can be done.
After leaving Leah asleep in the theatre the surgeon walked out with me and I said to her that I am praying that it will be the last time that I have to walk down that passage. “Let’s see what we find when we have a look” was her words as I left.
I went home to shower and run a few errands before returning to the hospital 2 hours later. When I entered the ward one of the junior doctors saw me and told me that Leah was already back in the ward and that the professor who performed the surgery was very happy with the outcome. “What did they do?” I asked. “They closed the stoma” she replied. I shouted “Thank you Jesus” and ran to her ward. When I removed her blanket there was a small white plaster on her tummy – no stoma bag anymore! I broke down and sobbed, thanking the Lord for His faithfulness.
Later in the afternoon the surgeon came to see how Leah was doing. When I thanked her for her role in Leah’s surgery she said that she was fully prepared to redo the previous surgery but the scar tissue had become soft and that they could close the stoma. She said:” It was your prayers and faith that made the difference.”
Leah had a normal bowel movement the next day and was discharged 3 days later but had a setback when she became very sick with a viral infection and had to be admitted again. At the moment she is recovering well.
We are still trusting the Lord to also heal her swallowing reflex. Leah is fed via a gastrostomy tube because her milk ended up in her lungs. This caused severe lung infections when she was little. At the moment she is not eating at all and just has sips of water and tastes of food for oral stimulation.
Praise to God.