Back in January, when we met her for the very first time, Luisa Marisol needed a custom wheelchair due to her condition after having meningitis at the age of one; or so we thought. We started looking for options to see how we could help her and her family. We got word that there was a wheelchair team that was coming to give wheelchairs to children in Antigua in February. So a team from a local church plant and me set off on an early morning journey to Antigua. When it was her turn, the occupational therapist removed her bulky clothing to fit her for the chair and all of our jaws dropped because she was literally just skin and bones, weighing just seventeen pounds at twelve years of age. Her condition was so severe, that the therapist stopped what she was doing to take us to a nearby hospital that has a program for malnourished children. The hospital is called Hermano Pedro and has a program to help low income families receive high quality care for their children. The doctor told us that her only chance for survival and full recuperation was if she were to be admitted into the nourishment program for several months. This was a difficult decision for her parents to make because they thought that they were just going to Antigua to get her a wheelchair. So, we left her there in February and we prayed, putting her in God’s hands.
As the time passed, the local pastor and I would go and visit with the family to check on her status but they really couldn’t tell us much. They were calling the hospital regularly, but were unable to go visit her because of the expense of the long trip to Antigua. On Friday July 8th, we went back for a visit and to our great surprise, Luisa Marisol was there and looking like a completely different person. She now weighs 28 lbs and her arms and legs have filled out nicely. The change is so drastic that her mother didn’t even recognize her when she went to pick her up and had to ask a nurse to show her which child was hers! The mother told us that she went back to the place where the wheelchair distribution was and that she is scheduled to get a wheelchair in August.
The best part of this process is that the parents are getting an education about the proper way to prepare food for her and now she is on different medications. The father was in tears as he told us about the lessons that God has taught them through all of this. We are so thankful to God for giving us the opportunity to meet her and for the miracle that HE has done in this family. They will be presenting her in the Coban church plant, De La Comunidad, after they get her wheelchair and now know that there is a group of local Christians that care about them.