Grace: Still Fighting
On Monday, a brave Ugandan girl named Grace was wheeled into an operating room in Kenya. Fourteen-year-old Grace has been fighting a rare medical condition in which thousands of small tumors have filled her abdomen.
This rare condition could be life-threatening for this beautiful teen, and Grace was brokenhearted when she had to drop out of school due to her condition. Grace lives in the same region as our Believe in Me Kabale school, and when we heard about Grace’s condition we wanted to do what we could to help this gorgeous girl so full of promise.
In last week’s blog, Grace’s Journey, we described the almost unbelievable series of events that led to Grace getting help. Thanks to the support of our generous donors as well as the medical help of one of the world’s leading experts in her condition, Dr. Andrea Hayes-Jordan with MD Anderson in Houston, Grace made the long and difficult journey to a mission hospital in Nairobi, Kenya last weekend to prepare for surgery.
Grace’s surgery took an unthinkable 24 hours. At first, she recovered surprisingly well. She received lots of fluids to help clear the chemotherapy drugs which were circulated through her abdomen. She woke up and was responding to her mom. Then, her kidneys began to struggle and she was intubated again. At first, the doctors felt that this was normal because of the massive amounts of chemo drugs going through them. However, they felt that she should have been recovering her kidney function today, and this morning we learned that doctors were very concerned.
This afternoon, we received very hopeful news from our manager, Shallon:
Three miracles happened this evening.
First, Grace was helped to sit on the bed this evening and supported herself with hands from both sides.
Secondly, she asked with sign language for a pen and a piece of paper.
We gave to her and she wrote on a paper. She was distracted by trying to focus on the paper while coughing from the irritating tubes that are deep in her abdomen through the mouth. From my observation, she was trying to write my name. We asked if she really was writing my name, and she nodded the head with a sign of yes.
The third miracle was her request for food. She used sign language to tell us that she wants to eat food. ’Not water but food.’ We told her that we thought doctors would allow her to have food tomorrow. We told her to stand strong only for tonight if she could.
She requested for me to hold her from one side to another like giving her a hug, I did it and she kept on holding my hands to hold her tight from the side. Then I prayed with her while holding her with my head rubbing next to her forehead.
Her mum held her with a hug after me. Of course, it was carefully done so that we don’t hurt or infect her.
We give great thanks to surgeon Dr. Hayes-Jordan and Dr. Ganey, who is monitoring her post-op care, for their tireless efforts to bring healing to Grace (pictured here post-surgery with Grace’s mom on the left).
We couldn’t be more grateful to everyone for this incredible worldwide effort to give Grace a chance for hope and healing. Please keep those positive thoughts and prayers coming for Grace as she still has a long road ahead for recovery.