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A Month for Miracles

April 23, 2011
April 2003 – in a coma. 

I have been thinking about being brave and posting some of the hospital pictures we have from our son’s birth this year. We have shown them to him now and we have been talking a lot about what it means to survive a near-death experience like that with him.

One thing I now know: a lot of it doesn’t hit you until years down the line. And that is quite something to process. Especially as my son has started absorbing it, too.

I had an amniotic embolism with my son. Some of the fluid from my uterus leaked into my body and it caused a full-blown anaphylactic reaction and cardio-respiratory collapse. I was without oxygen for about 8- 10 minutes. My son was born purple and floppy by emergency c-section and I was in a drug-induced coma for a number of days waiting to see if my brain would survive the oxygen deprivation it had experienced.

This is one of the most painful for me of all the pictures from the hospital to look at. 
This is me in the coma. They brought our son in for pictures in case I didn’t make it.

An amniotic embolism is “the most dangerous and untreatable condition in obstetrics – a set of complications associated with an 86 percent mortality rate.”* My husband was told I would unlikely regain consciousness and that I was not exhibiting any signs of awareness let alone wakefulness. It was a given that I would suffer long-term neurological damage (as a result of having insufficient oxygen for so long) and my son’s outcome – he had most likely gone without oxygen for as long as 14 minutes – was unknown, too.

Not only did I come out of that coma and have a CAT scan that showed a perfectly healthy, undamaged brain – but our son also lived and is bright and healthy, too. 81% of babies born in amniotic embolism trauma do not live. Those that do almost always have severe brain damage. In fact the odds of both of us living without either of us having brain damage is about 1 in 1.2 million.

Up until about four years ago I had absolutely zero memory of our trauma in the hospital. For four months after my son was born I had no short-term memory at all. “Easter,” my husband would say, “Easter is where Misha’s memory stops.” So April is a majorly significant month for us in this house. Easter is incredibly significant for us. Life after death hits very close to home for us.

And this April, this year, has been no exception. We just got incredible news again this week.

Some background:

My daughter had her first allergic anaphylactic reaction to a certain food when she was 5.5 months old. She had another one just before she turned two. And since then we have carried shots with us everywhere, all the time. As she said to me today: “Mom, do you realize I have never put any thing in my mouth to eat without first checking the ingredients and worrying it will hurt me?” When she has a reaction she can stop breathing in under four minutes. It’s a big deal and seeing her carry that stress as a little girl has been so hard.

Two years ago she was about to have an additional diagnosis added to her charts and that is when I (got feisty about it! and) felt the nudge to fight it unconventionally. I sought a lot of advice and worked with a variety of specialists, but most of all I prayed. And I felt a plan formulate in my head that I knew would be almost impossible.

But we did it. We changed every single thing about how our family lived and ate. We altered our entire diet and I prayed almost every night for healing in my daughter’s immune system, in her body, in her health.

Last year we saw the first big breakthrough. What her doctor had told us would never happen – and to not even hope for –  began to happen. This year we are seeing even more changes. We just got her blood work back and it is beyond good news. It is shockingly amazing news. (Honestly? It’s more than I even prayed for!)

We will have one more food challenge with her doctor and will do a series of “just-making-sure” ones here at home. But it looks like we have another beautiful miracle in my daughter.

My birth experience with my son was not my first experience with a supernatural gift. I had already been very sick before that and had a shocking encounter with years’ of prayers being answered in one day. I was very sick and expected to be sick for the rest of my life. That miracle happened on June 21st of 1999. I read a scripture early that morning that I have never forgotten.

This last week my son was reading a new devotional to us all in the dining room and, as he began reading the scripture for the day, I got chills. It was the same one I had read all those years ago. It is the same one I have prayed for my daughter’s body. It is the same one I am so, so thankful for every year, every April, for every family member. (My husband has quite an amazing story, too.)

God is no respecter of persons. He listens to all of our prayers – and if you need back-up faith to ask Him for a miracle, for a healing – please, borrow mine! I know up close and personal that He heals. He gives life. He is generous and good and kind. And as I know that I know that I know – at Easter time more than ever – He does wonderful things.

“I will not die but live, and I will declare the works and recount the beautiful, amazing and incredible acts of the Lord.” 
~ (my personalized, modified version of Psalm 118:17)
April 2011“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”
~ Agatha Christie

* Our story is told in chapter five of the book God on Mute: Engaging the Silence of Unanswered Prayer by Pete Greig.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. svea permalink
    April 23, 2011 1:02 am

    Oh my goodness. I am crying happy tears, thankful tears to have witnessed Gods miracles in your lives and rejoice with you over LIFE!!!!! much love to you all!

  2. April 23, 2011 4:33 am

    What an amazing story, friend. I’m glad you are alive!!! What a celebration!

  3. Gunila Baumann permalink
    April 23, 2011 4:54 am

    Dear Misha and Lionel,
    Thanks for sharing God’s awesome resurrection power. How we prayed for you and Luke!!! Did not know about Kesia’a situation but rejoice with you in what our wonderful risen Savior is doing!!!

  4. Miranda permalink
    April 23, 2011 5:10 am

    Thank for sharing this. We love you and your exhuberant presence in so many lives. Never was it more true that, ‘Your life is a book, to be read by others.’ Praise Jesus that this book is so honoring, glorifying of who He really is! (P.S. I am ordering ‘God on Mute’, thanks!)

  5. barbara Thompson permalink
    April 24, 2011 9:38 am

    Moving and wonderful. thank you Mish for sharing this. As you left the hospital the doctor said, “you are our miracle ….” It was a time I will never forget.

  6. Yvonne DeSaulniers permalink
    April 24, 2011 7:15 pm

    I am moved beyond words. I ache for your pain in those dark times, but rejoice in God’s greatest gift of life for you and Luke and Kezia and the true devotion of God’s love through Lionel. You are a family graced in God’s love and light and serve as a voice for all of us. Easter is about new life from the depths of pain and you are a living testament of Jesus’ love and resurrection on earth today. Thank you for sharing this miracle with us.

  7. April 25, 2011 5:17 am

    Dear friend- Those pictures of you and Luke in the hospital are almost more than I can bear to look at. You are a continual inspiration and reminder of God’s amazing power and miraculous hand. God is and will continue to use you (and your family) in powerful and unimaginable ways. I feel so honored to call you my friend.

  8. Adriana permalink
    April 25, 2011 5:05 pm

    Those pictures are powerful and say a lot of things that words couldn’t capture. The picture of you and Luke is so brutally vulnerable and moving. Thank you for sharing and for exposing yourself. It is great to see and feel your story. It is the kind of story that helps faith grow in harsh places. I hope your family had an amazing celebration this Easter.

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