Jessie D is 24 years old and probably broke my heart more than any other flight. She said she had been a soccer star in middle school when she began to have joint pain. After many doctor evaluations, the diagnosis of Lupus was made. It is an autoimmune disease in which the body sees its own cells as foreign and attacks them. It causes joint pain and deformity and many other problems including inflammation of her blood vessels. This caused weak areas of the vessels in her brain that burst and caused her to have two strokes.
Grace on Wings got the call to relocate her to her brothers state of North Dakota last January after she had suffered her first stroke-because “her mental health condition was horrible and after a decade of her illness, her Mom was also emotionally exhausted”. Then she had a second devastating stroke and also developed problems eating and finally had a stomach tube placed. Her weight plummeted to only 80lbs.
She was finally approved to fly and we arrived at IU hospital to get her. Her father was there to sign her consent because she was not able. (I wrongly assumed it was because she was mentally unable.) She looked so frail and tiny lying in the hospital bed. We began to talk to her and, wow, were we surprised to learn she was very intelligent and had a masters degree in computer science and loved to use her IPad. All she could move was her deformed L arm and touch the screen with her thumb.
She said goodbye to her dad and we were off to the airport-thanks to donated ground ambulance by Prompt Care!
We arrived plane-side and I didn’t see much reaction when we prayed over her. We loaded her up and were off to Fargo. She had a lot of problems with pain and we had to give her multiple doses of morphine. She even asked if our medic Todd would move her leg and rub her feet-a first request of our patients-but Todd was happy to serve. ( I could picture Jesus washing the disciples feet.) Jessie tried to pass the time by playing “bejeweled” game on her computer and enjoyed listening to the pilots.
We arrived to a cold, snow-laddened Fargo at 16 degrees! As we bundled her up, she told me she was just going to the rehab to learn to walk again so she could finally go home to her brother’s house and live there with her mom. She said her mom was moving there in near future from Indiana.
We arrived to the rehab and she flashed a panic look when her brother was not there to meet us and I could not get a hold of him by telephone. She pretended to be busy on her computer, but I could see the pain on her face. I asked if we could pray with her and she nodded. Her tiny hand squeezed mine as we prayed. This tiny girl had faced more pain in a lifetime than most of us.
My heart broke as we had to leave her with “strangers.” I called her dad and he assured me her brother would be there soon.
I know it will take a miracle for her to “get home.” I pray that Jesus will become her real home.
Thanks to awesome flying by Hal and new recruit Mark, and for great care by medic Todd.
Thanks again to Prompt care for driving all the way from Lafayette when I couldn’t get anyone else to help!
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