I’m gonna tell you a TRUE story today and..I hope you will read it till the end and do what your heart tells you to do.
This is the story of an exceptional woman, 46 years old, widow, mother of 3 kids. She was diagnosed with a rare neuroimmunological disorder – ADEM- and spastic quadriplegia.
This amazing woman who managed to raise- ALONE!- 3kids while learning to become a doctor in biochemistry, who wrote books and to became one of the most brilliant, loved and respected university teachers in Ploiesti, Romania is lying in bed for one year and a half, caught in the prison of a non responsive body, unable to move, speak and eat.
She is my cousin.
The doctors told me that it is a miracle that she is alive. Boy, don’t I know that better than anyone!
She got ill in November 2009…and, after all we have been through together fighting with this horrible disease, I thank God everyday that she is alive and I promised that, when she gets well, I will tell everyone how God made miracles with her.
I will tell you my beloved cousin’s story…our story, actually, because ever since she got ill, I haven’t left her side.
The disease has started on 11 th of November 2009, when she had a sudden numbness on her left arm. She drove herself to the hospital for what she thought it would be only a routine check-up. The doctors suspected a debut of multiple sclerosis and she was put on intensive cortisone treatment.
BIG MISTAKE!!!HUGE! The diagnosis was made in a hurry, based on a wrong interpretation of the MRI . I found out about this mistake after a few months from a neurologist friend, who simply hadn’t have the heart to tell me the truth before. The excessive cortisone had caused an edema on the front cortex. That, in most of the cases is causing death.. Only through a miracle of God, it got resorbed after a few months when we literally fought with death.
I cannot tell you how I felt when I found the truth. But you can imagine…
Getting back to November 2009…
My cousin’s condition has worsened day by day due to the wrong treatment, the left leg became numb, afterwards the entire body. Already after 3 days, she became unable to speak or react in anyway. The doctors then realized their mistake ( but, of course HAVEN’T TOLD ME ANYTHING!!!) and sent us to another hospital, in Bucharest.
There, they immediately saw the mistake and quietly reduced the cortisone, took another MRI and denied the initial diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. They suspected at first an encephalitis and started to investigate the possible sources of an infection. No sign of infection has been found. The investigations being taken further, they suspected first a leukoencephalitis, than a cerebral vasculitis, but, there were only assumptions, because the brain lesions and the way the disease was evolving were completely atypical. They discovered a hypertension, hypertiroidis and a very low immunity. Actually, she was immunodepresive and HIV was suspected, but, then, denied.
I cannot express how I felt when, day by day, for 3 months, the doctors were telling me that they are doing everything they can, but the chances for survival are practically zero and that I have to expect ….”the inevitable” to occur ”anytime”.
I DENIED DEATH WITH ALL MY HEART. The only possibility that I was accepting was that she gets well and that’s that. I never even considered another possibility.
I sat by her side all the time, day and night, without rest, feeding her, caring for her, taking her in my arms when she had those horrible crisis that I don’t even want to remember of…Every minute, every day and night, I never stopped praying and repeating to Andra that she most not worry: ”Sweetie, we have a difficult time now, you are very sick, but you’re gonna get well and we’ll forget all these”.
And I believed EVERY SINGLE WORD I WAS TELLING HER.
Even during the terrible time when she was in a deep coma and her body was so weakened and twisted that …oh, God, I cannot even talk about it. It’s been too cruel…too horrible. No one should see a person they love in such a way.
Even while she was in a coma, I kept talking to her. I clearly felt that she hears and understands me; not with her brain (the cerebral cataclysm was in its full rage at that time) but, with her soul. I never doubted for a second that, in spite of the horrible, obvious reality below my eyes, somehow God will change that reality into a different one.
I knew, deep in my heart, even in the worst moments, that God will put away death and bring Life back to her.
And, HE DID. AND HE DOES. DAY BY DAY.
Jesus, tears are falling from my eyes…I thought that, somehow, I will forget those moments, but…all is still crystal clear, as if it happened yesterday…
The smallest changes in her state, things that, even for the doctors were too small to be noticed as a progress, they were for me solid proofs that she started to heal. And I never stopped praying.. with all my heart, mind, spirit…my whole being was begging God to bring her back to life.
I don’t have a way to express how it felt like when her kids were asking me ”How is Mom?”…
….and I was sleepless after another night when I was holding her head up to keep her from choking with her own saliva and holding her tight so she wouldn’t hurt herself (it was in that time when each day she survived was another step back to life, another victory on death…and the cerebral lessions were devastating her whole body)…
So, “How was Mom”?
“Oh, fine! Doing better, don’t worry!”
…t’was my answer..then I wanted to cry and hit my head to the walls…but I couldn’t afford the privilege to behave like a normal, terrified human being.
Andra was waiting for me..and when I was looking in her eyes and see all that suffering and pain (because her pains were…excruciating!!!no better word!) I was finding – I don’t know where, trust me!!- the power to swallow my tears and carry on.
Actually, I think I know from where that power was.( still is)
Only one thing kept me strong : FAITH. And I tell you something that I ‘ve kept repeating to my friends ever since Andra got sick: THERE IS NO OTHER DOCTOR BUT GOD. HE is the one and only and has in His hands the diseases, the cures, the treatments. The miracles, the power…EVERYTHING.
Before Andra got sick, I was an almost upsettingly cerebral person. But when I saw what He did with Andra, how He draw her back to life, how He practically brought her back to life in an impossible situation, I admitted myself being small and stupid in my pride of “being smart”.
And, when you spend almost 8 months in hospitals, day by day, becoming almost a member of that hospital’s team, seeing what I’ve seen, you can but admit that you’re only a poor grain of sand in God’s scheme of things. And all the small things that were SO IMPORTANT to you appear suddenly as they really are: they are nothing. They are nothing in a place where Life and Death are playing on a very narrow threshold …how terrified you are when you see that fragile equilibrium between them broken!
And how awful is the fear of death…not for your own death..but for someone you love who lies paralyzed in a hospital bed!!!
One of her doctors told me (it was also in that first critical month from the start of the disease) that I must be “realistic” and to accept what the medical facts are showing…I realized that, if I want her back alive, I AM NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO CONSIDER THE ALTERNATIVE of an unhappy ending. I told him:”Doc, you know what’s the difference between you and me? You look into your papers and MRI’S and I look in her eyes and UP THERE at God!”
He looked at me with such a pity…
After all, he was doing his job, nothing wrong about it.
When Andra literally came back to life after 3 months of fighting with death, I asked her if she remembers anything at all from that period. She said she remembered my voice, she doesn’t remember what I was saying, but it felt very good to listen to me, because it was very gentle and warm. She said she remembers my face…and..that was it. She asked me to tell her what happened to her..hmm…what a challenge that story telling was!I only told her the “easy” parts and with a lot of humor, to help her get over it.
Sometimes I tell myself that I have a really crazy sense of humor, but laughing helped me get her out of that terrifying period.
And keeps me sane now…
A sudden high fever has forced the doctors to transfer her to the viral diseases hospital, where she had an immunoglobulin treatment for 6 days and I could definitely observe a positive reaction of her body afterwards.
After almost 4 months, my cousin has slowly started to get better: she started to talk again, to gain in weight; the skin began to regain its normal color, her arms and legs were not looking like a modern abstract sculpture anymore.
She was fully conscious, clear, laughing, communicating, expressing her desires, making jokes, having a great appetite, enjoying music and movies and playwrights. She only had difficulties with calculations and short term memory, but, after a short while, we slowly managed to overcome these difficulties by exercising every day, practicing numbers, practicing naming objects and remembering them, practicing an “end of the day journal” where we talked about everything we did that day.
I taught her again how to use her voice properly (because she could only speak in whispers at that time)..and so on and so forth.
In the last week of February 2010, my cousin’s state of health was not requiring artificial feeding anymore (by perfusions), she was looking really good and the doctors decided she was strong enough to get into a physical recovery programme. Up to that moment, I had done only massage for her, because, the terrible pains that she had in her muscles and joints were not allowing a serious workout. Due to the fact that she is allergic to painkillers, I was not able to ease her pains in anyway and she was (and she still is) very very sensitive to pain.
If I only knew what a tragedy was about to happen- AGAIN, DEAR GOD, AGAIN!!!- I would have taken her home and do the recovery programme for her myself ( as I do now) and look for another type of treatment( as I did after the new tragedy that hit her).
But, how could I possibly know????
In the last week of February 2010, we went to a famous Bucharest hospital for physical recovery. There, she was given massage, kinetotherapy and warm packing with paraffin for her joints. She was very responsive to the treatment : after 1 week, she could move her right hand alone, grabbing, sketch of extension on both legs, sitting in the wheelchair (not more than 2 hours, though, but able to hold her head alone and to sit without dizziness). I even managed to stand her up and hold her on her feet for a few seconds. So, the things were going very well and I was literally crying with happiness, even if I was exhausted after so many months without sleep, proper food, …without life.
Our happiness was short and, just when I thought that the worst had finished, the real hell unleashed.
On the 2nd of March, during a kinetotherapy session, after a few painful moves with the hands and feet, the kinetotherapist suddenly raised her up on the edge of the bed.
Another HUGE MEDICAL MISTAKE! She was too fragile for that and the move was too sudden for someone with cerebral lessions and hypertension!!!
Another strike! A cerebral vascular accident. She was urgently taken to intensive care…and we’ve been there for one month. She kept conscious and clear during the attack and afterwards…When she saw me crying and quickly putting on her chest the sensors to connect her to the monitor for vital signs, her eyes grew huge and scared and she wanted to scream and cry…but she couldn’t. Not any more.
THE HEMATOMA HAS DISAPPEARED COMPLETELY, BUT, IT DAMAGED THE CENTRES OF SPEAKING AND DEGLUTITION IN THE BRAIN.
No more voice. No more eating. For a few months, she could not even swallow her own saliva and I had to watch her every night to make sure she doesn’t choke with her own saliva.
How all these felt like?
There are no words. Just a deep, huge, excruciating pain in my heart, that I don’t think will ever heal.
I brought her home in May 2010 and, just like before in the hospitals, I never left her side.
There are no words to express what I feel when I look into her eyes and I see all the suffering of trying to speak and not being understood, not even heard, of being locked in a body that doesn’t respond to you, being unable to taste, to enjoy, being completely addicted on me for …EVERYTHING!
And this, after you had a life where you were the one caring for the others, raising 3 great kids alone, educating students and finding always place in your time to help and comfort the ones around you!!!
The final – not diagnosis, assumption- of the doctors (because they were still not sure) was “ADEM” – acute disseminated encephalomyelitis- that resulted in “spastic quadriplegia”. They have also said that it is a miracle from God that she is alive and she is recovering after such lesions.
Last year, in July, one friend told me about an Asian clinic that treats the so called ” incurable” diseases and gave me their address.
I thank God everyday that I called them and trusted them, because I have found at that clinic such an amazing team of doctors that bend over backwards to save her life. They conceived a personalized treatment for her that I bring from there every month and that is literally raising her up from the dead men’s world.
I love those people. And I don’t think that I could ever do anything so valuable for them to express my gratitude for them for saving my beloved cousin’s life.
She feels much better, she started to eat a little on her mouth, she doesn’t have that much pain anymore, she has gained her voice back( even if she cannot form words yet), she gained back the neurological reflexes of the body, her mind is clear, she laughs a lot.
Her Asian doctors say that she will recover completely in time, gradually.
When she will be strong enough to be able to travel, I have to take her to the clinic for recovery treatment.
The big problem is that, all my financial resources have gone almost completely.
Due to the fact that I have to take care of her all the time (she is completely addicted to permanent care and that care must be done in a certain way that only I can do), I have no time to work to make money.
I barely have time to sleep and eat….
Just now, when she is coming back to life and needs help the most, I am flat broke!!!
To get Andra back on her feet, I need a minimum 4000 USD per month that I will spend for her treatment in the clinic. The treatment has to be done for at least 4-5 months…JUST TO BEGIN THE RECOVERY.
I will also have to pay for the transportation and food expenses for both of us (naturally, I have to go there with her).
So, I need a minimum of 20.000 USD JUST TO BEGIN THE RECOVERY FOR ANDRA.
The total cost of treatment will probably raise up to 60.000 USD, for one year only.We estimate a total of 120.000 USD, plus medical transportation .That means about 140.000 USD.
Please, help me cover as many months of treatment possible!
Every day of recovery brings back her feet, her hands, her voice, makes her a normal human being again.
The fact that she survived this unforgiving disease is, in itself, a miracle.
The fact that she is getting better means even more.
It means she’s got something to do around here. God has plans with her. I am sure that He wants to give her back a happy and beautiful life that she never had …she was too busy to fight for survival and to raise her 3 kids ALONE, without any family support and being repeatedly hit by the very people who were supposed to help her!
She is only 46 years old…and this is her chance to born again.
I am giving her my life since a year and a half… since then, I have no life of my own at all, everything I do, breath and speak is for her, to get her back on her feet.
Please, help me save her! Each contribution counts.
Accounts in RON (Romanian currency):
RO14 BRDE 300S V489 4480 3000 (on the name of Andra Mihaela Micu)
RO91BPOS30002644580RON01 (on the name of Andra Mihaela Micu)
Accounts in USD:
RO 04 BRDE 300SV82949323000 (on the name of Cristina Florescu)
SWIFT CODE: BRDE ROBU
Please, help me save her!!
Each contribution counts!
I thank you from all of my heart for being with us.
God bless you all.