Physical Healing

Able To Walk and Talk Again

June 5, 2017
A teenage girl who had terrible medical complications from surgery can walk and talk again.

As a parent, you always want what is best for your child. At times, it can be difficult when you want to protect them while at the same time allowing them to participate in what they love. My daughter, MeiLin, was very athletic and loved to play basketball. She had two previous concussions while playing, so we thought about not having her play anymore. However, the likelihood of something happening again was so small, and the thought of taking her away from what she loved ultimately didn't feel like it was in her best interest. She recovered quickly from the first concussion and only had to sit out from playing for a couple of weeks. The second concussion was worse. She was shooting the ball when a player came from behind and shoved her. MeiLin flew across the court and hit the wall, which had no padding on it. The injuries were more sustained and she needed to have physical and occupational therapy for a while to help her get back into the game. She recovered, and we put this behind us, never thinking that it could actually happen again. A year went by, and it was the last basketball game of the season. Everything was going well when MeiLin was suddenly elbowed in the head by her eye. Those things can happen in the game of basketball, but when her eyes stayed dilated and she started having headaches 24/7, we knew it was more serious. She restarted a variety of therapies and tried various medications, but nothing was helping. After a year of pain and dizziness, we consulted with a surgeon to learn about other treatment options. They told us that she most likely had a crack in her middle ear that was causing a leak in her spinal fluid, which would cause headaches. Although no one really wants to go through surgery, we were actually excited as we were told that when she would come out of surgery, she would immediately and completely feel normal again. We could hardly wait for that new normal again!

The day of surgery came and at first everything was seemingly a success. However, we noticed that MeiLin could not walk, and she was still having headaches. In MeiLin's words, "I woke up from surgery, and I couldn't figure out how to get my legs to work. I was panicked. Hours went by and I still wasn't able to walk. I was freaking out and very scared." The inability to walk was bizarre, but seen by the medical professionals as just part of her overall rehabilitation, so we eventually went home for her to fully recover. Two weeks went by, then four weeks, and she still wasn't improving and still couldn't walk. It was terrible and no one could figure out why this happened. She reports, "I was home and the sensation in my legs starting returning, but I had no control over them. I could stand up, but couldn't control my legs to walk. I would stand on my knees, but even that was too shaky for me."

Six months later, MeiLin had a dentist appointment that required anesthesia so as to not further aggravate her headaches with the dental work. In her words, "My senses were so heightened during that time. Without the anesthesia, the drilling, noises, vibrations, and even the lights would have caused me to have headaches and be dizzy. However, when I woke up, I had no control over my tongue. It was scary, and I was rushed to the Emergency Room." When MeiLin came out of the anesthesia, we were faced with this next devastating reality. It was as if she had had a stroke. She had no control over her neck, her tongue was swollen, and she could no longer talk. It was a mystery to us and the doctors, but they thought it was temporary and would be better soon. Five months later we flew to another state to be seen by a doctor who specializes in traumatic brain injuries. He ran some tests and discovered what had happened to MeiLin. It was a relief to know that someone could help us make sense of the last year of our lives. It turned out that MeiLin had a genetic condition that would cause her body to hold onto toxins. Every time she would have anesthesia or take medications, her body wouldn't dispel them properly, so it was as if she was being poisoned. The drugs built up in her system until her system decided to shut down. As we left that appointment, his words to us were, "What has happened is very unfortunate. I'm not going to be the one to heal her, but we will do the best we can to detox her." He immediately started her on some IV medication and that was the first sign of things beginning to turn around as the headaches were no longer happening 24/7. Things were still improving, but about six to seven months in, the progress plateaued. She still could not walk or talk and we were told by three speech therapists that it was basically hopeless that she would be able to talk again as there was too much brain damage. I told my husband that if she ever talked again, we would be certain that it was a miracle! That next year was difficult and things seemed so hopeless. I had heard of Bethel Church, and some people told me that I should take MeiLin there for healing. I didn't know much about Bethel. I knew a lot of healings happen there but still wasn't so sure about going. One day, I was in the car with MeiLin when she started signing to me that she wanted to stop by Trader Joe's. We had already passed it, so normally I wouldn't turn around and go back, but this day we did. MeiLin was fast in her wheelchair and made it inside before me. As I walked in and looked through the crowd, I saw her with another young girl and her mom. It turned out that this young girl was one of MeiLin's good friends from Junior High. They asked what had happened and when I told them, they said, "No. This is not God. This is not okay. We need to pray right now." So, right there in the middle of Trader Joe's, they laid hands on her to pray. It seemed like everywhere we went, people were praying for MeiLin and believing for her healing. After praying with her in Trader Joe's, they told us that we needed to go to Bethel for more healing prayer. That was the third person who had told me, so I knew we needed to go. This family had visited multiple times, so we decided to take the trip to Bethel together two weeks later.

It was April 2015 when we visited Bethel. MeiLin was still in a wheelchair and unable to speak, but there was great expectation that things were about to change. We went to the Friday night service and then the Healing Rooms on Saturday. We had such an incredible experience! Many saints labored in prayer over her for about an hour, and we appreciated that so much. I kept thinking to myself, "She's going to walk again!" I felt like something shifted in the spirit that day, but to our disappointment, there was no physical manifestation of healing at that point. We went to church the next morning, and a lady in front of me turned around during worship and started giving me an encouraging word. She didn't know anything about me or our circumstances but began to speak about these exact areas of my life. She told me that I needed to know that it was not my fault. I had been carrying that feeling of guilt around with me for years, as I was the one who agreed for her to have the surgery, which ultimately led to her current condition. The lady then proceeded to talk about how God was working with my daughter, but that I also needed healing for my heart. She must have turned around four times to give me more words. That day, God had given me a gift to hold onto through the words of that woman. We didn't know if MeiLin would get healed or not, but we left feeling it was possible, and I left with a healed heart.

Over the course of that next year, MeiLin went into deep darkness and hopelessness and tried to take her own life several times. It was the worst of the worst. She was so hopeless because God wasn't healing her that she didn't see a reason to live. Not only did she lose her ability to communicate and walk, she lost her friends as well. She would go to things that she used to go to, and people would ignore her as if they didn't know how to interact with her anymore. She felt isolated and alone. MeiLin writes, "After they said I couldn't walk, I kind of gave up on the whole Christian thing. I stopped going to church. I stopped praying. I stopped reading the Bible. At one point I was in a rehabilitation center where I was being monitored 24/7. There was so much isolation from distractions and the outside that I had a lot of time to think to myself. Because I was being watched all the time, I couldn't have any walls up where I could hide, so all of my walls started coming down. I once wrote in my journal to God, 'I am done. I can't live any longer. I am done with You.' In that very moment, God spoke to me, 'No, you're not done. I have a purpose for your life.' I responded to God and told Him that I was done fighting and would let God take over my life again. I felt faith to completely surrender to Him again." It was after that that things began to change.

MeiLin was actively involved in physical and occupational therapy, but nothing was really helping. Before the surgery, she was really athletic, so she wanted to do CrossFit instead and got connected to some incredible coaches there. She reports, "They really took me under their wing and kept me grounded. One of my coaches was a Christian, so I started going to church with her too." MeiLin was full of faith for her healing, and both she and her coaches were determined that she would walk again. One of her coaches would leave their sessions together and even study more on her own about how to help the mind and body reconnect after a brain injury. They were tenacious in their pursuit of seeing my daughter thrive again! It was in January 2016 that her coach told me that her goal was to have MeiLin walk by the summer. I thought to myself, "I'm so glad you have faith for that!" A year after she had visited Bethel and only four months after setting that goal, in April of 2016, MeiLin began to walk and run again! By this time, she had been wheelchair-bound for over two years! Then, only three months later, in July of 2016, her speech miraculously and spontaneously returned as well! She comments, "The date was July 10, 2016. I wasn't speaking yet, but working really hard with my speech person. A film crew came for the CrossFit video and there on film they caught me saying my first words to my mom, 'I love you.'"

A doctor had previously said that if MeiLin's speech hadn't returned within a year, it was likely that it never would. But, God had a different end to her story! She continues, "I am more intentional with what I say now, too. When you have to use a phone to text what you want to say all the time, you filter things better." MeiLin is now 17 years old and is telling her story and giving glory to God! Despite missing so much school due to that illness, she just completed high school and is leaving to attend a Christian university this August!

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