Most Sundays my husband, Hal, and I had dinner with his brother Norman’s family, who lived nearby. Our four-year-old niece, Lisa, always had lots of news to share with us, so I was surprised one Sunday evening when she was extremely quiet. She really wasn’t eating either.
“Aren’t you hungry?” her mother asked her. My niece just shook her head and slumped in her chair. “Lisa, sit up,” her mom told her. Lisa pushed herself up a bit in the chair but, just a short while later, was slumped down again.
“She must be really tired,” I said. Her parents took her upstairs for an early bedtime. The rest of us finished our dinner. Then Hal and I drove home and went to sleep.
Hours later, the phone rang, waking us up. On the line was my brother-in-law Norman. “Please pray for Lisa,” he told me.
His daughter had gotten much, much worse after we’d left. Norman and his wife had rushed her to the emergency room at NYU Winthrop Hospital, in Mineola, New York. Thank goodness they did! Turned out, Lisa had developed a condition called epiglottitis, in which the flap at the base of the tongue gets inflamed, often due to an infection, blocking the airway. Doctors had to give the little girl an emergency tracheotomy, but she’d been working so hard to breathe that her lungs had collapsed.
“The doctors are inserting a tube into each lung to reinflate them,” Norman said to me. “She needs your prayers.”
I hung up the phone and told my husband what had happened. God, please heal Lisa, I prayed over and over again.
I took out my Bible and randomly opened it to a page—the Book of Luke, chapter four.
“‘And standing over her he rebuked the fever,’” I read out loud, practically at the top of my lungs. “‘And it left her, and she immediately arose and waited on them.’”
I’d barely finished when the phone rang again. “She’s okay!” Norman shouted. “She’s going to be all right!”
“I know,” I said.
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