Almost 6 years old… but she was adamant she was only four. Severe malnutritioncomplicated by highly contagious and late stage tuberculosis and severe pneumonia. Her lungs were filling with fluid.
We put her in a private hospital and spared nothing. Tests were done, blood transfusions given, medications both through IV, intramuscular, orally. She stayed on oxygen just so she could breathe. Eating? Every meal was a fight but after just a few days, she seemed to rally. Her color was more pink and she was resting better. I dared to hope.
The doctors complained of her rudeness, of how mean she was, and how she was just a nasty little girl until I explained what I had unearthed. She was abused; neglected and unloved by the relatives who had cared for her for the past 2 years.
She struggled the last 48 hours… more than I would have liked.
In the afternoon, she was fighting to breath. The fluid in her lungs drowning her. She laid her head on Brittany’s chest and with tenderness, Brittany sang to her and held her close.
By evening, she was unconscious and we waited quietly by her side. The only sound was the hum of the oxygen and her gurgled breathing. We talked in whispers and tried to make sense of the last week and of what we were sure would be a miracle.
It was late and I took her tiny cold hands in mine, and caressed them. “Its okay, sweetheart. We love you. I will explain to your family. You can rest now. You don’t need to fight anymore. Jesus will hold you. He loves you so very much… you can fly to Him.” I sighed and I prayed the angels would come.
And they did. She quietly took her last breath without a struggle.
We wrapped her in the purple sheet that was on the bed and I went to deal with the family, the funeral home, the morgue, the doctor’s fees, the medical bills, and the fact that many of us were now exposed to highly contagious TB.
I think we were all moved by Jellyn’s desire to live.
But more than wanting to experience life, I think it was something else Jellyn was searching for. She was starving for love. Love unconditional, unreserved, gentle and true.
I know we did everything medically that there was to do and I know that in the end, she did experience love. She couldn’t have died alone. I believe she would have hung on and on until she felt valued and cared for.
And now she is in heaven, singing with the angels and she can breathe and run as good as any other 5 year old. And she probably has all the books, bags, and dolls she ever wanted. And most of all, Jesus is there to hold her and she cannot help but know
she is loved.
For God IS love.
Thank you to all of you for being part of this journey with Jellyn. Her medical bills will amount to what I had guessed, almost $5000. If more money came in, perhaps we could set it aside for the renovations to our medical ward that we need so badly. Let us know how you feel about this.