Thank You for Praying: Natanael's Miracle

06/22/18
 
COTN’s clinic in the Dominican Republic is a life-saving facility, and it exists because of the generosity of partners like you. For many people in the community of Barahona, this newly-renovated clinic is their only source of medical care. Services provided include pediatrics, gynecology, surgical procedures, dentistry, and more.
 
But it's not just the clinic you've provided that is changing lives; it's also your prayers. One of these lives is Natanael’s*. 
 
 
The clinic you helped build in Barahona
COTN’s clinic provides affordable medical care to the community of Barahona in the Dominican Republic. 
 
Natanael is just three years old, but he has already endured more than many adults. It started when he became ill and needed surgery. Like many families in their community, Nataneal’s parents did not have access to medical care. So his family turned to COTN’s clinic.
 
A medical Venture team came to the clinic and were prepared to perform this routine procedure. It seemed that Natanael’s health problems were going to be over—until the something went wrong. . . .
 
An operating room in the clinic
The clinic is equipped for surgeries, wellness visits, dental visits, and other important services.
 
Toward the end of the surgery, Natanael's heart rate and breathing changed. The doctors didn’t know what was wrong with the little boy, but he was getting worse—and fast. They had to perform lifesaving measures. 
 
The surgical team expected his temperature to fall during the process. Instead, his temperature gradually rose, and the team realized he was feeling unexpectedly hot. When they checked his fever, it was 108 degrees. 
 
Doctors performing surgery
The doctors had no reason to believe Natanael’s surgery would be anything but ordinary—until his temperature wouldn’t stop rising.
 
That was when the doctors realized that Natanael was suffering from a rare, adverse reaction to the anesthesia called malignant hyperthermia.
 
Because malignant hyperthermia is so rare, the drug to treat it is not stocked at the clinic, and most medical teams who visit do not bring it. But one anesthesiologist made the last-minute decision to pack not one, but two doses of the drug, just in case.
 
As soon as the team realized what was wrong with Natanael, and that they had the one drug he needed, they administered the medication. But Natanael was still struggling, so he was taken to the hospital.
 
It was a long drive from the clinic to the hospital, a drive that he would not have survived if he did not have the first dose of medication. 
 
When he arrived at the hospital, Natanael received his second dose of medication. The hospital was able to stabilize him, but doctors were afraid that he would have lasting consequences and maybe brain damage. 
 
Anonymous child in the clinic
Natanael was alive, but doctors at the hospital were afraid he would suffer lasting damage from his fever.
 
When he woke up, their fears were confirmed—Natanael could not see.
 
COTN staff prayed over this little boy. They were grateful he was alive, but they knew the road ahead would be difficult for him. Living in poverty is tough enough, even without a disability. At just age three, he would have to learn to live without his sight. 
 
Three weeks passed, and COTN staff and partners continued pray for Natanael. And God once again did something incredible in Natanael’s life. The little boy regained his sight after weeks of blindness!
 
Anonymous boy flying a kite
                                  Praise God! Three-year-old Natanael regained his sight! 
 
It's a miracle that the anesthesiologist made a last-minute decision to grab two doses of the medicine Natanael would end up needing. And it's a miracle that Natanael is healthy now and has recovered his sight.
 
Thank you to everyone who prayed for Natanael. Thank you to the medical team that cared for him.
 
And thank you to partners like you who provided the clinic where Natanael and countless others have received life-saving care.
 
*This child’s name has been changed to protect his identity. 
 
P.S. Want to hear more stories about how prayers are being answered? Sign up for our News & Updates.
 
P.P.S. If you are a medical professional, and you want to share your talents with children in need, go on a Venture trip!