Mona Lisa manipulation by 
 Lola Dupré

Mona Lisa manipulation by Lola Dupré

I was diagnosed with Congenital Heart Disease. I was also raised in a Christian family. Those two weren’t meant to go together but it did. As a child, I was told to avoid strenuous activities and that as much as possible, I have to do my stuff indoors. The only friends I’ve got are my Sunday school friends.
As I grew up, my parents felt the need to take me to the cardiologist from time to  time and that meant missing Sunday services. Though this wasn’t such a big deal to me, it got to the point that my cardiologist said that a surgery was necessary. Of course, 8-year-old-me wasn’t used to hearing stuff like that. My family needed to explain the entire thing to me and when I finally understood, I froze. This was the time my family requested prayers and financial help from friends, relatives and church mates. I even remember the time the entire church prayed for me during one of the services and even though I didn’t fully understand the meaning of it, it made me feel at ease.
Painting by Roman Tolici

Painting by Roman Tolici

Fast forward to the day I never wanted to come, I remember holding my breath in the elevator. My mom was with me. My entire family was outside the hospital.. We went straight to my designated room and a couple of kids my age and kids younger than me are there. The walls were painted with the ocean and the room felt really cozy. For a moment, I forgot the reason I was there. I got needles poked through my wrists but I was relaxed. I didn’t even cry that night. All I wanted was a goodnight sleep. Somehow, the night felt longer than usual. I didn’t woke up on my bed clothes. My mom was nowhere to be found and there seemed to be more needles all over me. It took me a while to realize that it already happened that night. The feeling of shock and peace took hold of me. I was paralyzed. I can’t say anything nor do anything. All I did was stare into the ceiling and pray. I did that until I drifted back to sleep. The next time I woke up, I was relieved to see my mom with me again. I was also able to meet the surgeon and our relatives came for a visit, For a week, I was able to recover but it doesn’t end there.

Turns out, the surgery actually saved my life. It wasn’t Congenital Heart Disease. It was Aneurysm all along. It’s one of those diseases that hides itself and by that I meant no signs and symptoms. It goes of like a bomb and that’s it. By the time you’ve found it out, it was already too late. When the surgeon mentioned this, my family can’t help but praise God for giving my cardiologist that decision and that is to prepare for an operation. It was only that time that I understood.

I was required to get weekly checkups with my cardiologist after exiting the hospital and for every opportunity, my parents and grandparents would talk about how grateful they were for saving me. They kept talking about God and I was surprised she never gets tired of hearing about Him.

Everything was back to normal. Well, that’s what I thought.

It was from one of my check ups that we’ve heard about the news about my surgeon. Months after my operation, it was discovered that he suffered from the same disease as me and it did him away. We were speechless. The thought of it killed us thinking it might’ve happened to me, too but with God’s perfect timing, He saved me and I can’t help but praise His Name.

As a child, I didn’t give a sh!t about the Christian life but through that experience, I realized that I needed Him. It wasn’t the heart disease I was dealing with all along. There was something much worse. It was the emptiness and the cure for it was none other than giving me that disease and leaving matters into His hands. This way, He revealed Himself to me and I believe that I wouldn’t need any other medicine to get through life.

Submitted to ArtParasites by Slate