I think the worst stories for any parent to hear are the ones about mysterious diseases or infections you never see coming. The ones that go from zero to 60 before anybody has a chance to even figure out what's going on. One day your kid seems perfectly healthy, the next ... it's just so horrible to even contemplate.
So some of the best stories to hear are the ones about kids who bounce back, against all odds, from those incredibly painful and scary experiences. Like 3-year-old Erica Scoffings of the U.K.
It all started back in January. Erica went to bed at 7:30 p.m., her usual bedtime, then woke up a couple of hours later wanting a glass of water. No wonder she was thirsty -- her temperature was skyrocketing and she was covered in dark purple splotches.
Erica's parents took her straight to the hospital, but even so, at the time of her arrival, doctors said the little girl was just a few hours away from death.
Her diagnosis? Meningococcal Septicaemia, a blood-borne version of meningitis that spreads like wildfire -- it can cause death within eight hours of symptoms showing up -- and often results in the amputation of one or more limbs.
Can you imagine?! You put your happy, healthy kid to bed one night and before the next morning you're in the ER being told she could die in three hours? Particularly frustrating is the fact that there's not much a parent or anybody else can do to prevent a child or themselves from contracting meningococcal disease. Lots of people carry the bacteria in their throats and never even get sick -- while others (especially small children and those with compromised immune systems) catch it without warning.
Thankfully, though -- miraculously, really -- after months spent in intensive care, Erica has made an almost full recovery. She's starting "nursery" (preschool) soon and began walking again long before any doctors thought it would be possible. She didn't lose any limbs to amputation, either.
Amazing. Isn't that exactly the kind of story we need to hear every so often, as parents? Sometimes miracles really do happen.
Do you think this little girl's recovery was a miracle?
Image via piermario/Flickr