Monday, March 21, 2005

Prayers for Monique

Prayers for Monique

TODAY Newspaper

My daughter Vanessa and I visited a young classmate of hers who is confined at the Asian Hospital. Monique is in a coma and is fighting for her life. She is only 25 years old and has shown great courage in responding to her illness since she was seven. After we prayed over her, Monique’s parents gave me the following paper, which I need to share with you. It is her story and a plea for prayers:

This is my 4th prayer request for my 25-year-old daughter, Ma. Lourdes Dominique, or Monique, for a miracle.

Monique has had seven (7) brain surgeries due to craniopharyngioma, a type of brain tumor that, although benign, keeps on recurring in the different parts of her brain. The first operation was done in 1987 at age 7, the 2nd in 1995, and the 3rd in 2001. After all these operations she was able to go back to a normal life including school and even served as a member of the Servants of the Sacraments, or usherette, at Sunday Mass. In 2002, she almost graduated from college at San Beda Alabang, taking up only her thesis and some minor subjects, when she showed signs of a tumor growth again.

The last four operations came one after another, on October 4, 2002, January 15, 2003, December 3, 2004, and January 19, 2004. She never went back to normal after these last four operations. The last operation was done just to be able to extend her life for a year more.

Her doctor who took care of her since her first operation said that by August 2004, she would show signs of deterioration and would probably be gone by December. Well, she is still around. It has been exactly one year, one month and six days since her last operation. Thanks to your prayers, but she needs more this time for a miracle.

She has been confined since January 10, 2005, at Asian Hospital, and is now in a coma. You can just imagine the stress we are going through, including the financial burden. But my husband and I, together with our two sons, are hoping that a miracle will happen because she has shown great strength in the midst of all her sufferings.

She lost her left eye vision after the first operation. The last operation resulted in paralysis on her right side and she lost her ability to speak. She has undergone occupational and physical therapy at the hospital from February 24, 2004, to around the 3rd week of December 2004, twice a week. By this time she could move her right leg and could even walk but with guidance until severe osteoporosis set in.

In May 2004, she developed skin allergies due to phenobarbital, which turned into psoriasis by August and she had to be confined for dehydration. The drug was changed. (She has been on steroids since her first operation.) In November 2004, she was again hospitalized due to low blood pressure 60/0 but she recovered. After confinement, her psoriasis miraculously disappeared.

She was supposed to be confined during the Christmas season because she was eating less and less and refused to take her medicines. The food and medicines had to be forced on her. But we asked her doctor at Asian if we could just confine her after the holidays so she could spend Christmas and New Year’s Day with us.

And now she is here at Asian. Her BP was 50/0 when we confined her, but she recovered. We had signed a waiver that when the time comes she will no longer be subjected to CPR. On January 18, she had three seizures. We thought we would lose her but she recovered. She developed kidney problems and pneumonia but these were treated. On January 22, a feeding tube was inserted in her stomach so she could be fed and be given her medicines there and we could go home. The wound in her stomach would take time to heal before the tube could be used.

On January 25, she had seizures again and had difficulty breathing. Her BP went down to 36/29. The doctor told us that her time was up, but miraculously she again recovered. By first week of February all her vital signs were normal and all her tubes were removed—oxygen, monitors, IV’s, decatheter—and was due to be discharged on February 10. However, on February 9, her BP went down again.

Her CT scan in June 2004 done at Cardinal Santos Hospital, where all her operations were done, and the CT scan in November at Asian showed that there are three tumors in her brain which are inoperable. There is no difference between the sizes of the tumors seen in June and November—which means the tumors have not increased in size and so we begin to hope that the tumors will disappear. There is only HOPE left for us now that one day our prayers will be answered. There must be a reason why she is still here with us.

Please continue to pray for a complete healing of Monique. God will not be able to refuse if there are many people praying for her.

Thank you,

- Beth B. Tuason


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