So Much Alive

Like you, I wasn’t there. In fact, I was thousands of miles away. But the stories were coming in. Something about a fire in a church. 31 people burned. I don’t know what’s going on, I wrote to Echo, but I’m praying. I heard later about the screams that rang out as the victims spilled out of ambulances and onto the Miracle Campus. The staff came running. Some were on duty, most were not. It is a very Luke Commission thing to do, I’ve learned, to hear of need and run full-speed towards it.

Within an hour, amazingly, the burn victims had been admitted and stabilized. Just minutes later, as the staff breathed a sigh of relief, they watched as another vehicle – a private car this time – sped up from the gate. In the arms of the TLC security guard was a tiny lifeless form. It was baby Elihle, who had been born at the Miracle Campus just one week earlier. His mother cradled Elihle’s twin brother as the team once again sprang into action.  There were no signs of life, but they were determined to resuscitate this child. One doctor started chest compressions and bagging while another team secured an IV line, noting that the baby’s blood sugar was low. They conducted one cycle of CPR, then another, and another. And then there it was, miraculously: a faint pulse. Encouraged, the team stopped the chest compressions and continued bagging. Dextrose was administered in the IV. Soon, they saw was subtle movement in the baby’s limbs. And finally, a cry of life. Hallelujah! Elihle was alive. He was admitted as a patient, along with his twin brother, Elinamandla. Both were successfully treated for neonatal sepsis, hypoglycemia,  and jaundice.

Two weeks later, during my first visit to the Miracle Campus, I visited these tiny VIPs (Very Important Patients), who were happily asleep in their phototherapy bassinet. Nearby, the burn victims were recovering beautifully. Many of them sat outside in the shade, chatting comfortably with each other. They waved and smiled at Echo as we walked by. She had helped drain their painful blisters days earlier, and I could see that they were still grateful. They had already begun physical therapy and were receiving ongoing prayer and support from the TLC counseling staff. A few days later, I would see some of them again, this time in TLC’s weekly church service. Most were still bandaged. Some stood to sing. Some watched the service from a wheelchair. They were healing.

Last week, the babies and burn victims left the Miracle Campus to continue their healing at home. Among them was Celumusa, a 27-year-old from Nyanyali. “I thought my life was over,” he said. “Even the people back home thought I was already dead. But with the love and patience from TLC, I am so much alive.” ​


Story submitted by new staff member, Amy O.