So, what led up to the drama of Friday, February 20?
About a week before that Bayo was not feeling well. He had a blood test at the lab, and it was positive for malaria parasite. The doctor prescribed treatment for malaria.
Let me give some background on malaria in Nigeria. Malaria is the main sickness that everybody gets. If it's caught in time and properly treated, the body will resolve it very quickly. Bayo probably has malaria about four times a year. I refer to his own cases as 'walking malaria' because it's never bad enough to keep him down. He still goes out to work as usual, but he may go to bed earlier than usual.
I remember hearing Bayo comment at least twice during his treatment, "This medicine seems too strong." It was the usual medicine; there was nothing unusual about it. I think he was making that comment because his body was not responding as it normally would.
On Thursday afternoon, a doctor prescribed a stronger malaria medication for him. After Bayo took that, he ate and then fell asleep.
By morning, I knew that he was really sick, but I didn't know how sick until someone took a good look in his eyes and said, "He's semi-conscious." Finally something clicked in my brain, and I said, "Let's go!" About 4 people struggled to load him into a car; he couldn't walk or talk by this time. I sat in the backseat with him and thought it strange that he couldn't lean against me. His body was rigid; his neck and arms splayed at stiff angles.
In the emergency room, they got an IV into him, and then they started wheeling the gurney to the ward so they could place him on admission. And here's where the real nightmare began. While he was being pushed on the gurney over the bumpy sidewalk, he suddenly went into a seizure. A friend of ours told me later that when I called the name of Jesus, he looked at Bayo's face and saw a moment of calmness come over him.
The continuation of this story is in the CaringBridge story of Feb 22--The Power of Prayer.
Initial diagnosis and what we know now:
*The doctors in Jos were focused on cerebral malaria or meningitis at first and then later said possible viral encephalitis.
*The doctors in Nairobi saw no sign of malaria in the past two weeks--so maybe Bayo had a false positive on his initial test.
* Bayo had a CT scan, MRI, EKG, EEG and a whole host of blood tests in Nairobi. Basically everything came back clean except for blood clots in the lungs.
*The Nairobi doctors could not test for meningitis and encephalitis because they had already determined that Bayo had some blood clots on his lungs, and doing another lumbar puncture could result in a blood clot at that location. Since Bayo arrived with a diagnosis of possible encephalitis, the doctors are continuing to treat for it.
* The big question is: when did the blood clots occur? Were the clots the cause of all the drama on Friday, Feb 20? The neurologist told me that blood clots in the lungs could potentially cause a seizure if the brain is not getting enough oxygen and this could also cause the brain to lose the ability to speak.
*Or did the clots occur after we arrived in Nairobi? Generally clots can occur if someone has spent a long time being bed-ridden, but that was not the case for Bayo. He was only bed-ridden for 3 days before the clots were detected.
*The high fever (104) in Jos would not have been related to blood clots, but most likely to some infection.
*If he had the clots in Jos, then how did he stabilize when none of his medications was for treating blood clots?
There is some mystery in Bayo's condition and diagnosis, and I'm ok with that mystery; I don't have to know all the answers. I truly believe that God heard the prayers for Bayo from around the world and chose to allow him to stabilize overnight. Bayo was still very, very ill at that time, but nothing like the night before.
Medical mystery? Miracle?
Well, I have had a front row seat in this drama, and I will have to say, "Miracle!"
Life has taken me from the Midwest to Africa. Africa was firmly planted in my heart at age 17. I realized that dream when I landed in Nigeria at the age of 26. Currently I am doing the hardest work I have ever done, but it is also incredibly rewarding. Every day is full of challenges. At times life is too painfully raw, but God reaches down to us in those times of great need and helps us to press on and offer hope.