Valley Fever is endemic to the'southwest region of the United States. Few people realize that the very soil they live upon contains a life-threatening disease. When soil becomes stirred through the process of economic development, farming, and monsoon storms a fungal spore called coccidioidomycosis becomes airborne and inhaled into the body of humans and animals causing harm to vital organs. Valley fever breeds a multi-cellular structure reproducing lethal cells inside the lungs, bones, and most deadly brain tissue. Unfortunately, my husband, Juan contracted valley fever which disseminated into the'spinal fluid attacking the central nervous system and meninges causing fungal meningit's. Hydrocephalus, spinal fluid trapped in walls of scar tissue on the brain rejected much needed absorption for brain tissue to function normally. After ten years of marriage, we built a new home in Mesa, Arizona, had three young children, and found the greatest test of our lives. Juan was classified as one of the worse cases ever seen from the devastation of valley fever. His mortal existence was an extraordinary miracle and Juan and I wondered if we could physically and mentally endure the requirement of long hospitalizations, harsh medication and treatment, and inconceivable surgical procedures. We wondered if our family and marital vows to love and honor through sickness could endure such a catastrophic experience. With a high risk of mortality, unknown medical outcomes, and the deterioration of my husband?s body, we put our faith to the test. We questioned why we were meant to live through this horrifying experience and then learned that we were meant to live and tell about it. We called upon the Lord to carry us through the turbulent storms we are often warned about. With the Lord?s help we found unconditional love, moral strength and the power of enduring miracles.
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December 27, 2007
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