My name is Rick Yeomans and I live in Jacksonville, Florida. My wife and I have legal custody of our granddaughter Katelyn. Katelyn is 8 years old now and terminally ill. Katelyn was diagnosed at age 3 with severe aplastic anemia. Several treatments were administered to try and get the bone marrow to produce for her but was unsuccessful. After one of the treatments Katelyn went into a coma and we almost lost her. The only thing left to do was a bone marrow transplant. Katelyn went through heavy doses of chemo and radiation before the transplant. After one of the chemo sessions Katelyn developed a deadly fungus called aspergillus. Once again the doctors told us she would not make it as the fungus was in her lungs and in her brain and growing in her brain stem. She was given less than one percent chance of survival. We had to go and make her funeral arrangements as the doctors told us she wouldn't be here for more than a month. We never gave up on our Faith and continued to talk with God and asked for his healing powers. We are big internet fans and have friends from all over the world. Katelyn's story got out and so many prayers were offered up for her. Even a group in Korea went up on Prayer Mountain and said a special prayer for her.The doctors came in and told us of an experimental treatment from Korea called Amphoteracin B. They told us of al the side effects it would probably have on her and how bad she could be after the treatments. Even with the treatments they still gave her less than a percent chance of survival. We prayed about it and told the doctors that as long as she would not be a vegebtable we would like to go ahead with the treatment. They started the treatment and in less than 2 months the fungus was almost gone with only traces in her lungs left. Through God's Love Katelyn survived against all odds. Katelyn is the only person in the world with severe aplastic anemia that survived the aspergillus fungus. She is still writing protocol daily. Katelyn also developed pneumosystic pneumonia just before she was scheduled for her transplant. This is the deadliest pneumonil of all and not survivable. Once again the doctors gave up and said she would not make it. We didn't give up and continued to pray. Once again God heard our prayers and pulled her through. Katelyn was finally well enough for a bone marrow transplant. She had a donor in Germany that was a 5 out of 6 match for her and was getting it ready to put on the plane when at the last minute there was another match that came up in St Louis that was also a 5 out of 6 match. The difference in this one was the blood type was the same and her blood type would not change. So they shipped the marrow down and Katelyn underwent the transplant on March 1, 2000. After the transplant Katelyn fought the graft vs host disease for several years before her body finally accepted the transplant. One day Katelyn's system completely shut down and was put on life support for 2 months straight. Once again she was given up on. But not through us. We continued to hold on to our faith. More prayers were lifted and more people around the world prayed for her. Katelyn overcame this as well only to have to be put back on life support a few months later. But today Katelyn is 8 years old and doing so much better. The chemo and radiation has left her with being quite slow in the brain area. She is in school but in special classes and doing well.
God has really been good to her and blessed us in ways beyond comprehension. Katelyn never gave up and gave us the strength to fight along side her through prayers. Katelyn is a true miracle child and very much loved by all.
My message to all is to never give up and stay strong in your faith. God does answer prayers. Even when He calls His children home He has healed them. The most simple of simple things mean the most. Being able to look into each others eyes and not saying a word yet saying so much. Simple things like just holding hands and feeling the love transfer from body to body. Love your children and each other as if there is no tomorrow. We are not promised tomorrow by any means, but thank God for each day He does give us here on earth.
I hope this story in some way has touched your heart and I welcome comments or if you need to chat with someone or just need a friend, please feel free to contact me any time via eamail. firstname.lastname@example.org
God Bless You All,
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