“He was born… so that the works of God might be revealed in him.” John 9:3

One day my friend’s granddaughter stopped eating. She looked sick and her mom thought it was the flu. Baby Carmen’s stomach bloated. When she saw the pediatrician, he diagnosed constipation.

Three weeks later saw no improvement, so Mom took her to a pediatrician in Mexico City who was also the baby’s uncle and godfather.

Two days of extensive testing followed, along with consults with colleagues. Finally, the doctor gave the family the grim news. The baby had cancer and the tumors in her lower back had metastasized to her lungs, kidney, liver, pancreas and bone marrow. She was given a month to live.

Doctors began treatments, but she had only a 5% chance for survival. A catheter was placed under her tiny neck to begin chemo. Five months of treatments produced terrible side effects. By then, she celebrated her second birthday. Weighing only 13 pounds, she was skin and bones, weak and barely moving. And she couldn’t talk.

Mom stayed alone at the hospital, while her husband and 3-year-old son returned home to Guadalajara. It was all so distressing for everyone. Baby Carmen mostly slept or cried in pain when she was awake. Unfortunately, during this difficult time, Mom miscarried the twins she had been expecting. The family was devastated.

After the final round of treatments, they could give the baby no more or the chemo would kill her.

The family visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City on the day Baby Carmen was diagnosed. The day before she was admitted to the hospital, they prayed to Baby Jesus. All the extended family was there, crying, asking the Virgin Mother to plead with her Son for Baby Carmen’s healing.

Surprisingly, through it all, Mom was continuously at peace. Grandma says Mom had such a huge faith in God. Mom knew that what God was doing would be best for her and the family. It is in God’s hands, she said, whatever He wants. Baby Carmen was God’s child, and she told God that if He needed His baby back in heaven, she would give her to Him. Mom only asked for strength.

A priest was sent to console Mom. He reported back to the family that Mom had actually been the one to bring him consolation.

Every day for hours, Grandma Carmen prayed for God’s mercy. Her daughters had friends dating back from Catholic school days who started prayer chains. Grandma says it was a “School of Faith,” with people all around the country praying.

The baby weighed only 12 pounds when doctors performed a final surgery. Follow-up tests were shocking. Doctors scrutinized and scanned. They couldn’t believe it. There were no cancer cells. Further testing showed the cancer was gone; not a single trace of cancer remained!

The doctor, who was not a believer, told the family that this miracle made it possible for him to believe in God.

Baby Carmen had to weigh 20 pounds in order to be released from the hospital. A second miracle occurred when they brought a statue of the Virgin of Medjugorje into her room. This Virgin had visited with terminal patients who had either died without pain or had recovered completely.

The keeper of the statue asked Mom if she could accept the possibility that the baby could still die. Mom replied, “Yes,” when asked, “Are you ready to give your baby to God?”

Two months later, Baby Carmen weighed 20 pounds and checked out of the hospital.

Today, Carmen is 20 years old, still living in Guadalajara. She is studying to be a doctor. Her cancer has never returned.

Terice Richards
Author: Terice RichardsEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Columnist
I am a hospital chaplain with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. I have been writing professionally since 1981 as a radio and television news reporter, anchor and producer. I earned an M.Ed. from the University of Houston and a B.A. from UCLA. I am a certified teacher for Pre-K through 12th grade and completed the practicum for pastoral care ministry certificate from St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston. I live with my family in Kingwood.

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