What leads to three kids in a PICU? This conversation:
“Look at my hands mom!!!!!”
Eww. “What is that?”
“I found a mushroom! Hehehehe!”
“Did you eat it?”
“You swallowed it?”
“Micah you aren’t supposed to do that! Didn’t we just talk about that last night? It could make you sick. Where is it? Did anyone else eat it?”
I strode out to the back yard where a tall white mushroom had a fourth of its mushroom cap missing. Micah, a fearless leader, had the brilliant idea to try it for himself and Esther went along with it. I googled it and found the State of Missouri website claiming it was called the “Destroying Angel” and it was deadly. Taking that info with a grain of salt (like I do with most online searches), I called Poison Control. They told me to take them and the mushroom to the ER.
Three of my children laid side by side on a twin triage bed. The offending mushroom stared at me from a nearby ziplock bag. I listened as the doctors consulted a series of specialists ranging from Parks and Recreation to the Missouri state Mycologist and the Center for Poison Control. As answers rolled in, a sense of dread washed over me. Then I was cautiously and carefully informed of just how serious this situation could become. I was told this is the one mushroom if ingested can cause liver and kidney failure and ultimately death in a grown man. The biggest of my three kids was 32 pounds. An antidote was available if the situation escalated to it, but it would need to be flown in and it was still in the experimental stages. Not ideal for children.
Almost two weeks before I was praying for my family and felt a warning in my spirit. I prayed about it for several days but couldn’t shake it. While I had few details, I sensed our family was the target and it would be a life or death situation. I told Brian and together we daily prayed the blood of Jesus would cover and protect our family.
So as I sat in this triage room, listening to the likely outcome of this situation I knew this was no idle threat. Fear sank its talons deep.
Having had known this was coming, I’d like to say that I sailed through it with mighty faith. But when God goes out of his way to alert me of the enemy’s plans to steal, kill and destroy my family, I felt small. As I looked at my three children getting their IVs and blood work done I knew this was serious enough to have mobilized heaven weeks ago. Of my 5 children I could lose three of them in one fell swoop. All for a mushroom. It was senseless destruction.
The doctors had them drink Activated Charcoal to neutralize and absorb any poison and then transferred them in an ambulance to the nearest Pediatric ICU. All night we, and many others, watched and prayed.
The evening dragged on and nothing happened. We waited all day and nothing happened. Brian had a business trip he was supposed to fly out for and I could tell he was torn between his job and his family. Brian is my rock and without his steadying presence I can easily dissolve into an emotional swamp. I knew he needed to leave. I had to make a choice: lean on Brian and ask him to stay, or let him go and experience the strength of God’s leadership in his absence. I prayed about it and God’s peace flooded my heart. He had this situation in the palm of His hand. I told Brian to go.
The afternoon and second night wore on. By morning, they released us saying the results from the blood work were perfect. We could go home.
The impact of this miracle humbles me every time I think about it. Allow me a moment to recap what this near-death experience highlighted in my heart:
1. Jesus Christ is the Name above every name. There is nothing in nature that does not submit to him.
2. I have never been so happy to belong to Him. The peace of fully entrusting my children to His care enabled me to release my husband to fulfill his calling and purpose.
3. New level of intimate knowledge of the All-Sufficient One. He truly is all I need to carry me through.
4. Something else I am amazed by is the way God mobilized a prayer network. The fact that He chooses to partner with us so we all experience the joy of victory is beyond me, but I am so glad he does.
5. I’m buying a book on Missouri’s wild mushrooms.
Defining song for this moment in our lives:
Hillsong, “Not Today” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jAtc_yC03Y