I have sorely neglected this blog for one reason....Giovanna Katie Phillips. Who is she?
I met Giovanna on a live African animal webcam*. We sit around and watch a waterhole that is located in South Africa and wait for animals to come around. We get to hear the sounds of the birds, crickets, snorts, and growls of the animals...but the best part is, there is a chat forum. We talk to each other, and leave posts of when we see animals.
So one of the other viewers saw my FaceBook ID and sent me a friend request. As usual, before accepting a friend request, I checked out her info on her FaceBook page. Her age was listed as 19, but the picture of the young lady swimming with a dolphin looked much younger. And there was another picture of her in a hospital bed; I could see that she had lost her hair.
Well, I thought it was a bit odd that someone so young would want to 'friend' me, but I always figure someone comes into your life for a reason, so I accepted.
Week after week we spent many hours at that waterhole, while chatting on a private line. I found out she was only 13. I waited for some time before I finally asked her what her illness was. She told me straight out she had stage 4 chronic myelogen leukemia. I didn't ask too much because I didn't want to intrude. So I did an internet search and found out that a bone marrow transplant was going to be the only hope for a cure for her. She told me that she was waiting to see a lion until she died. My first response was "Well I hope we never get to see a lion then."
Day after day I woke up and first thing, I would go to the waterhole and of course Giovanna was already there, usually asking if anyone had seen a lion. Night after night we spent talking like two school girls staying up way past our bedtimes, and listening to growls that were always lurking in the background..."did you hear that?", "was that a lion?"
She told me of a horrific childhood; worse than you could ever imagine, and I think I will leave it at that. Except to say that she was rescued from that environment, and is now in a loving home. She was made to feel so unloved that it is hard for her accept that she is worth anything at all. And even though she has been with her new family for 8months, it has not been nearly enough time to erase all the hurt she suffered up to that point.
I seriously began to wonder why this young lady had come into my life and wrapped herself around my heart? I did some research on the bone marrow program. I talked it over with the hubster, and told him, I couldn't forgive myself if all she needed was a bone marrow transplant and I didn't speak up and offer. I was trying to figure out how I was going to accomplish all this (because you have to be within so many miles of the recipient) when she told me she already had a match.
In fact Giovanna was set to have her bone marrow transplant last Monday. When she went in, they discovered that she had a lung infection, which set her back. Just to give you a clue on how tough this cookie is: One night she was running a temperature of almost 103 and it took me almost 2 hours to convince her that she needed to wake someone in her house so they could monitor her fever. She didn't want to bother anyone....huh? At that point, I asked her how would I know if something were to happen to her? And she told me a family member would post it.
Well, the lung infection got worse, she had to be admitted to the hospital. And one morning when I logged on it wasn't Giovanna talking to me anymore; it was a family member. He said we needed to start praying because things were touch and go. He also asked if I could rally people to send emails and pictures of lions. Within 12 hours there were over 100 lions sent to her and they still kept coming.
I began asking every place I could think of for people to pray. My first stop was the waterhole that she loves so much, and then onto Etsy in the forums. When I was finished with that, I began submitting her name to prayer groups all over...any where I could get people to listen, I asked.
Within a couple of days her health took a turn for the better and it appeared she was on the mend again...and then Monday night she had a heart attack...
She is now in an induced coma and she URGENTLY needs your prayers. We are not giving up on this beautiful young lady. With everything she had to endure in her young life, it is high time she is allowed to be healthy and know what a pain free, happy, loving, life feels like.
I still don't know why Giovanna has entered my life, but I refuse to believe that it's to be snatched away from me...I never told her I loved her, and it's going to be the first thing I tell her when I see her next.May the courage and strength of the lion bring you back to us Giovanna ♥
Until next time,
*I put a link to the webcam site, but lately it's been spotty at best; bad storms have been making it difficult for them to keep the camera operating.