Little Ruan was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at 6 months old. Shortly before that I spoke to God about what might be causing my son’s medical challenges and received an instruction to read “Leo Blom Laat” which is a children’s story I used to read to my sons when they were younger. Not able to remember the details of the story, I searched for the book but could not find it. Further testing at Tygerberg Hospital alleged that I had contracted a virus while pregnant with Ruan, which is what is affecting his motor-development. The tests also confirmed that the condition is not progressive so we went home with a little hope at least.
It laid on my heart that I needed to find the book and so I prayed for guidance. Two weeks later a little frog jumped into our bookcase and my husband told my son to catch it. He pulled out a book and came charging into my room. “Mummy! Mummy! I found “Leo blom laat!”
I was shaking as I read the end: “Kyk hoe blom ek. Nou kan ek alles doen!” That was my promise and I was going to do everything in my power to make it happen!
As I look back over the last ten years I have to acknowledge how close I came to destroying my marriage, my family and myself in my obsession with getting Ruan ‘healed’. Ruan developed epilepsy and on three occasions we almost lost him. I became so afraid of losing Ruan that I would sleep next to him at night, making sure I stayed alert. As the strain of caring for a child with special needs took its toll, we each threw ourselves into whichever distraction we felt helped us cope better, mine being the women’s ministry in the church we belonged to. And then we had to move from Riversdal to Cape Town in order to accommodate Ruan’s medical needs…and all of a sudden I was alone. With no friends and no support and a husband whose work commitments did not allow for him to be there for me. I turned once again to my faith and immediately everything started improving, even Ruan!