Her name is not important but I will call her Sophie. Sophie’s skin was thin, translucent like fine white porcelain. Her eyes were teal blue and larger than life. At the age of seven, Sophie had become quite ill with fever and cough that left her listless and lifeless. Even though I was an intern in internal medicine at the time, I was called upon to speak to Sophie’s parents. Sophie had a very adult illness. She had leukemia.
I sat down with Sophie’s parents and laid out the grim prognosis for their child. We could certainly begin chemotherapy at our university hospital, but eventually Sophie would have to be transferred to a much more specialized hospital. I will never forget the look of utter horror on her parents’ faces as they gripped each others hands and tears rolled down their cheeks. The mother swallowed and said, “We will take Sophie home. If we have enough faith, God will heal her.”