Socorro survived [horizontal ellipsis] without losing faith.


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I will never forget the look on Dr. Ferrari's face when he first saw Socorro. Incredulous is the only word to describe his reaction. For the first few moments, he remained speechless. After staring at her swelled abdomen in disbelief, he asked me whether her cancer had reappeared. When I shook my head no, he asked the question he appeared almost frightened to ask: Could she be pregnant?


Smiling with joy, I quickly replied with an emphatic "Yes!!" Yes, despite all apparent odds against her, Socorro was eight months pregnant.


Dr. Ferrari sat down in his chair. I could tell he was wondering if this really could be the same Socorro that he had treated for ovarian cancer only four years earlier. I glanced at Socorro and was again in awe at how God had healed her.


About five years earlier, Socorro, weighing a meager eighty pounds, had been flown out of her remote village because she was having severe abdominal pain. At that time, it was decided to perform emergency laparoscopic surgery, even though Socorro appeared too weak to survive. I recall that on the day of surgery, Socorro told all of us not to worry for her, that the Lord promised to take care of her and that he would heal her. With that faith and assurance, she faced surgery courageously. Socorro clung to her hope passionately. During her operation, surgeons removed her left ovary and the tumor on it. Because Socorro was so weak, they opted to leave her uterus and right ovary untouched. After surgery we were told that her tumor had been quite large and her chances of surviving were slim. My heart sank with this news, as I thought about how confident she was that God would heal her.


When Socorro awoke from surgery, she did not lose heart as we told her she would need several rounds of chemotherapy. She faced the prospect of chemo with the same courage she had faced the surgery, convinced that she was going to be healed one way or another. Although her hair fell out and she lost more weight with each succeeding treatment, she never lost hope. And, as she had promised all of us, Socorro survived her chemotherapy without losing faith. Through the months of pain and suffering, and despite all odds, she held firmly to the assurance of healing she had the day of surgery.


She went back home to her people and married a young man in her village. Now eight months pregnant, it had been four years since Socorro's last dose of chemotherapy. When we heard she was expecting a baby, we knew her delivery would be high risk, so it was decided to have her flown to the city for a hospital birth.


Per Dr. Ferrari's request, Socorro and I proceeded to the hospital for her first ultrasound. Gazing at the images coming across the ultrasound's screen, I was reminded that not only had God spared her life, he had given Socorro a double miracle through the conception and growth of this child in her womb. She faces this baby's birth with the same faith and hope that she faced her surgery and cancer.


Joyously, Socorro vaginally delivered a healthy baby boy. It was miraculous to witness how smoothly everything went, considering she wasn't supposed to have a uterus four years ago!! It is obvious that her hope in the promises that God placed in the recesses of her heart never wavered.


I know God will continue to use Socorro's story to encourage others in similar situations to have faith in their heavenly Father's care and concern for them. Her story reminds me that faith is a gift from God. We cannot go anywhere where this gift of faith cannot follow. Faith, especially in the most trying of times, is a miracle in itself and a gift that can only come from God.