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Victoria returns to Lindsay Home after life-threatening illness

Victoria complained about not feeling well. She was visiting her parents, Alyssa and David Tanigawa, in Morganton. Victoria’s abdominal pain seemed extreme but she could not explain her suffering. Alyssa knew her daughter needed doctor’s care. The duo began the trek to Watauga Medical Center in Boone.

Between Victoria’s sobbing and groans, she asked her mom, “Am I going to die?” “It was serious,” Lindsay Home QP Laura Combs says. “Victoria arrived at the emergency room, was admitted, and, in the end, intubated to help her breathe. Her oxygen levels were dangerously low. We didn’t know what would happen.”

Victoria was diagnosed with a life-threatening combination of a virus, influenza, and pneumonia. Alyssa remembers: “At the time, I didn’t realize how close things had come. I was being brave for Victoria. But we could have lost her.”

The ventilator pumped rhythmically, helping Victoria breathe. Her mother Alyssa quietly sat nearby.

The pastor of Brushy Fork Baptist Church where Victoria and the ladies of Lindsay Home attend, rushed to the hospital.

“I called Pastor Johnmark (Brown) and he came that night,”

Laura says. “The church was precious in supporting Victoria and

her family. They never stopped praying.”

Victoria entered the hospital on Saturday, December 16. The

next nine days were trying. Alyssa spent the early morning hours of

Christmas unaware she and David would soon receive the best gift ever.

“It was Christmas Day when things changed for the better,” Laura recalls. “The improvement was pronounced. Plans were made to take Victoria off the ventilator. She had turned a corner.”

Victoria is a resident at Lindsay Home. It is adjacent to Three Forks Home and is located in the Zionville community north of Boone. Each home provides residential services for six adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Thirty-five-year-old Victoria was born with Down syndrome.

In 2000, Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) created a ministry for

encompasses nine residential homes in six North Carolina communities and an Alternative Family Living (AFL) in-home program that invites individuals and families to open their homes to an adult with intellectual/ developmental disabilities. The Intellectual/ Developmental Disabilities Ministry (IDDM) programs offer residents the opportunity to pursue individual goals while living in a safe, supportive Christian environment. IDDM promotes maximum independence, individual growth, and inclusion in the community.

Alyssa remembers the despair she and David felt before Victoria

came to live at Lindsay Home. Victoria was living in a group home where she was

becoming more and more unhappy and the couple were concerned for her well-being. They needed a change. Desperate to find a new group home for their daughter, Alyssa searched online and found BCH’s intellectual and developmental disabilities group homes. David encouraged Alyssa to call and, for the first time in months, they felt hopeful.

“I was trusting and believing that if we seek God, all things will

be added,” David says. “Alyssa and I knew when we first walked into Lindsay Home it was where Victoria needed to be. We knew it then and we know it now.”

On Tuesday, January 2, two and a half weeks after arriving at the emergency room, Victoria was discharged from the hospital. Nearly a month later, after resting and recuperating in Morganton, she was reunited with her Lindsay friends.

Victoria understands the seriousness of her illness and had great concern for her friends: “What would my friends have done without me? I didn’t want to upset them. I’m glad to be home.”

Alyssa and David are thankful for the care and concern of the staff at Lindsay Home, especially Laura Combs.

“Laura did so much out of a great love for Victoria—the way she and the staff love each of the ladies,” Alyssa says. “David and I are thankful for our BCH group home family. We hit the jackpot when it comes to group homes. We love them.”

Victoria and her mom made a stop at the hospital on Victoria’s trip back to Lindsay Home. It was important they thanked the doctors and nurses who gave of themselves to help restore Victoria’s health.

The Wednesday evening after returning home, Victoria stands up at Brushy Fork Baptist Church, declaring: “Thank you for praying for me. Praise God that I am better!” Victoria is back to her old self. She takes pride in her home and never misses an opportunity to sweep or dust—and “even likes cleaning baseboards.” She doesn’t dwell on her illness. That was then. She is living in the now.

Visit more about BCH's ministry for adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities and the new initiative -- Special Families for Special Adults -- which offers an opportunity for a family to open up their home to adult with special needs.

Written by Jim Edminson, Editor of Charity & Children

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