Holiday flu case, nearly deadly, answered by prayers and medicine (miracles)
On the Sunday before Christmas, as their daughter lay in intensive care, Szabo, who is from Hungary, and Botelho, who's from Brazil, organized friends to say prayers for Gemma at Catholic Masses in their home countries as well as in Argentina, Italy, Miami and Boston.
Holiday flu case, nearly deadly, answered by prayers and medicine
By Elizabeth Cohen and Debra Goldschmidt, CNN
Updated 3:35 PM ET, Sat December 26, 2015
(CNN)Four-year-old Gemma Botelho woke up the morning of December 13 feeling a little bit off. A low-grade fever. Kind of tired. Just not 100%.
She and her mom snuggled up and watched cartoons and read books.
The next day, Monday, she was feeling well enough to go to school and perform in a Christmas play. Dressed as a tiny Santa, she jumped up and down and twirled to holiday tunes. On Tuesday and Wednesday she went to school, too.
But Thursday morning she woke up sick again. Her hands were cold to the touch, and so were her feet. She'd developed a rash as well.
Her parents debated: the pediatrician's office or the emergency room? Something -- they can't explain exactly what -- told them to go to the emergency room.
That gut instinct saved their child's life. Tests showed she had the flu, and it had attacked her heart muscle.
Shortly after arriving at Nicklaus Children's Hospital in Miami in her father's arms, Gemma went into cardiac arrest. For 45 minutes doctors and nurses performed CPR. But her heart wouldn't start. Doctors and nurses filled the room, asking her parents to wait outside the door.
"We heard beeping, and then no beeping," said her mother, Lejla Szabo, a model in Miami. "She was just flatlining. We really felt that we had lost her."
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- Holiday flu case, nearly deadly, answered by prayers and medicine - bibleprobe, 12.27.2015 (miracles)