Donna Clatworthy-Kitson

God has carried us through difficult times

Donna Clatworthy-Kitson has learned the peace and love of God in a new way during the long-term illness of her daughter Mollie. She shares her amazing story.

As I sit quietly in my room at the Children's Hospice, I reflect on my life and the impact God has had on it.

I am a single (for the last 9 years) mum to an amazing 14-year-old boy Ryan, and a beautiful 12-year-old girl Mollie. Mollie was quite a difficult baby, didn’t sleep or feed well, not interested in her environment and was generally quite sad. She wasn’t sitting independently or crawling at nine months and I became concerned.

At ten months Mollie was very ill following a bout of gastroenteritis. We took her to the hospital and within minutes was in a treatment room surrounded by people doing tests and giving her antibiotics, fluids and oxygen. I was told she was very poorly and needed a general anaesthetic in order to stabilise her for the journey to ICU at a different hospital.

I gave Mollie a kiss and waited outside the theatre. At this point, the enormity of what was happening hit me and I chose to put my trust in God and spoke out in prayer. I felt a peace that surpasses all understanding and Gods assurance.

Ryan was also admitted for tests but discharged the following day. We were told Mollie may not survive, but responded well to treatment and went home after a week.

The months that followed was a blur of tests, numerous healthcare professionals and hospital stays. Mollie was (and still is) unable to sit, crawl, walk or talk and is reliant on others for all her needs. She is in a wheelchair and requires lots of specialist equipment.

Following a probable diagnosis of a genetic life-limiting condition – a Mitochondrial Cytopathy (affecting energy production), we were referred to a children's hospice. Over the past 10 years, they have given us so much help and support as well as much needed rest when Mollie stays there.

During this time it was discovered that Mollie was deaf and that the newborn hearing test had been read incorrectly. I can't remember feeling angry or upset over this as was grateful she was alive, and also believed this to be Gods timing. She was fitted with hearing aids and I began using sign language that I had remembered from working in a school for the deaf. She was fitted with a cochlear implant when she was three.

Looking back I see how evident God was in our lives and how he carried us through some difficult and tiring times. He made a way where there was no way and brought us the right people at the right time.

My parents have been invaluable and Ryan a true blessing, and in answer to prayer God made a way for us to live in a readily adapted property close to my parents.

Two years ago Mollie had a second cochlear implant which has had a profound effect on her life. She is far more aware and interested in the world around her and understands lots of speech. She uses her eyes to make choices and has started vocalising yes and no.

The child we once knew as unwell, non-communicative and quite fearful and disinterested in the world around her is now an incredibly happy, healthy and content young lady with a mischievous sense of humour. I truly believe this to be Gods answer to the many prayers that have been said for Mollie and know there is more to come.

Throughout this journey, I have learned so much but mostly have discovered to love and trust God and how much he loves me.

My faith has gone to another level and has learned to thank God in advance for what He will do and praise Him through my circumstances. I try to use what God has done to look back on when I'm facing a difficulty and know that He will be faithful in that also.

As my adventure with Jesus continues I have a deep assurance and peace beyond understanding that no matter what the future holds God is in control and that He makes all things work together for my good.

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