“Why didn’t they let me die” was my first thought on coming out of the coma. Single anti-malarial medication makes you feel dreadful. I was so ill with cerebral malaria and hepatitis that the doctors had given me a combination of drugs. Although physically recovered, I suffered brain damage. The consultant explained that the malarial parasites had destroyed vast quantities of red blood cells which was why I needed several pints of blood transfused. In addition, the dead cells had clumped together and starved my brain of oxygen. He could not predict when or if my thought processes would recover. For the next few years I was aware that my brain was not working properly.
12 years after going to Nigeria I returned to the UK in 1993 and was bemused to find computers everywhere. I signed up for a course at the local university. One day one of the other students remarked that I had taken to computers like ‘a duck to water’. I suddenly realised that God had healed my brain. In fact he had not just restored my abilities but given me new ones; had forged new neural pathways. My first degree is in Theology. I went on take a Master of Science, attaining a higher grade at 42 than I had at 22.
Paul wrote a letter to the Romans. Chapter 8 is fantastic. Verse 37 says “we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us”. A conqueror wins the battle but has used up lots of ammunition and his weapons may be damaged. With God on our side, we come out of difficulties stronger and with more weapons (patience, faith, self control) than if things had never gone wrong. My life is proof of verse 28 “in all things God works for good”.