"Begin today and write in it your goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. I promise you that if you will keep your journals and records, they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to you, each other, your children, your grand-children and others throughout the generations. Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events." --President Spencer W. Kimball

April 6, 2012

Fabulous Fangupo Fighters

These 3 Fangupo children are all amazing...they've all been faced with severe, life-threatening health issues, and they've all coming out fighting....kicking and punching every obstacle they face....and they all have overcome many many times. 

This picture above is Tevita (on the left)....he's Ova's oldest brother's son....he is 3 years old.  He was born with several tumors in his neck, which obstruct his airway making it hard for him to breathe.  The doctors have always said he's a miracle because of how hard he has had to fight for his life since the day he was born.  With how big and how many tumors were blocking his airway, it would have been so easy for him to just give up....but he didn't.  He fought through it all, through the hospitalizations, the chemo, all the treatments....and the tumors finally started to shrink.  He is amazing!  So far, the tumors are benine, which we are all so grateful for....but the problem with his tumors is the location they are at, and the amount of them.  They are wrapped around his veins, nerves and arteries in his neck and because of how they are growing, he is not a candidate for operation to get them removed.  What that means is that he constantly is undergoing chemo therapy treatments to shrink the tumors.  The chemo shrinks them.....but they eventually grow back and he has to do it all over again.  He will have to do this his whole life. You would never know if you saw him though.  He's a lively happy little boy who loves to play.  He doesn't let those stupid tumors get in his way.....he shows them who's boss!

Toakesa is in the middle....she's Ova's little brother's oldest daughter....she is 7 years old.  Toakesa was born with a bad liver and actually had to get a liver transplant when she was only 1 year old.   I remember when she was born, she basically had to live in the hospital....tests, monitoring, more tests....lots of tears, fear of the unknown....our whole family spent a lot of time at the hospital with her and her parents.  The surgery went well and she did amazing!  The doctors were amazed with her and how well she did after the transplant.  Of course being a transplant patient, there are certain precautions she has to take for the rest of her life....and several medications she'll have to take as well.  She's not supposed to go swimming because of the bacteria in the water...she's not supposed to eat raw fruits....so many precautions she has to take that other kids don't.  She has to go to the doctor often to get lab work to make sure her body is still accepting the liver.  For 6, almost 7 years she's been doing it.....her labs have been perfect and everything's been looking great.  She also has had to fight for her life since the day she was born....and she will for the rest of her life.  She's amazing.  She's a miracle!

Then, of course, my baby Katea in Toakesa's lap.  You already know her story.

3 kids in one family with severe life-threatening health issues....who have fought for their lives since the day they were born....who are still fighting for their lives....who will have to fight for their lives for the rest of their lives.  It doesn't seem fair.

The picture above was taken last week.  All 3 of them were together at Primary Children's hospital at the same time.  Tevita got sick and his parents rushed him to the hospital....an infection started growing in his neck around where the tumors were at.  He was admitted to Primary Children's hospital again for more rounds of antibiotics.  Toakesa lived in Vegas with her family...she started having stomach pains...the hosptial in Vegas does not have a liver specialist so she was life-flighted to Utah's Primary Children's hospital.  Tests and tests and CT scans and MRI's showed that her liver is rejecting.  They put her back on the donor list to get another transplant.  We never knew...she never showed any signs of it.  She's a happy, feisty, talkative, beautiful little girl.....her body was fighting so hard that her labs showed she was ok, even when she wasn't.  She's still happy, energetic, so smart and playful....you'd never know by looking at her everything she's been through and everything she's going through now.  And baby Katea wasn't admitted to the hosptial....she was there for her weekly eye-exam. 

While baby Katea and I were in her eye-exam, Ova took the kids to meet up with their other cousins in the play area, then we met up with them after.  It was nice that we were all able to be there together...but at the same time it was a little overwhelming seeing all three of them together in the hosptial.  They were all laughing and playing with each other like they didn't have a care in the world.  Us parents sat back and watched them playing and having so much fun....but in the back of our minds we were tired, sad and worried sick.  It sucks when kids are sick, but when they are sick with life-threatening issues it kindof leaves a hole in your heart that is always filled with fear and worry.  Watching them play and laugh.....color, paint, draw.....tease each other and fight brings us back to reality....the reality that these amazing little kids are just that, AMAZING.  They don't worry or fear or fret....they just keep fighting past their illnesses and keep playing.  They are great examples to us...all of us, sent here to teach us triumph through pain....and happiness through fear.  Even though it doesn't seem fair that so much heartache is present in one family, we are learning.  God works in mysterious ways.  Our children are our strength, they are so much stronger than we are.  They are the ones fighting, they are the ones overcoming.  They are miracles.


Kassie said...

I will try to post this through the tears that are streaming down my face....amazing, beautiful children. I just want to take their pain away and sickness away. Like you said, God works in very mysterious ways..ways we will never understand, but these babies are true heroes. It breaks my heart to see a child suffer..but humbles my heart when you witness their strength. Really puts things in perspective and makes the small things we deal with not matter...I will keep these sweet little spirits in m prayers everyday. Keep fighting kids..xoxoxox

Melissa said...

Wow, what fighters. So sorry to hear about the two little kids with Katea. Isn't it amazing how much the Lord is in charge. Stories like those remind me that my trials are small. I hope and pray the best for them.
Glad Katea is doing well. Hang in there!!!!