To The Thomas Pages homepage Episode of Gratitude - 1
Blaenau Ffestiniog, North Wales, UK
Healed from the After-effects of a Serious Bilharzia Parasite Infection
At about age nine, living in Durban, South Africa, I had unknowingly contracted a water-born tropical disease known as Bilharzia (Schistosomiasis). My symptoms were pains in my legs, and when I urinated the last few drops looked like blood.
My father took me to several doctors, and my problem was generally explained by them as simply 'growing pains'.
Then he heard of a Dr Korsten.
I vividly remember Dr Korsten not accepting the urine sample that my father brought on our first visit to his home, and him having me urinate for him in the corner of his office, dipping a glass slide into it, and then having me look through his microscope at the white Bilharzia eggs in my urine. He then put me on a 21-day course of injections of an "adult dose" because I had it so bad, and on the twentieth day I was declared clean, and he had me look through his microscope at the now black eggs which he said indicated that the worms eating my liver were dead, but I was to still to return the following day for my final injection, which I did, holding my father's hand, and was then told, standing at his front door, that the doctor had died during the night.
So I assumed it was now all over, but then I broke out in painful boils – all over my body. At one time I counted 32 of them, and eventually I could not wear a shirt because the boils were all over my chest, back, arms and neck, and I had a large one in the middle of my back with five septic heads. Everyone was giving us advice on what to do, but nothing worked, and the problem just continued on and on.
We had been booked to sail to the UK to meet my father's family, and my plague of boils continued unabated. On arrival in North Wales my father had a dream one night. He recounted in the morning that repeatedly he had heard the name Blaenau Ffestiniog spoken to him, but although growing up in North Wales he did not know where it was, but he believed the dream was guidance from God which he had sought, and so in the morning he phoned to book us into a hotel for a weekend in that small town high up in the mountains of north Wales.
That weekend changed everything. My boils disappeared as if they had never been, except for a little scar on my back.
Apparently all the water in that town at that time ran through slate quarries, and after my boils dried up so suddenly and disappeared, my father believed that my body probably needed some mineral to fight the infections which it then got from the drinking water in that town.
I also remember the unusual atmosphere in that village as we rode a local bus on the Saturday morning. As its conductor was moving along the aisle issuing tickets, he began to sing a Christian hymn. The passengers were mainly men, and as he sang they joined in, until, when we alighted from the bus, the whole bus behind us was singing loud praises to God.
As a nine-year-old at the time it is a memory that has remained.
The caring of God to give such unexpected guidance to my father is an awesome memory for me of the One who cares for us – more than any!
Thank you, Oh merciful God!