Three sisters show faith through illness

Published: Wednesday, April 10 2013 8:00 a.m. MDT

From top to bottom: Bella, Brock, Darbi, Natalia, Natasha and Rob Rock Wilson

Ivy Adams

With three of her four children experiencing health challenges, it would be easy for Natasha Wilson to ask "Why me?" But that phrase is not allowed in the Wilson home, so she and her family instead ask “What is expected of us now?” — a question inspired by LDS apostle Elder Neal A. Maxwell.

In 2009, Bella Wilson, 4 years old at the time, went to the hospital for a routine tonsillectomy. During the procedure, Bella’s stomach perforated for an unknown reason, and she was transported by helicopter from Ogden Medical Center to Primary Children’s Medical Center.

During exploratory surgery there, doctors discovered the perforation was large and mended it. Then the Wilsons waited a week at the hospital before returning home.

As they worked with gastrointestinal specialists, the Wilsons learned that Bella’s vagus nerve was damaged during the tonsillectomy, which disrupted her digestive system.

The specialists gave Bella a radioactive scrambled egg to eat and placed a regular X-ray over her stomach for a couple of hours to monitor the length of time the egg took to pass from her stomach to her intestines. Based on the calculations shown from the X-ray, the egg would take more than 15 hours to pass, when it would normally take 20 minutes.

“Essentially, her stomach muscles just don’t work,” Natasha Wilson said. “She is in chronic pain and is on a very restricted diet of mostly liquids, carbs and sugars.”

Currently, 7-year-old Bella spends a lot of her time in and out of the hospital, and recently got accepted for additional testing at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

More recently, a second Wilson daughter experienced health problems.

In October, 17-year-old Natalia Wilson was diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and was forced to spend nearly a month lying down in a dark room while listening to classical music. She was on the cheerleading squad at Weber High School.

Natalia’s chronic headaches and fatigue have kept her home from school since then, but the school district has provided a tutor to assist her with classes.

As a student with a 4.0 GPA and a cheerleader, it’s been very difficult for Natalia to stay home from school for the past six months. Recently, however, she was permitted to attend two of the four class periods each day.

Then on March 7, medical issues in the Wilson home went from bad to worse.

Fifteen-year-old Darbi Wilson suddenly had a severe seizure while relaxing on the couch that evening, and she stopped breathing for a few minutes.

Natasha Wilson called the ambulance and was able to get Darbi breathing again.

When the ambulance arrived, Darbi was taken to Primary Children’s Medical Center, where the family learned she had epilepsy.

Doctors prescribed her a seizure medication, but Darbi had an allergic reaction.

In the past month, Darbi hasn’t had any more seizures as major as the one that started it all, but she still experiences mini-seizures.

Witnessing Darbi’s seizure particularly traumatized 9-year-old Brock, the lone brother in the Wilson family.

“Brock has been waking up with nightmares ever since he saw Darbi have the seizure,” Natasha Wilson said. “He’s very shaken emotionally and keeps asking me, ‘Mommy, what is going to happen to me?’”

Although the Wilsons are facing many trials, they never cease to rely on their faith for comfort, they said.

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