As you may recall from our Christmas Appeal last year, 17-year old Rheannan from Bundaberg was supported by her Chappy through flooding rains, her sister’s cancer diagnosis and her family’s financial strain.
As if that wasn’t enough, late last year Rheannan was diagnosed with a chiari malformation, a condition where brain tissue extends into the spinal canal. As a result, she suffered through severe headaches and dizzy spells. Over time her symptoms continued to deteriorate.
Rheannan and her mother Sam decided to proceed with high-risk invasive surgery to provide much needed relief. Up to 30 per cent of these procedures fail, which in some cases can result in death or becoming a quadriplegic from the chin down.
In the face of this great diversity and stress, Rheannan held onto God and the prayers of many SU QLD supporters just like you.
“We tried some medication for a while, but when Rhea continued to go downhill we realised we were going to have to move forward with surgery,” said Rheannan’s mum Sam.
“Through the whole process we knew we had SU QLD and its supporters behind us.
“When you go through big life events, the people who are there kind of become your friends forever, and that’s what we’ve felt SU QLD have become for us. It’s been such an amazing blessing.
“Chappy Lisa was such a big part of our family’s recovery from the floods and Rhea’s final year of schooling, and the connection with SU was never lost.”
Now, six weeks after surgery, Rheannan has come out the other side healed and fully functioning. She has no more headaches, dizziness or pains, and is already getting involved in her church’s dance program.
“Rhea loves dancing and is an instructor with the older children at Heritage Church – our local church,” said Sam.
“It’s incredible that she’s already back so soon after surgery – it’s been a real blessing for her.”
Rheannan says she is so grateful for friends like you who were supporting her through this tough time.
“I’d just like to say a huge thanks to everyone who supported and prayed for me,” said Rheannan.
“I can finally use my whole body like a normal person, with no side-effects from the surgery. I don’t think I could have made it through this tough patch without your prayers – it really meant a lot.”
Thank you for your prayers for Rheannan and her family.
To keep the lifeline of chaplaincy going, please visit suqld.org.au/give