by Sister Fatima Nayaki, A.C.
I am a member of the Sri Lanka Province of the Apostolic Carmel Congregation, founded by Venerable Mother Veronica of the Passion in 1868, at Bayonne, France. After having served in the Province for 12 years, on January 6, 1991, I was asked to go to Lahore, Pakistan by my Provincial Superior in Sri Lanka. I mastered the Urdhu language to begin my mission there, as a Principal of Mariam Sadeeqa School at Dogaich, in a remote poor area in Lahore. The School building was a multi-purpose shed with open brick walls and a flat roof with classes up to Metric with 400 pupils on roll.
I was 37 years old and at this time of strenuous work as a Principal of the School, and seeing to the construction of the School building as well, I suffered with anemia. In 1994 the doctor at Pakistan General Hospital diagnosed uterine fibroids and advised hysterectomy to be performed. As I was anemic, blood transfusion was administered during the surgery which resulted in severe allergic reactions, swelling of joints, indigestion and vomiting. The doctors were not able to diagnose the cause, and prescribed some anti allergy tablets as treatment. Finding no improvement in my health condition, I was asked by my Provincial Superior to return to Sri Lanka in 1996.
The allergy to proteins, pungent, oily and acidic food from which I suffered, gradually became very severe. Once I fainted in the washroom and hit my head against the wall and suffered from contusion of brain and lost my eye sight for a month. I was admitted twice to the ICU for severe allergic reactions and was treated. Yet the doctors in Sri Lanka were not able to diagnose the cause of my illness and give me the needed treatment for a cure.
In the year 2011, I attended a 5 day session of Project Planning at Caritas Jaffna. There I started vomiting blood and the bouts were quite frequent. The doctors diagnosed the case to be Cirrhosis of the Liver Portal Hypertension but were not willing to treat me. My intake of solid food and digestion was a real struggle and I started living only on liquid diet. A specialist of a Liver Unit at Ragama Medical Hospital was contacted and he suggested a Biopsy of the Liver and if needed a Liver transplant to be done.
Sister Carmella, the Provincial Superior, after hearing about the seriousness of my health condition from the medical report, was very much concerned and requested all the sisters of the Province, to pray to Mother Veronica for my cure. Fortunately the Superior General – Sister Agatha Mary from Bangalore, India was on visitation of the Sri Lanka Province at that time. She contacted India and found out that there was a Liver Unit at the Kurji Holy Family Hospital, Patna, Bihar.
She asked me to leave for India and go to the Apostolic Carmel Provincial House of the Northern Province, Patna. On January 4, 2012, I reached Patna. The Provincial Superior Sister Dipasha took me to Dr. Ajit Kumar Sinha MD, DNB, head of the Liver Unit of Kurji Holy Family Hospital. He asked for all the tests conducted in Sri Lanka to be repeated. The reports showed that I was infected with Hepatitis C Virus (HCV Genotype 3 A-2, 124, 476 copies). He was convinced that this was due to the blood transfusion given during the surgery in 1994.
The doctor prescribed a course of 24 ‘VIRRAFERON PEG’ injections one per week and 2 ‘RIBAVIRIN’ capsules after every meal. I was asked to sign an undertaking “Knowing the risk and benefit of the treatment, I submit myself for the treatment to Chronic Hepatitis C”. The course of medication started on February 10, 2012. I was admitted to the Hospital every Monday, and after the injection, was kept on observation and the next day brought back to the Convent. I went through intense suffering after each injection.
I could not pray, read, write, sleep and take my daily meals. After the sixth injection I took a bad turn. My Blood Pressure came down to 70/50, Hemoglobin 8.5, severe vomiting, sleeplessness, restlessness, failure of memory, giddiness, depression. The suffering was beyond any human endurance. I found myself vegetating in bed. The doctor was informed who insisted that I continue the course, to rule out completely the possibility of the infection reverting. My 3 month Visa was extended for 3 more months to continue the full course of the treatment. I was taken to the Hospital for the seventhinjection on March 26th and for the eighth on April 2nd and was brought back to the Convent on March 27th and April 3rd respectively.
On April 5th, Holy Thursday, I was taken to the Chapel just to receive Holy Communion. On April 6th, Good Friday, my condition worsened. I fainted and vomited blood many times. I lost my vitality and was confined to bed. I felt that I was almost on the verge of death . Because of my medical condition, I couldn’t attend the services that day.
I kissed the Crucifix from my bed of pain at the time of Veneration of the Cross. I prayed to Mother Veronica to put a full stop for the rest of the sixteen injections and asked Jesus to pour out His Precious Blood into my HCV infected blood stream and Liver and to heal me and make me whole.
On April 7, 2012: Holy Saturday, around 2.30 AM, I heard a sweet gentle voice calling out my name “Fatima, Fatima…” I got up on my own and I rushed to the door, thinking that the sisters were calling me. They would normally come to my room in the night to see to my condition, but I found no one there.
After three weeks of confinement to bed and utter helplessness, rising from my bed without anyone’s assistance was indeed a miracle. I was inspired to open the Bible and read. I read from the gospel of John, chapters 14-17 and relished the comforting message “Because I live and you will live also” (Jn.14:18-19). I experienced a deep joy and wellness which lingered throughout the day and I was convinced that through Mother Veronica’s intercession God gave me a new lease of life. From that moment onwards, the allergic reactions did not recur and I was able to take normal food and move about freely.
On April 8th, Easter Sunday, I attended Holy Mass, walking on my own to the Chapel and after the Mass went about seeing the sisters of the 3 Communities and the Provincial House in the Campus. The sisters were surprised and did not believe that I was healed so quickly and some even suspected that I could be pretending.
On April 13, 2012, Sister Dipasha took me to Dr. A.K. Sinha, though he had insisted earlier that the full course of injections was necessary, with the possibility of the infection reverting, agreed to stop the further course of injections and wrote in the report: “Now she is intolerant to Injections ‘VIRRAFERON PEG’ and 2 ‘RIBAVIRIN’ capsules stopped for Hepatitis C”.
On April 15, 2012, I was brought to Bangalore, to the Apostolic Carmel Generalate House. On May 2nd, I was taken to St. John’s Hospital in Bangalore for a second opinion by Sister Liceria.
Mrs. Felcy D’Souza, the PRO at the Hospital directed us to Dr. Harshad Devarbhavi, MD, DM, DNB, Professor and Head of the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, at St. John’s Medical Hospital, Bangalore. This is one of the top, prestigious Medical Institutions in India. He reviewed all my reports and asked that all the tests be repeated. All the reports proved “Hepatitis C Virus not detected”. Hence there was no possibility of the virus reverting. He told me that I could return to Sri Lanka without any fear. On August 8, 2012, I returned to Sri Lanka, and continued my mission there enjoying good health to date without medication.
I attribute my miraculous cure from Chronic Hepatitis C Virus infection to Mother Veronica?s powerful intercession and with Jesus pouring out His Precious Blood.
Sister Fatima Nayaki A.C. was born on May 24, 1952. Sister began her religious profession on June 1, 1979.
Sister Fatima Nayaki has a Higher Diploma in Community Development and Child Care from Madras University and a Higher Diploma and licence in Psychological Counselling in American Higher Education in SriLanka.
Sister Fatima Nayaki served in Pakistan as a Missionary from 1990 - 1996. In 1996 she returned to her country and was in charge of a Home for the Destitute in Srilanka. From 2000 - 2012 sister worked in Caritas - SEDEC in Srilanka as a Peace and Psychological Social Coordinator and served during the war time and Tsunami.
Sister Fastima Nayaki is a member of the Sri Lanka Province of the Apostolic Carmel Congregation.