We were told yesterday of a family with an 18 year old daughter who is very sick, so we went to visit the family. When we got there the daughter was in the middle of a convulsive seizure, arching her back, arm going stiff, then slumping, then going back into arched position and thrashing. The family was all around holding onto her and praying/screaming, and trying to put scriptures on her chest. She mainly appeared unconscious during the episode, which continued several minutes after we got there. The room was hot with all the people surrounding her, I asked for a small bowl of cool water and began bathing her face and arms, that helped them back up a little and quit grabbing at her. The convulsion passed, she came to and then after speaking laid down to sleep. They told us she had started having the convulsions earlier in the week and when they took her to the Medical Clinic after the first one the Doctor said there was nothing wrong with her. I think that may be because of how they explained it, and she appears perfectly normal in between the seizures. They decided that since the Doctor didn't find anything wrong with her, that an evil spirit is trying to possess her. I can see after having been there why they might tag it that way, looked kind of like an epileptic seizure, and scary to watch.
We came straight home and I got on the computer to do some research on what some of the causes are for seizures and what you need to do to diagnose. There is no diagnostic equipment here, like MRI or EEG, but Coban has it about 4 hours away. We called their Branch President and told him what we had found and he went over to meet us there to talk to them. We wanted to make sure they understand because some of the family don't understand Spanish very well and we were fighting against tradition, to try and help them realize she needed medical attention. She was fine as we were sitting there and we discussed it, with her sweet little one year old girl laughing and playing. They said they will think about it and decide by Monday, but you could tell they were doubtful. We left and went to visit another family, when we passed down the trail close to their home about an hour later we heard them all yelling again and I guess praying, it sounded like someone had died- or something. I was pretty sure she was in the middle of another seizure, but with nothing more we could do we walked on by, and I felt horrid. Hoping strongly that today they get her some help and that they can find a solution, it is hard to feel so helpless.
On the other hand we had an amazing caldo with one family yesterday and another family we visited just found out the wife is pregnant. We went to Poptun District earlier in the week and were able to do a training with the District Leadership there focused on missionary work, and the importance of the members doing missionary work, with the full-time missionaries helping them. We also got to work with a lot of the missionaries on a variety of issues like housing and English. Very grateful that none of them called this week due to sickness, and those that had been ill are all doing better.