-Sally was one of his "mothers" that fed him often. Sally had fed Britten just a couple of hours before the accident happened. Her son Michel, told us that Sally has blamed herself this whole time. She wished she would have kept him there at the house with her. Sally was with Britten for 11 hours at Santa Casa Hospital right after the accident. She loved him, as if he were her own son.
Sally, a neighbor to Johanna and Mirella, was in the Belem ward and a was always sharing the gospel with everyone. Sally was a very good missionary. She introduced the Elders, Britten and his companion to Mirella. Mirella was a beautiful, well behaved, mature 9 years old girl.
Britten immediately had a connection with Mirella and was so impressed with her and her mother Johanna. Mirella was such a sweetheart and had the kindness of her mother. Britten wrote home to tell us about this "Angel" that he had baptized, named Mirella!-
When we arrived in Belem, Britt was anxious to see Mirella. He stood by the front door and clapped, and Mirella immediately opened the door. There she stood looking like a Angel, holding her little dog. Britten bent down to gave her a big hug and Mirella just wrapped her arms around his neck.
-Last time Mirella had seen Britten was in the hospital after the accident. It must had been terrifying for her as Britten was not recognizable, as his face was so beaten up and swollen. But this little Angel stood by Britten's bedside while tears ran down her cheeks.-
I'm sure seeing Britten after 2 1/2 years was a wonderful sight to her. This was the missionary, that taught her and brought the love of Christ into her life, and into her home. Hopefully the awful memories in the hospital faded away, as she could see Britten had recovered and was back to his handsome self. Britten then gave Mirella a gift...a CTR necklace, so she would always remember to Choose the Right.
It was then Sally's turn. Sally held Britten and tears flowed from her eyes, as she cried and cried and cried. Sally sat and stroked his face, and she was thrilled with his recovery and return to Brazil.
They treated us like royalty, and the food was fit for a queen. Steven called her, "The Master Chef". Just when we thought we couldn't eat one more bite, she brought out 2 mouthwatering desserts!
We shared the story with her about "roll me out the door". We told her, this is #rollmeoutthedoorday4! We convinced Johanna, to save the 2nd dessert for a little later in the afternoon.
Then we went into the family room and Steven and I showed them Britt's video that we had made in Portuguese, just for our trip to Brazil. I looked over during the video and Sally took Britten's hands and held them the whole time, while she just cried.
It was heartwarming to see Sally's reaction as she watched the video as Britten started to progress. When she saw the part of Britt shooting the basketball, and then finally him making the basket... Sally cheered and cheered as if she were there!
The spirit touched us all, where at the end of the video it says, "Have miracles ceased?.... Behold, I say unto you, Nay." Moroni 7:33 Tears were wiped away, as Sally, Mirella & Johanna had prayed with faith, for Britten's life... they were part of this great miracle!
How great it was to spend time with Sally, Mirella, Johanna, and Jai. You are dear not only to Britten, but also Steven and I.
We love you!
Sally wanted to take us to her house next, as she just lived down the street. We patiently walked with
Sally while she told us this was the first time she had walked to Johanna's. Three months earlier, Sally had a stroke, leaving the right side of her body partially paralyzed. Sally has much determination, and has been working very hard to get the use of her leg and arm back. Sally's determination and faith reminds me a lot of Britten!
The next couple of hours, we enjoyed our visit, as Sally told us many stories about Britt. She told us that she was getting ready for a wedding and she wanted to paint and make the place look a little nicer. Britten asked her if she had some paint, and he would do it. Sally said, " you need more help than just you and your companion." Britten said, "Alright, I will get 2 more Elders to help". The next day, Britten had three other Elders to help paint her house. Sally said that it was Britten that ended up painting most of the house, while the others watched. She asked Britten, "where did you learn to paint so good?" He laughed and said, "my mother taught me! We do a lot of things like this!"
Sally related another story...Britten was to each lunch at a members house one afternoon, but it fell through. They decided to walk to Sally's, because they knew she would feed them. When they got to Sally's, they told her of their situation. Sally invited them in, not telling Britten and his companion about her own situation. She didn't have any food... only had enough in her frig for one meal to feed her and her daughter. Sally told us, that she would not turn down the missionary's, so she fed them the last of her food. That afternoon, Sally's daughter come home from work very excited! She had received a Big raise at work that day and had money for food.
Hearing Sally's story touched our hearts, as we realized she was a woman of faith.
As Sally related another story, I realized how special the bond was between her and Elder Schenk.
Britten had stopped by to visit Sally one day and she was really struggling with not feeling well. Some things had not gone well that day and her knees were really bothering her. After they had visited for awhile, Britten asked her what they could do for her? She said, "nothing. I am fine". Britten kept asking her what they could help her with and she continued to say, "I'm fine, I'm fine".
Britten then asked Sally if they could give her a blessing? Sally said, "I will never turn down a blessing". Sally told us that Britten gave her a beautiful blessing and told her she would start feeling better and that everything would be okay. Sally then told us that a few days later, was when Britten's accident happen. She stood in the hospital for 11 hours while praying for Elder Schenk. She said, "and my knees didn't bother me at all. The power of the Priesthood is real!" Steven and I was moved to see the mutual love and respect that Sally and Britten had for each other. They both trusted in the Lord and showed unwavering faith.
Later that afternoon Sally's son Michel, his wife and 3 children came to visit. Sally got the idea for Michel to take us to the first hospital where the Doctors removed Britten's shattered skull. Sally wanted the doctors to see Britten and his miraculous recovery. So Michel was kind enough to take us
to the Santa Casa Hospital. We had been told that it was a old Monastery, that was converted into a hospital. When we drove up to the hospital, I was amazed at this incredible sight. Yes, it was a old monastery, but not what I had pictured in my mind. It was a beautiful Catholic Cathedral that had been renovated and made into a Medical School, probably like the University of Utah. We were in awe at the sight of this building.We walked down many of the halls and took pictures, while trying to find someone to talk to about finding out information on the doctors that did Britten's surgery. Finally, a lady told us that the office was closed, but if we come back tomorrow someone could help us find the records and look up the doctors names.
We had a very peaceful feeling leaving the Santa Casa Hospital, and felt very content as we walked away. We were so thrilled that we were able to see his beautiful building and even though we didn't see the doctors, we knew they played and important role in Britten's life.
When we arrived back to Sally's at 10:00 pm she and her daughter-in-law placed a wonderful dinner before us. Of course we laughed and said, #rollmeoutthedoorday4!
Later, we watched Britten's video with Michel and his family and they were so touched. They had heard Sally talk of Britten all this time, and knew how special their relationship was.
Michel, who was director of the Institute in his area, asked if he
could share Britten's story with the students there. We agreed of course and gave him a DVD of Britten's story.
It had been a privilege to spend the afternoon and evening with Sally, her son Michel and family.
Sally sent me home with a beautiful gift of two hand towels that she had made. Our family's heart had been
touched that day, to feel of the love Sally had for our son, and also for us.
Thank You Sally, for opening your heart and home to our family!
Of course, I couldn't resist, playing with their hair!