Prayer had always been a part of Mary Bess Edwards life, but in the last year she says prayer has changed her life. In February of 2001, she came down with the flu, while under the weather, Mary Bess slipped and fell in the bathroom, a fall that caused her auto immune system to fight against her. But what was happening was not easily detected by her doctors, until she says, they put her illness in God's hands.
"Not knowing whether I'd get better or worse or what not, if I'd be able to do what I always did," Mary Bess Edwards said. Mary Bess Edwards of New Home had always been a strong and healthy woman. She and her husband ran the family business, selling farming equipment and tools. But a sudden decline in health would change everything.
Her daughter Karon says the hardest part was dealing with no diagnosis of why or what was causing her mother's health to deteriorate. "It was frustrating in one aspect because we new mother was not mother. She was always strong and independent and leading us and she wasn't able to do that any longer and no one would listen. They all thought it was fine to come into the office with a walker, which was no good. It wasn't what we wanted from the physicians and it wasn't the mother we were used to depending on and we wanted her well," Karon Durham, Mary Bess' daughter said.
When Mary Bess fell she compressed her vertebrae, surgery later relieved the pressure in her back but physically her health was still declining. "My auto immune system went against me when I had the flu, and it let the bad bugs get in there and it messed up the muscles and nerves in my hands feet and legs and some of it will probably never come back, I hope it will but I couldn't write, I couldn't walk without a walker or a splint. I couldn't get out of my chair," Mary Bess Edwards said.
They went to a number of doctors, who ran test after test, but it was not until they turned her illness over to God, that they would find the right doctor and the right diagnosis. "Prayer was always there but it got stronger and more depended on as we went along because it was out of our hands. We had to totally let go and let God lead us to the proper physician," Karon said.
"He has healing pressures or powers that no one else can do so we had to pray to God to help me," Mary Bess said.
"It was scary, you don't know nothing you just wait for it all," John Edwards, Mary Bess' husband said.
"If we hadn't seen a need for a stronger power and let him take over and guide us then we would probably be still sitting there in the rut wishing someone would help us to find the right doctor. Instead we did find the right doctor and mother is getting better each and every day and it's all because we let go," Karon said.
Letting go they say was also hard, but they new they could rely on the power of prayer. "100% she'd never made it without it. It's been tough on us," John said.
"She tried, she never gave up. If she'd given up then we might have given up but she's a fighter," Karon said.
"I'm just very thankful, for everybody and everything and all the prayers," Mary Bess said.
The Edwards found Dr Lajara at University Medical Center, he put Mary Bess on a chemotherapy treatment that she still takes today. Other doctors would not give her the treatment, but it has worked for her. She is walking, driving and writing again, functioning about 75% better than she was. One day Mary Bess says she will be at 100%, thanks to the power of prayer.