What happens when your dreams become shattered?
For Shritim and her husband, their journey from India to California’s Silicon Valley to work as software developers followed a trajectory that many international high-tech workers hope for, but few make.
Life was good, and getting better, when their son Rishaan was born in March 2014. The baby was healthy, and as first-born son held great importance in their Hindu family as both heir and guarantor of the family’s future. Soon however, Rishaan’s cognitive development unexpectedly stalled and a bright future clouded over as baffled doctors on two continents could offer no explanation or treatment. Yet God had other plans. Miraculous ones.
We interviewed Shritim to learn how Divine intervention restored not only her son, but her own heart as well.
How old was Rishaan when you realized there was a problem?
He reached all his development milestones until six months of age. At that point, strange things began to happen. He was failing to recognize familiar people or do even simple things like sit up. His muscle tone became weak. He would lie down for long stretches in a vegetative state, or he would cry and throw tantrums. We took him for an MRI and the doctors said that it showed Neurological Impairment that they described as “brain delay,” where the brain is not up to the level of the child’s actual age, and continues to remain regressed.
What prognosis did the physicians give?
They said we could do very little except take him for cognitive and physical therapy to help him maintain what little function he had, but that we had to prepare ourselves for the fact he would be a special needs person his entire life. This was devastating, of course, because he was just nine months old when they told us this.
How did you respond? Did you look for second opinions? Research? Spiritual seeking?
We moved back to India. I’m a born Hindu and I invested into Hindu healing rituals. I actually spent a lot of money on those rituals because you have to pay for them. Still, I didn’t see any changes and, in fact, Rishaan’s condition was growing worse. Because I was in despair, I found myself literally cursing myself and my son. I was convinced there was something wrong with me or my generation that my son would be like this.
What happened next?
I felt there was a spiritual dimension to everything and kept seeking spiritually. I knew that several Christian acquaintances were praying for me and our family which was a great comfort. Even though I did not see an improvement in Rishaan’s condition yet, I found myself drawn to the love I was feeling and became a believer in Christ. I was very new in the faith and still struggled with blaming myself and Rishaan, but God was working on me.
And then you met a new physician?
Yes, last November after returning to the U.S., I googled Christian healing events in our area and an event by Dr. Susan Richards showed up. I contacted her and told her all about Rishaan. She agreed to meet with us and that started us praying together regularly. Being a medical doctor, she obviously understood his clinical diagnosis, but what was different about her is that she made prayer the primary treatment. At that point, Rishaan still could not sit up on his own even though he was 18 months old, and was still unresponsive to stimulus. Within a week of receiving her prayers, things started changing. He began sitting up and trying to crawl. He began noticing and recognizing us, instead of responding like we were strangers. He was beginning to do things he had never done.
Did people around you begin noticing his changes also?
Yes, for the first time he was making eye contact with others and smiling and that alone got their attention. Also, the tantrums stopped. He never had interest in toys and suddenly he began playing with them. When we went to the physical therapist, they couldn’t believe he made the progress he had made. Now, if they show him how to do something, he is much more likely to take interest, and when he does, he picks it up quickly and begins exploring for himself. His mental capacity is still growing, and even though it’s not completely up to his exact physical age, God will definitely get him there.
What did the other medical professionals make of his changes?
When Rishaan’s original neurologist examined him and noticed him sitting up and engaged with his surroundings, he said, “Wow, he couldn’t do this before. How could it be?” So, I told them that we just took him to the prayer sessions with Dr. Richards. He said, “Well, whatever you’re doing, keep doing it.”
Shritim with Rishaan, now a smiling and engaged two-year-old.
If you could tell parents of suffering children one thing, what would it be?
It’s never too late to seek God because He is always ready to heal us! No matter what, He loves
you and your child.
Also, learn to speak blessings instead of curses. I began canceling in Jesus’ name all the curses I
previously spoke, and now purposefully speak the blessings of God over him. Dr. Susan prays
these blessing prayers with us and recently, when Rishaan started losing eye contact again, we
focused on praying and proclaiming the promises of God that He will finish His work in him. As
we prayed, he regained his ability. So, don’t stop praying, keep going because you must declare
the truth over and over until you see it manifest.