A series of operations followed. It soon became clear that the little girl lacked the unifying healing process that coordinate various cells. Her body failed at achieving homeostasis in its most crucial form. Sewing her intestine was like sewing a rubber balloon: it would always leak, because nothing summoned new living cells to seal up the puncture marks. Repairs lasted a few days, until the stitches ripped through the tissue.
We prayed over Anne’s tiny body. I did research on her condition. We gave her nourishment and blood transfusions through her veins, and I even tried wrapping the intestinal junction with the filmy omentum that the body uses to heal accidental wounds. But nothing ever healed. The skin flaps refused to adhere, the muscles gaped apart, and intestinal juices sooner or later trickled out between the stitches.
Ann’s body lacked the go-between, the mechanism that responds to a wound by healing it. She had plenty of fibroblasts and new cells-her body was using them for growth all over, weaving fiber for tendons and tissue. Nothing, however, informed them that her body was wounded and that they must rush to the site of injury. No alarms went off alerting one part of the body to another’s need.
In His Image, Dr. Paul Brand and Philip Yancey, page 197