Moving Story of Church Accompanist Treated for Tuberculosis for 4 Years

A picture shows a yellow flower.
A picture shows a yellow flower. (photo:
By Esther TianDecember 27th, 2022

As a musician in a church in south China, a female believer tormented by tuberculosis has insisted on serving in the choir with a mask in order to prevent further infection. Born in the 1980s in Shandong, Danyang (pseudonym for safety reasons) has shared how she endured the four-year treatment, which was a very long lesson of patience rather than a miraculous healing experience.

As the first person to convert to the Lord in her family, her grandma repeatedly encouraged her children to attend church services. Danyang's mother finally decided to go along, as she is a blood daughter and didn’t want to make her mother angry. After listening to a sermon on God's creation by a pastor from Shanghai, her mother was converted. Later, Sister Danyang followed her mother in joining this church.

One of the most lasting impressions of church life for young Danyang was the family's involvement in the church Christmas program. Sister Danyang worked along with her parents, playing a large pedal organ in church while her mother and dad sang. Danyang studied music and has been involved in the local church organ ministry since graduating from the university in 2003.

Diagnosed with tuberculosis in October 2017, she spent the next two years getting injections, taking medicine, and getting X-rays without visible improvement.

During 2018 and 2019, she felt miserable every time she heard the doctor say: "The test results show no improvement", or: "Why is it getting worse again?" The examination itself was very painful. Blindfolding her, the doctor would insert a tube through her nose into the lungs to observe the condition of her lungs. She said that at this time she could not help but silently pray in her heart: "Lord, save me!"

Because her body developed resistance to the medication and the medicine that later replaced caused nerve damage, Sister Danyang began to suffer from stuttering and hand tremors, Her mobile phone often dropped to the floor.

As the medication was not effective, the doctors began to add intramuscular injections to the treatment plan. The muscle shots were given daily for the first three months and every other day for the next three months. Because the injections were so frequent, they ran out of places for shots. "Every time I took the bus, I had to hold my hand on the seat and halfways crouch because of the bumps in the road, since it was very painful to touch my needle wound."

In 2019, she felt that she had reached her limit. For a while, she found a hymn named "There is a Hope" that she played on a loop every day on the way home. This hymn brought hope to her in despair and she began looking forward to meeting the Lord beyond her own deep valley.

Finally, the situation took a turn for the better. After two years of treatment, she was introduced to another doctor who changed the treatment plan for drug resistance. Although the new medicine had serious side effects, the checkup was changed from once every two weeks to once every one or two months with normal liver and kidney functions.

As the side effects of the medicine became more pronounced, her hair turned white and her feet started to go numb. The skin on her body became darker and turned to a kind of fish scale.

"Another pain was when the needle went in for the injection and popped out again. After the injection, I had to press a cotton swab on the cut to stop bleeding for 20 minutes and I would come back with blood all over my clothes," she recalled.

Although it was difficult, Sister Danyang traveled to and from the hospital every day for medical appointments while working part-time as a home music teacher. She did not stop her church ministry and still went to church every week to play the organ and lead the choir during choral practice.

During her illness, she often shared the Gospel with others. In the last year on medication, she led a music lover, Xingxing (pseudonym), to faith in Jesus by sharing the Bible and giving her testimony. Later, Xingxing also joined the worship team.

One day at the end of 2021, the doctor finally told her that she didn't need to take any more medication. Danyang concluded that through this four-year illness she had deeply experienced that "when there is no hope, there is still hope through faith".

Today, Sister Danyang still has a lot of grey hair and her skin has not improved much. She still has problems with numbness in her feet. But none of this can take away her joy, and she feels renewed every time she worships God.

- Translated by Abigail Wu

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