“Cristina’s Many Miracles,” Ensign, August 2017
Our family has witnessed many miracles because of my sister, Cristina. She was born with a serious heart defect. When the doctors examined her, they told my parents she probably wouldn’t survive. My parents, however, held their fragile baby in their arms and put their trust in the Lord. Cristina’s survival was a miracle.
The years passed, and Cristina became a strong, smart, playful, and beautiful girl. When she was 12, she needed surgery to place an artificial valve in her heart. We worried whether she would survive the surgery, but with great strength and courage, she said goodbye to us and entered the operating room.
Cristina survived the operation and returned home to us. She always appeared happy and was grateful to Heavenly Father to be alive and to have the opportunity to learn and grow. Friends never imagined she had a heart defect, because she was very active.
After recovering from a stroke when she was 16, Cristina was asked to help teach seminary. She encouraged many students as they memorized scriptures and learned from the Book of Mormon. Cristina also played the piano and loved to sing. She didn’t miss a beat when she was invited to direct a choir of 60 voices for a ward conference.
When she was 22, Cristina married a young man in the temple for eternity. Soon after getting married, she was called to be Young Women president in her ward.
When she was 26, Cristina’s health quickly declined. She went to São Paulo for some tests. There she learned she needed another surgery. During the operation, Cristina suffered a heart attack that caused brain damage. Months passed, and she did not improve. As a family we gathered together to fast and pray for her recovery, but she did not improve. We decided to fast again, this time asking for help to accept the will of our Father in Heaven. The following day Cristina passed away.
This was not what we hoped for, but we realized this was a miracle too. Cristina no longer had to suffer. The gospel gave us joy and peace, even in moments of deep sadness. Because we have been sealed, we know we can be with Cristina again.