This past October, the Brignall family attended a Sunday afternoon event celebrating the life of an early missionary to the Solomon Islands. During the event, 4-year-old Kyrie started getting a fever.
“People were dancing and giving speeches and we were reluctant to leave,” her father Naaman says. “But her fever grew worse and we knew we should check to see if it was malaria.”
The mosquito-borne disease is prevalent throughout the islands. To reduce their chances of contracting malaria, the Brignalls give their kids antimalarial medication, use insect repellent and wear protective clothing during vulnerable times like early morning and after dark.
When event organizers learned that Kyrie was ill, they graciously advised Naaman and Lorae to leave early. Her fever had spiked to about 41 C by the time they reached their home in Honiara, almost 5 p.m. At the time, the Brignalls only knew of one pharmacy in the city. On the off-chance it would still be open, they drove there.
“Surprisingly, the pharmacy was open and we got her tested,” Naaman says. “It turned out she had plasmodium falciparum, the type of malaria that can be deadly in small children.”
While they waited for the prescription to be filled, Lorae asked the pharmacist if the store was usually open at that hour on Sundays. He replied that they usually closed at 3 o’clock, but that day, they had decided—on impulse—to stay open until 5.
Naaman and Lorae see the hand of God in that decision. Even though Kyrie began taking the medication within three hours of getting her first fever, she still took almost a week to recover.
“It was very scary,” Naaman says. Lorae now keeps home malaria tests on hand, just in case they ever need them.
“God showed us through that experience that He really cares for Kyrie,” Naaman says.
“He cares for us all, and He’s with us here in the Solomon Islands.”