I’ve had the privilege of Michelle Malkin’s friendship for at least decade, back when both of us began blogging. On our first trip to Washington DC, she and Jesse opened up their home to us, and we had a memorable evening with their entire family. I’ve dropped in once or twice since on business, and it’s always been amazing to see just how special the Malkin family is — loving, caring, and focused on their two wonderful children.

Today, Michelle shares with the world the nightmare scenario playing out with her daughter’s health. Veronica, a brilliant and talented teen, has suddenly taken ill and fights for every breath while the medical world struggles to find a diagnosis. Please read this in its entirety, but here’s a particularly heartbreaking excerpt:

Just before Mother’s Day weekend, however, she started having what appeared to be respiratory trouble. She “couldn’t get a good breath” and began gently gasping and sighing for air every few minutes. Two trips to the ER later, she had been administered ibuprofen for “costochondritis” and then albuterol to open up her airways.

The problem is that all the various tests and exams indicate she’s getting plenty of oxygen. Her lungs, heart and vocal cords are all “normal,” and yet she describes a chronic feeling that she’s “drowning.” Every day begins with gasping beyond her control, multiple times a minute, nonstop, every hour of every day, until she reaches a point of exhaustion at 1 or 2 in the morning.

After a brief respite while sleeping, the day-mare starts all over again.

As a father and a grandfather, I remember the lovely evenings of listening to children breathe softly in their sleep. My son had more-or-less routine asthma when he was younger, and those sounds were soothing after an evening of trouble. My granddaughters have been healthy, and when they were younger, it was a joy to hear them in their sleep. We take that for granted, and only when it gets ripped away from us do we realize it. It’s heartbreaking to the point of tears to read this and know what Veronica, Michelle, Jesse, and their son JD are going through now. I just hope that they can take some small comfort in knowing their friends are with them, and wishing they could do something to help, and knowing that the best thing to do right now is stay out of the way.

For those of you inclined toward prayer, please include the Malkins today, especially Veronica. Include the doctors and nurses trying to find out what’s going wrong and how to fix it. And if you have children and grandchildren, perhaps offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the blessings you have as well.