Thursday, March 7, 2013

Grief, Hope, and Miracles: part one

This is the first in a series of blog posts about grief, hope, and miracles. I've asked several mamas who have walked through uncertain diagnoses for their children to contribute guest posts over the next two weeks.  Some of these stories end on a positive note...some show the deep faith of women who walked through the most difficult of life's trials ~ losing a child...and some show the ongoing journey of faith and hope as they continue to believe for the health of their little one. I hope their stories will inspire you to greater faith and a deeper trust in the Lord, as they did me. 
~ Patti



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by Elizabeth,  from Confessions of the Chromosomally Enhanced  




There are memories you will never forget, even though you wish you could… 


I remember the feel of my husband’s hand in mine as we approached our daughter’s PICU room and were accosted by a physician we later dubbed “Dr. Doom & Gloom” who callously issued the announcement that shattered our hearts: “I don’t believe in beating around the bush. We’ve done all that we can do for her and she’s not responding. You need to prepare yourselves for the worst.”




 I remember my phone ringing off the hook with concerned calls from our eager families and friends, wanting updates on Josie’s condition. With each call I ignored, they grew more frequent. Our loved ones detected something was terribly wrong but I couldn’t find the strength to pick up the phone and deliver that message.

 
I remember the hallway window I was staring out when I finally found the nerve to explain this scenario to my dad. As warm tears flowed down my cheeks, I helplessly rambled, “Dad, I don’t know what to do. I can’t go home and see all of her things. Her crib, and her bottles, and her play mat that’s in the center of the family room floor…I already quit my job to stay home and raise this baby. I don’t want to go back to work. I don’t want another baby. We just adopted her five months ago. Why would God give her to us and then turn around and take her away? I don’t understand. I…can’t…do…this…”


I remember the agony in my husband’s sobs. Here was the most calm, collected, composed person I’ve ever known falling apart before my eyes as the greatest joy he’d ever known was ripped away from him; his whole body shook as his heart crumbled.





And then there are memories that you will never forget, and will cherish forever… 



I remember the audible gasp that came across the small crowd of nurses, residents, and fellows when the doctor pulled up Josie’s x-ray during morning rounds and there was a substantial decrease in the “gunk” that was clouding her lungs, distressing her respiratory system, and causing her to fight for every breath. It didn’t take a medical professional to interpret these results – Josie was turning the corner.









 I remember  the day she was extubated and the feel of the fellow’s hands on my shoulders as he gently pushed me towards her crib and urged me to see her breathe independent of a ventilator. And I remember the sparkle in her eyes as she smiled at me; it was a smile so pure and genuine and completely void of the weight of the struggle that she had just overcome.





To this day, no expert has been able to tell us exactly what caused the respiratory distress episode that nearly took our daughter’s life, nor can they tell us exactly what intervention allowed her to survive it. But I know what it was – it was faith, love, and the power of prayer.Even though she’d only been on this earth a few short months, she was loved by so many people. And despite how bleak her prognosis appeared, I know hundreds of people refused to give up faith. With every blog post I would write during that period, I would appeal to my readers to please send up some prayers for Josie. Even perfect strangers would read her story and bow their heads and appeal to God on her behalf. And I truly believe that made a difference.


I’ve always felt like my sister has a direct link to God. A connection that is so pure and true. Here is a passage she wrote during that time period:

http://confessionsofthechromosomallyenhanced.blogspot.com/2010/08/hospital-update-written-by-aunt-leanne.html




It is incredibly painful for me to relive some of those moments but I am happy to share our story if it can offer someone else a message of faith and hope. Statistics, odds, and bleak prognoses from merciless medical professionals are completely insignificant when pitted against an unwavering faith in God’s ability to create miracles. And He does create miracles – I’ve seen it with my own eyes.





p.s. anyone interested in purchasing a t-shirt like Josie's can contact Elizabeth on her blog :)


15 comments:

Crystal said...

I just love that last photo of Josie. And the poem from Leanne. Excited and looking forward to this series.

Mrs. K said...

What a beautiful moving post. What a beautiful little girl. What a beautiful Aunt Leanne. I believe in miracles and I beleive in God. Thank you for your wonderful, faithfilling post. May God continue to bless you and your family.

Anna said...

what a beautiful post! The power of prayer is an amazing thing!

lovemy3 said...

What a beautiful post!!

goldenleaves said...

Oh my word, such an amazing post. That picture of Leann at Josie's bedside brings tears to my eyes. Brings back so many memories of when Lauren was so sick and I was so scared she wouldn't make it.

I love this series idea!

Mary said...

So beautiful, had me in tears from the beginning. SO happy to see the happy ending picture. I enjoyed looking at your blog and now just love Leanne! Your video interviews are wonderful. Thanks!

ch said...

Oh, I'm just a mess. It destroys me to think how close the world came to missing out on this family. Thanks so much for sharing their story, Patti!!!

Carrie Scharf said...

I know exactly how you felt. Thank you for sharing Shes a beautiful girl :) I couldn't write about it for a long time afterwards. I still cry when I think about it. So thankful to have Jesus to lean on :)

Patti said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cara said...

Thank you SO much for sharing!! What a miracle!! The power of prayer never ceases to amaze me. God is GOOD!

Twilson9608 said...

What a beautiful post and story!

kimk said...

Great guest post! In fact I have peeped in on those dual divas before, but only in the past yr or so, so I had not known the story of Jose's miracle.
Our son, was born with Down Syndrome and very complex heart defects. He had heart surgery at 5 weeks, and it was tough, he was in heart, kidney and liver failure for about 48 hours, my darkest hours. A miracle occurred, I literally felt the moment, sitting on the floor of the bathroom of his icu room.
At 5 months he had his second heart surgery, he did well. We were so happy. But then at 9 months our drs finally leveled with us, following the path he was on, he would need new heart and lungs, it wouldn't be 40 yrs, or 20, probably not even 10 yrs. And yes, person w Down syndrome just don't get organs....we were heartbroken.
We pursued a far stretched dream. A surgeon in Boston told us he could repair our sons heart and make his ventricle grow, our local cardio told us it was impossible. If we tried it, we would lose him. They advised to enjoy the years we did have. We took a literal leap of faith and Trusted in The Lord, and we went for it.
That was nearly 5 years ago...and our son is living a full life with a fully functioning heart, four normal sized chambers. Growing a chamber

kimk said...

I wrote a long comment about our sons miracle, then lost it : (
So short version this time...
Our son was born with a complex heart defect, multiple defects, the most concerning was a hypoplastic (smal to nonexistent) ventricle. He endured two heart surgeries at our local hospital before we were let in in the little secret that he would not survive into adulthood (as we inially were led to believe) without a new heart and lungs, and then told UNOS can not officially not list persons with down Syndrome, but due to that fact, he would be so far down the list it would be impossible for him to get this gift of life. We were heartbroken but we followed a hope of a surgeon in Boston who told us about a new ventricle growth procedure. Our local dr told us that was impossible, but we took a leap of faith and went to Boston for his 3rd heart surgery...it was a long (but stable) recovery and in the end...a beautiful working chamber grew. That was nearly 5 yrs ago, he is doing awesome. He will never need a heart transplant : )
He is our miracle and although my darkest days lasted many many months, God was with us and saw us through
Www.carepages.com carepages name HeWill

Jane@flightplatformliving said...

oh my goodness crying here!!!!

Stephanie Harrigan said...

What a beautiful story... the picture of her daddy smiling at her did me in. Also crying here... but they're happy tears. :)