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:
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 :)