I’m fast forwarding in the chain of life to an experience that happened to me 8 years ago. When we go through the birth of a child we hope and pray for a healthy, happy, uneventful time. When you are entrusted with a newborn your job is to love, nurture, care for and make sure that child grows healthy and strong! On December 20th, I was blessed with my son Timothy! He had the ideal pregnancy and scheduled c-section with no complications. I took that bundle of Joy home with me on Christmas day! A few weeks later my mom and step-dad came out to visit from Iowa. We celebrated with a baby shower and spending time celebrating a boy! Little did I know how a week later my joy would turn to uncertainty! I woke up on Sunday January 29th, to a wheezing Timmy. I didn’t really think too much about it but felt I should call the hospital to see what I should do. With urgency in her voice the nurse suggested I bring him to the hospital to have him checked out since he was a newborn at 5 weeks and his lungs were tiny. It was a Sunday morning, my ex was getting ready for church. I took my daughter to the ER with me as she was junkie too! The doctor was Dr. Bambara and our nurse was Heidi! Two of the finest people around! Lily had bronchitis and Timmy had RSV. I’ll never forget being in that ER room alone but not really alone. God was with me. Holding me in the palm of his hand during this valley. I’ll never forget Dr. B coming into that room and saying these words that changed my view “I’ll try and save him!” I called Josh (my ex now), and told him that Timmy had RSV and they were going to admit us. Neither of us at this point realized the seriousness of this! Josh came and picked up Lily and off they went to church. I stayed with Timmy at the hospital in rural Grinnell. He was quarantined. Alone, in the room with the occasional phone call to see how we were doing. The only thing I could do was TRUST in HIM! He had created Timmy and HE knew what he was doing! The next morning, as Josh was coming to check on us our family doctor stopped him outside the room explaining the severity of the situation at hand. Timmy was NOT responding to the treatments and Grinnell was NOT equipped to handle intubating him if he began to fail. A decision had to be made where we would go from here. Josh spoke with the doctor outside the room, she was Catholic, she recommended that we have him baptized. His baptism was nothing grand or spectacular, but rather simple. Josh, myself, God and Timmy in that room. He was baptized. We decided that it would be best to transport him to Des Moines to Blank Children’s Hospital. We would be an hour to my dad and I had family in Des Moines. Transport had been called and I think that was the longest hour waiting for them to arrive. I had not been home and was not going to leave Timmy. It was like everything stood still! The room was busy with people coming in and out checking on Timmy, getting him ready to be transported but for me it was like no one was there. I was not upset but rather at peace. Living in a small community, everyone knew and was praying. Once the transport team arrived, the nurses name was Liz, she had short spiky hair and I remember her getting an i.v. started and off we went. As we emerged from the room it was like there was a line of people stopping their activity to watch as we left perhaps for the last time with Timmy. We loaded into the ambulance. I road in the front. Timmy snuggled safely in the back with Liz. Once we arrived at Blank we were taken up to the 4th floor where there was a flurry of activity. People in and out checking on him. My dad and step-mom came up. Josh arrived. My dad made sure I was fed. Then the doctor stopped what he was doing and asked if we knew that Timmy had a heart murmur. We DID NOT know this! More testing ensued! EKG’s, blood pressures in all 4’s quadrants! Do you know how heart wrenching it is watching your child struggle to scream because they are having their blood pressure taken? Monday night everyone had gone home but me and Timmy. We snuggled in for the night. I tried to get sleep but if you have ever slept in a hospital you know it’s not the easiest thing. Tuesday morning came, with an early morning group of nursing students wanting to check Timmy out. I was ok with it. That morning the team had a pediatric cardiologist coming over from another hospital to check out Timmy’s heart. We did NOT know about this test. Josh was NOT there. The student nurses wanted to see. I let them watch. Here my son laid helpless, as the doctor examined the pictures he proceeded to tell me that my son had 3 heart defects. But with these heart defects they were actually help him stay alive. God was allowing Timmy to THRIVE despite these circumstances. As soon as the doctor told me about these defects and that he would need heart surgery once his lungs had healed from the RSV, I was in SHOCK! I was surrounded by people but alone or so I thought! God was there with me and knew EXACTLY what I would need as the phone rang in the room at the moment I had just gotten this terrible news! My mom called! I handed the phone to the nurse so she could explain what was going on. My mom was concerned that I needed her. She was in Indiana. I kept saying his lungs just need to rest. I’ll be ok. But she left that afternoon. My ex came up but he needed time to process all this alone. I stayed in the room with Timmy. The respiratory therapist said he was doing ok. There was talk of moving him to the PICU to get more one on one care but he hadn’t gotten to that point yet. Tuesday night Josh left at 7p.m. thinking Timmy was going to be ok but at 7:30p.m. I called upset and told him to get back up there because Timmy had just gone into respiratory distress and was being moved to the PICU. My mom arrived Wednesday. That was the BEST thing to have her there. She kept my mind distracted but was there that Saturday morning that Timmy was put on the vent! That was the WORST feeling as a parent holding your child and watching them only breath in not out! We had people all over the world praying for him! I had peace that God was going to heal him because had BIG plans for Timmy! The body of Christ was in action! My dad’s pastor came up with a prayer blanket for Timmy. They came up to prayer with me. Timmy sleeps with that blanket and know’s it as his special prayer blanket. My dad’s hospital CEO gave us a meal pass for a week! If you have ever been in the hospital for any length of time you know eating get’s costly! Then the cards came in! Piles and Piles of cards! Support! Prayer! Each day there was a new stack of card to open, read through and be grateful because the body of Christ was carrying me through this time! Because of the prayers of HIS people I was able to THRIVE during this time of my life. After a 3 week stay, 10 days on the vent, MRSA and STREP-Pnemonia on top of the RSV and Heart Condition! Timmy came home, his lungs healed, he had his heart surgery at 5 months old and today he is 8 years old and as normal as a boy can be! Yes, we still have a few struggles with his breathing but God has healed Timmy to be able to THRIVE and he carried me through his ordeal to THRIVE and know that we are over comers!
“This post is inspired by Casting Crowns’ new album “Thrive” releasing on January 28th.”