Trials and What God Has Done For Our Family

Something changed inside me broke wide open all spilled out
Till I had no doubt that something changed

Never would have believed it till I felt it in my own heart
In the deepest part the healing came

And I cannot make it
And I cannot fake it
And I can't afford it
But it's mine

Something so amazing in a heart so dark and dim
When a wall falls down and the light comes in

And I cannot make it
And I cannot fake it
And I can't afford it
But it's mine

~Sara Groves

 

 

In June of 2008, I found our then-seven-week-old son nearly lifeless in his Moses basket.  When we entered the ambulance to rush him to the ER, his blood sugar was 13 and he was comatose.  It was a harrowing day, stretching into a night that puzzled specialists at the pediatric hospital where he had been transported.  "Keep your cell phones close; he may not make it".

Within 48 hours we knew the culprit-- Joe had contracted the Enterovirus, and over the next 11 days we watched his kidneys fail, his liver fail, and his heart strain.  Ultimately he emerged with four walnut sized holes in his brain.  We've been told all sorts of things to watch for, including blindness, seizures, and learning disabilities.

Mighty Joe turns two today. He is not blind, we suspect one seizure but have seen no others, and he is meeting all of his milestones despite those four walnut-sized holes.

 

 

 

I've been asked several times lately to write about all that our family has been through over the past 23 months.  Mighty Joe was just the beginning, really.  In December of 2008, our then-five-year-old jumped from our 12-passenger van as I was parking in our circular driveway.  She thought I would stop where I normally did, and though that doesn't excuse her from getting out of her booster seat, it explains why she jumped before the car was stopped completely.

The van ran over her. Can you imagine what was going through my head when I heard my other children screaming, "Mom, you just ran over Annesley!"?  When I got out of the van that day, I didn't know what I would find when I came around the car.  I just remember telling myself that no matter what I saw, I needed to be prepared.

She was crying, and then she stood up and hobbled to the house.  Because she wasn't bleeding, could pee, and was completely responsive, I didn't call 911.  That decision and my calm demeanor in the ER prompted suspicion, and it's a horrible feeling to be perceived as a parent who did something to purposely harm their child.  While Annesley merely had a fractured pelvis that healed with in a month or so, it  was very, very difficult for me to recover from the suspicions of the medical professionals in that ER.

 

 

 

In January of 2010, our family was walloped by the flu.  We were all down, and two of our daughters spent several nights on makeshift beds on our bathroom floor so we could keep an eye on them.  Our eight-year-old daughter, however, wasn't getting better.  On Friday morning she was uncommunicative and spacey.  Her skin was mottled and she could barely walk.  Within an hour of arriving at the ER, she was in emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix that had sent her into septic shock.

For the second time in 18 months, I listened as a surgeon told me my child could be dead within the hour. Three weeks and three surgeries later, we were finally headed home with a sweet girl who'd lost 8 pounds and an appendix.  What we gained, however, continues to shape and form our family.