Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Arthur's Miracle

The post below is a couple of days late due to moving and angelbaby kisses and other important events. Better late than never . . .

I don’t want this story to get lost in the shuffle of life. This one must be told. Shouted from the hilltops, in fact.

My son’s youngest son is Arthur. He was born on a day in May without much fanfare. Being the third child, the second boy, will do that to a birth. Not that we didn’t anticipate him and enjoy him, but it didn’t have the same sort of celebration as the first. People have written books and done studies about birth order and lack of identity after the first or second child. There is some truth to that.

So Arthur joined our world in a normal sort of way.

On October 4, 2008, however, Arthur’s life ceased to be anything normal.

Melissa, my daughter-in-law, says he had been fussy for a couple of days. She was concerned, like mothers are, but not overwhelmingly. Although he was only 5 months old, teething was a possible culprit or constipation or something normal and ordinary like that. Her husband was going to be helping at church for the day so Melissa did what young mothers for generations before have done before with a fussy baby and small children to tend. She called her mom. Her mom did what Grandmas do, invited her to the farm for the day.

Very ordinary. Very common.

Within an hour of that phone call, ordinary was replaced with panic.

The listlessness, the crying, the fussiness was escalated with blood in the diaper. A fearful phone call to the doctor, a quick trip to the closest hospital only increased the drama.

They live in a small town in a rural area. Their hospital is accustomed to dealing with broken bones, stitches, heart attacks. Not infants with internal bleeding.

“We’re going to have to airlift him to the hospital in Marshfield. There is no room in the helicopter. You’ll have to drive.” Later they learned that there was room, but the hospital staff didn’t expect the baby to live through the 20 minute flight. They deemed it better for the young parents to be surrounded by professionals who would help them cope when they learned the news. Melissa’s Mom and Dad drove the parents to the hospital while the baby flew.

Texted messages, short phone calls . . .prayers began around the country. “Pray for Arthur. We don’t know what’s wrong. He’s bleeding inside.” Enough said.

The “big” hospital looked him over upon arrival. Alive, but barely. Immediately, they began checking for this and that as vital signs weakened and hope dwindled.

Moments after the arrival of the family in the car, the pediatric specialist ordered a CT scan. “We have one of three things happening here. A tumor which will need to be removed, telescoping of the intestines or an unknown event; perhaps he swallowed something. We will do the CT scan and then we’ll decide what type of surgery to do. I have to be honest with you. He is in shock. I don’t know if he’ll live through surgery.”

Prayers were piling up all over heaven. God, in His goodness, was teaching a short lesson in faith and truth. Not surprised by the turn of events, He had already set some key players in place.

Fearful parents followed the gurney with their baby through the maze of hallways to Radiology. Time conscious professionals monitored and ministered giving Arthur their undivided attention. No one knew exactly what to expect.

As they were about to lift Arthur from one table to another to do the CT scan a man of authority and distinction entered the room. “I’ll take over from here.”

Without looking up, without changing their directions, everyone continued working. One nurse glanced up and said, “who are you?”

“I’m Dr. Keith Oldham from Milwaukee Children’s. I’m assigned to this case and I’ll take it from here.”

The mention of the name and the importance it carried was lost upon the family members watching, but not upon the staff. In unison, they dropped their hands, stood back and waited for direction.

Later the family learned that Dr. Oldham just “happened” to take over that shift for a colleague. He had never worked there before. Having a broader patient base in Milwaukee, he had seen the classic symptoms of intussusception  many, many times. He knew what to do and how to handle it without surgery.

Two hours later, Arthur was in PICU recovering. A day later, he was eating normally. Now, a year later, you would never guess he had been so close to death.
God sets some things in our lives to help us learn to trust; and some so we can understand how great His is His love for us.

See, He loves us like a parent loves their child. Often, we take that love for granted. Parents know what’s best for their children. God knows what’s best for us. Parents love their children so that the fear of losing them is overwhelming. God loves us and the fear of losing us overwhelms Him.

It’s not an easy concept to grasp. It’s not a simple thing. It’s not trivial. Not everyone wants to know it.

As for me and my house? We will trust Him with all the details. After all, He gave us Arthur and then gave him back to us.

Thanks, God.

1 comment:

  1. that was a nail bitting story...exspeacially since i had to wait like 2weeks to finish it!!!