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We Are the Lucky Ones

Jesse* is an eight year old boy who, until last week, was running around his yard with the boundless energy of boys. When he started loosing his balance and falling far more often than he should, his parents took him to the doctor. There they discovered cancerous lesions completely covering his brain. There is no treatment for his condition, and the remainder of Jesse’s life will be measured in days. His mother is trying to think of somewhere to let the Make a Wish foundation take him and regretting that he is too sick to take to Disneyland.

 Janelle is a single woman who recently gave birth to a premature baby boy. It was discovered that the baby has an accumulation of water on the brain, and the baby will soon have brain surgery to drain the fluids around the brain and diagnose the problem. Janelle is alone here as she grapples with the issues surrounding her baby’s health.  

 Sammy is a baby boy here on the cardiac wing who was born with one ventricle instead of two; three chambers in his heart instead of four. Instead of having a heart with two distinct routes to the body and to the lungs, the doctors are attempting to construct a single route that goes to his lungs and body in one pass. It will take several surgeries over a number of weeks, and even if everything goes well, his heart, lungs and body will have only 75% of their capacity for the rest of his life.  

 Mike and Mandy are here at Children’s with their one-year old baby, Hanna. Hanna was not gaining weight in the first months after she was born. Not finding any other problems, it was a while before the doctors finally did an MRI on her head and discovered a large and inoperable brain tumor. They have spent most of the past six months here at Children’s treating Hanna with chemotherapy, and still hoping for remission.

 Being here at Children’s, we have seen many children obviously being treated with chemotherapy. The treatments and the hospitalizations last for many months. I think it would be so much harder for a child to have a chronic and very potentially fatal illness that must be battled over time, with the outcome unknown. It must be so much harder to try one treatment and wait to see if it works, then try another course of treatment for a few months, all the while wondering if anything will ever totally work.

 On Saturday morning, the morning Sarah finally woke up from her surgery, the nurse came in and told Stephanie that the baby in the room next door was about to die from a heart defect that surgery could not adequately correct. She told Stephanie that there would probably be a lot of activity and crying coming from that room soon so that Stephanie could prepared for it and not be alarmed. We took that opportunity to go have a long lunch. Of course the death of a child is every parent’s worst fear, and the idea of it is something Stephanie and I have dwelt on more than is healthy over the past few days. And though we’ve thought about it, we still cannot imagine the pain, cannot imagine the loss.

  We are the lucky ones. Sarah is being discharged from Children’s hospital today , and we are taking our healthy baby girl home where we will watch her grow strong and enjoy a rich life.   There are many more children and parents who continue to face at best a long and uncertain road, and at worst the imminent end of the road. Our hearts are grateful for Sarah and the resolution of her health problems, and our hearts go out to the other parents with children who are truly sick.

 To all of you who have prayed with us for Sarah this past week, we thank you and ask you to join us now as we offer prayers of Thanksgiving. Pray also for Jesse and his parents, for Janelle and her baby, for Mike, Mandy and Hanna, for Ryan, for this family who lost their baby after heart surgery, and for all of the children and parents here at Children’s Hospital.


*All names have been changed, of course.

Posted on Tuesday, September 9, 2008 at 05:42PM by Registered CommenterBrian Rozell in | Comments6 Comments

Reader Comments (6)

Touching post. My prayers will be with all of those families and their children and praising God for His wonderful act of mercy in the healing of Sarah!
September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDayna
I will definitely be praying for the other children and their families.
Reading this brought tears to my eyes.
September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKatelyn
Good for you, Brian. Good for you. Praise God now for blessing your beautiful child.
September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan McCord
Stephanie, Brian & family,

We have been following posts and church prayer requests - praying for God's grace, peace, and love. Your family will continue to be in our prayers. We love you!
Tommie & Rodney Smith
September 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTommie & Rodney Smith
Brian & Stephanie,
We are very happy for you and your family that Sarah will be going home soon. Having worked in the hospital I know and have seen some of the very things you have just mentioned. When Tiffany was in childrens hospital here. and I was with Patty you realise what kind of a place it is. Thanks for the reminder and our prayers will be with and for all those people and others Praying for good outcomes like you folks have received. Your story brought tears to my eyes also.
Take care of each other and your lovely family
Love to all Mary Lou & Jerry
September 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMary Lou
Praise be to God. I thank God daily for Sarah's return to good health and for being discharged today. Brian, what you wrote about seeing at Children's (and how you felt about it) is exactly what we went through when your Dad and I stayed by your bedside when you were one week old (Irving Community Hospital) and when you were one year old (Children's Hospital / Dallas). We emerged very grateful ~ extremely grateful for what God and the Doctors had done for you each time. We are all very blessed.
Much love for you and your beautiful family,
September 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMom

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