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Personal Stories

Doris

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The following is an excerpt from Doris's story about her Faith and her son Anthony.

Our God Is An Awesome God

So where do I start?

From the beginning? Ok..here goes...

When Oman and I married we wanted to have children right away. I had trouble getting pregnant. I ended up going to a fertility specialist and he told me it was impossible for me to get pregnant because I was not ovulating (he was wrong). The problem, we found out after many tests,was that I was getting pregnant but didn't have enough progesterone to sustain the pregnancies.


I ended up having 9 miscarrages before I got pregnant with Anthony.

When I first got pregnant with Anthony I didn't realize I was finally pregnant after 3 1/2 years of trying and losing them all.

I was a christian at the time but had walked away from the Lord totally. I still believed in Him and knew I was backslidden but to me..why bother with someone who seemed not to care about the pain I was in..I THOUGHT HE didn't anyway.


So when someone suggested that I buy a buddhist statue and rub it's belly and that I would get pregnant right away I didn't think twice. I went out and bought a statute for $35 and put it on my fireplace mantle. I could not rub it's belly..everytime I would think about it I would get the heebie jeebies...I knew that God was the one true God and to me this piece of ceramic was a false idol..a god...not MY GOD.


So on the mantle it sat for days until I decided to throw it out.. A few days later I got real bad crippling cramps and called the doctor. With my history of miscarriages he wanted a pregnancy test done. I said I AM NOT PREGNANT!! But with his insistence I went. It was a Saturday morning..imagine..going to a doctor on a Saturday morning...what are the chances of getting an appt. My obgyn (the one I called) told me to go to my regular doc for the test immediately. I called....the nurses were in but the doctor was not in. The doctor was not making any appointments but when I explained to the woman what was going on, she said ..."Come right in now and we will do a urine pregnancy test!" I drove there...did the test...I WAS PREGNANT! (turned out I was pregnant for two weeks before I bought the buddha statue) I flipped out..was happy and scared...knew I was losing another child. They sent me over to the fertility specialist immediately and he put me on very high doses of progesterone and took my blood to send out for progesterone levels. They put me on the progesterone pill and on progesterone shots and another type of progesterone. They got the results the next week.The doctor said I would have lost the baby in a matter of days if I (really God) hadn't act immediately.


I think back..remembering that it was a Friday...I was putting up fences with my husband. We had our own fence installation business and it was just he and I installing them. That Friday I knew something was wrong but wanted to wait til Monday to call the doctor. I knew Friday nights and weekends you can hardly get your doctor let alone an appt. But if I had waited like I wanted to....Anthony would not be here.

I had to take the progesterone pill the entire pregnancy and go for ultrasounds once a month. They stopped the one type of progesterone and allowed me to give myself the shots everyday so I didn't have to drive 45 minutes to the doctor for them everyday (whew!) When Anthony was born in June of 1989 he appeared to be totally healthy and the only thing I noticed was his one eye was shut all the time.The doctor at first thought it was a clogged tear duct and treated him for that. That didn't work but during this treatment over the first weeks of his birth we noticed his head was still a little misshapen. Most babies heads are at birth but they look symetrical soon after birth. But when his head and face were getting worse at 5 months old the doctor ordered an xray. The diagnosis came back "craniosynostosis" of the frontal coronal suture. In terms people can understand this meant that the soft spot that most kids are born with was missing. Babies have these soft spots til they are about 2 yrs old.It allows the head to grow with the brain and when the brain is done growing the seams/sutures fuse shut and form a solid skull. Anthony's one seam/suture was prematurely fused shut. His face was becoming misshapen and so was his head.

His eyesight would eventually be lost in the one eye and he would end up with brain damage and deformities of the head and face if he didn't have surgery to correct it right away. So we scheduled the surgery and it was planned for 2/8/90. We admitted Anthony to the hospital on 2/7/90. We both were still backslidden and I personally had no desire to seek God..after all,as far as I was concerned..my earthly father was nasty and never cared for me..never ever told me he loved me..never even hugged me and now my heavenly Father had left me alone. Understand,this is how I really felt because my focus was on my feelings,my circumstances,my son, my life...my focus was not on the Lord..so how could I see that HE really was there and was carrying me..and was about to help me get through the most horrible years of my life as an adult. I went throught a bitter,loveless childhood ..that hurt yes..but to see life come after my child was unbearable for me. I wanted the surgery over and done with and wanted out of that hospital and back safely to my family,which was Orlando, myself and my baby. We didn't have a church family and none of our relatives were supportive or there for us at all.

The doctors had said that he would be out of the hospital in 3-5 days after the surgery. So it didn't seem that bad.

The doctor promised to have an OR nurse communicate via phone to the parents waiting room,telling of of the progress of the surgery.Since it would be a long one ,3-4 hours they said....he said he would have the nurse call every 30 minutes to reassure us.

We never did get a phonecall....the first we heard from the doctor was at 8pm that night...they had taken Anthony to the OR at 12 noon!{We had to call the doctors answering service..threatened them and they finally sent a nurse into the OR and had her call us around 6 pm saying they were wrapping things up then}

The doctor strolls out of ER and down to the waiting area. He told us that he had accidently "nicked" a vein in Anthony's brain and that is what took so long but all was well. We believed him.

Anthony had a shunt coming out of his brain and a lumbar tap in his spine and some tube coming out of his neck..here was my baby.....more tubes coming out of his little 8 month old body than I could stand to see. The doctors told us this was all standard procedure.

There was a baby who had the same surgery by the same doctor right before Anthony that morning. We saw this child after Anthony was sent from ICU to a regular floor. This child was bright,bouncing up and down in his bed and was sent home on the 5th day. Anthony laid there and screamed.....only moved his arms.. we kept telling the doctor something was wrong...he didn't listen. He said it was the morphine..it was the anesthesia...it was this..it was that..he ran tests everyday...checked his heart...his spine..you name it..we were there for 17 days. Day after day I would ask the doctor why my child was motionless...why was he screaming..why?? He said they were running tests and it appeared Anthony may have had a birth defect and this was all coincidental...when he said that (about the 7th day into the hospital stay..alarms went off within me..I began to doubt the doctor) I began to doubt God..in fact I told God..."If you allowed this to happen to my child, the hell with me being your child and christianity....go away!" Only thing is HE would not listen. I kept bumping into smiling, happy christians at the hospital. Everywhere I turned He was bugging me and would not get out of my life like I wanted. Why? Because HIS love is conditionless...HIS love is pure...HIS love is HOLY...and HE is a jealous GOD and saw the enemy wooing me into his fold and HE was going to come get me Himself.

HE spoke to me one night in the hospital (on the 7th day) He said..."leave this hospital and you will see Anthony move his legs 7 days after you leave." Something about hearing from the Almighty HIMSELF has a tendency to stop me in my tracks immediately. I stopped all the whining and complaining and said to God.. "ok..obviously you won't go away....so whatever..you want me to go home..we will go home...but I better see those feet move on the 7th day or I will really be mad (like who am I to talk to God like that..) God ignored my attitude. HE is faithful to love us even when we are unfaithful. So I asked the doctor to discharge us. He said no...I said yes...for days we went back and forth with this and finally on the 17th day I paged him and told him if he didn't discharge us we would leave on our own. He said he would have us arrested for kidnapping..I said "get over here and sign the papers,we are leaving."

He did...LOL.

So home we went, believing Anthony was paralyzed from a coincidental birth defect or a reaction to anesthesia. The doctor said he would fully recover in 8-12 months on his own. We believed him.

So sitting at home the Lord began to soften my hardened heart and I was slowly coming back to Him....HE was there all the time tho It was I who walked away.

Anthony woke up on the 7th day...the day the Lord had made a promise to me that I would see movement....I carried his limp body out to the baby blanket on the floor and laid him down and turned on Sesame Street.(he loved Sesame Street)

I sat on the couch and sat there watching...and watching...it wasn't that long but it did seem like an eternity when I saw his toes start to wiggle and my tears started to flow. Slowly he started to move his feet and then finally by the end of the day he was kicking his legs up and down. God had made a promise and God kept His promise as he always has and as he always does and always will. I knew we would be in for a long trial tho. God had said I would see movement, he did not say I would see a healing....maybe my heart but not my son's physical healing.

Going on what the doctor promised we figured in 8-12 months Anthony would return to 100% normal. When we went for the post-op visits the doctor said his reflexes were normal and he was recovering as the Dr thought. He would forward these reports to our pediatrician. At Anthonys one year well-visit at the pediatrician she said his reflexes were "hyper" and wondered why the other doctor was saying they were normal and she said his muscles were tight. But she said we would monitor his progress since the neurosurgeon said he would recover. Anthony didn't attempt to walk until the following winter...at 15 months old. It was terrible...his walking was spastic and it tired him out. Because he was an infant when the paralysis happened he crawled for a long time so we didn't realize just how bad the damage was.


Anthony's pediatrician wanted him to be seen by a neurologist,she suspected more was wrong than we all thought. So we made an appontment with a neurologist. I was now very untrusting of doctors.It was obvious something terrible had happened during Anthonys surgery and no one would tell us what REALLY happened so now we had to go to another doctor we didn't know and trust him...yikes. We went to this neurologist and told him the whole story even about the "nicked" vein. He came back with the following diagnosis "spastic dyplegia due to thorasic myopia." OKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK.............now exactly WHAT is THAT??????

Apparently when Anthony lost blood from this "nicked" vein it caused a spinal injury which directly resulted in Anthony being paralyzed from the chest down and even tho Anthony could somehow miraculously walk he would NEVER recover. I didn't know whether to believe this guy or not. How could I trust another doctor, God???


We had started going to a church as Anthony started walking like this. We went there for a couple of weeks and heard about the family retreat they were having in March. I wanted to go but now I had a new born baby to worry about. Brandon was born on 2/1/91 and March was awfully chilly to be camping in unheated cabins. We decided to try it anyway...if it got too cold we could always leave. So off we went. Pulling into the campground we saw someone who had just arrived at the last minute like us..he was getting something out of his trunk so we didn't see his face at first. I was driving, pulled up next to him...and wanted to tease him for being late too. I said "so we aren't the ONLY ones to be late!" Up he pops...it was the NEUROLOGIST! He was a christian and a member of our church! Now I knew the Lord did this and I could trust his diagnosis! Thank You Jesus...once again I heard from the Lord! You see, going through hardships and pain is bad enough, going through them silently is unbearable. Because God got my attention and I (grudgingly) agreed to follow...I was hearing Him again. It ended up getting Alaskan cold there that night and we left at 2am but we were there long enough to get encouraged by the Lord...simply by seeing the neurologist. I do believe that was THE purpose God had us at that church. So knowing we could trust this guys diagnosis we went home and called our lawyer.

We knew the only way to get the truth was to sue this guy. He had fled to Florida two months after the surgery with all of Anthonys medical records and opt notes. Opt notes are all the notes of the surgical procedure. We started the lawsuit in 1991 and it would take us 5 yrs to finish it. But right from the beginning when all the depostions came in and all the medical records were gathered we found out what really happened.

Although the doctor had destroyed his opt notes....the other departments in the OR still had theirs. Anesthisology and the plastic surgery department had theirs.

This is what happened: Apparently this is a type of surgery that is so intense and tedious that most doctors only schedule one a day. Anthony was the second surgery of this type by the same crew. They had no break between surgeries and all were tired.

I am guessing because it was so late they skipped the following step, the neurosurgeon tried to rush Anthonys surgery. The procedure was to drill holes from ear to ear and slip in metal strips to protect the brain. They skipped the metal strips part and proceeded to drill the skull to remove the pieces they were to wire open and make a soft spot. The doctor drilled through Anthony's skull....he miscalculated and drilled right thru..severing...not "nicking" like he said, the sagital sinus vein in his brain. This is the main artery and blood supply throughout the body. Anthony lost a lot of blood. Because the bones to the skull were not yet detached they could not repair this vein right away, they had to quickly get the skull open. In doing so they ripped his brain which they also had to patch with a dura patch. By the time they repaired the vein Anthony had lost 90% of his blood and he by all human understanding and logic should have been dead. He should be DEAD..in Heaven....pain free.....but God chose to spare his life for some reason. There I was sitting in the hospital room..mad at God for allowing my son to be paralyzed when in actuality HE had spared my baby's life. He saved his life...for me...as I sat there with an attitude telling him to go away. When I realized this, sitting in the lawyers office...I was overwhelmed. I felt bad for questioning God and I felt overjoyed and undeserving...so many emotions ... I know HIS ways are higher than ours! I am learning just how much HIGHER they are as life goes on. Anthony has had 8 surgeries since this happened. And he will have many more. But I know God himself has allowed him this all to happen for a reason...HIS HIGHER REASON. I have seen,through Anthonys handicap, God move and touch people and change me. And I know he will continue to work miracles in many ways shapes and forms! Anthony accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior on April 1st 1997! The most happiest day of my life! Both my sons got saved then!

The Story Continues...


Doris © 1997.


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