Where is God when you really need him? That is the question I asked when my son died. He was the most precocious five year old I have ever known. He had so much promise. He was a gift from God. You see I was pregnant with twins and I lost his brother when I was seven months pregnant. Each and every day until I delivered him was a living nightmare. If I went more than two hours without movement I was on the phone with my doctor. I was told that I had only a 5% chance of a successful delivery. Quite the opposite happened. On June 20th 1986 after 38 hours of labor I delivered a healthy 10 pound 1 ounce, 24 inch long baby boy. 3 minutes later his twin came. Although I mourned the loss I thanked God for the blessing of this exceptional person that was given to me. God and I had come to an understanding. He would allow me to deliver a healthy baby and would dedicate my life to helping others. So where was God on October 5th 1991?
The day Chris died was a beautiful day. I know that for some of you that may be a shocking non emotional statement. To remember the beauty of the day. But you see that is where my story begins. Actually it began 2 days before when Chris had his first asthma attack. Being a young mother I rushed him to the emergency care facility of my insurance company. He was given the first of seven breathing treatment. Over the course of two days I went repeatedly from panic to relief. Eventually, the doctor became angry. I couldn’t figure out why? She said, “ Asthma doesn’t kill. You are over reacting and I have patience with real illnesses. Go do what you had planned for today and you will see I am right.”
Feeling totally berated and belittled for my ignorance, I did what she suggested. I called my real-estate agent, Allen and told him I would like to look at the houses he had set up for us the previous week.
We met at his office and Chris seemed fine. We talked for a few minutes and got into his car and proceeded to the first of five houses. There was no problem with my son. He loved running through the empty houses as I critiqued them. The third house took us longer to get to because it was in the country. My mother thought that would be good for us so I was excited to see the backyard. This house seemed ideal. Five bedrooms, two living areas, three bathrooms on a half and acre. Chris was chattering with Allen about the horses and cows he had seen when we turned onto a two lane road just off the highway. “Here we go. This might be our new house.” His eyes lit up and he pressed his little hands to the window to gain leverage as he searched for our new house. “It’s the red one do you see it.” “ I do, I do Mommy.” he said in that angelic voice I loved so much.
We entered the foyer and my eyes rose to the 22 foot ceiling. We all walked in to the formal living room and commented on the beautiful windows. I turned around to ask Chris what he thought and that is when my life changed. He was face down on the carpet. I panicked and raced to him and turned him over. He was gasping for air. Allen told me to grab him he would start the car. He had already dialed 911. My mother was with us and she sat in the front so I could lay him on the seat. He began to turn purple and I could hear Allen pleading with 911 to tell him how to get to the hospital. I told Allen to pull over because his eyes were rolling into the back of his head. “Give them and address and tell them to hurry.” I said.
We pulled into a small gas station and I opened the door and pulled Chris out. He was completely limp. I rushed into the gas station and placed him on the dirty concrete floor. Allen said 911 will be here in two minutes. “I don’t think he has that long. He is starting to convulse.” Allen hung up the phone and dialed his wife who was a nurse. I stroked his hair and noticed that the blood vessels around his eyes had ruptured. You could see the veins in his neck. They looked like a large cord stretching from behind his ear to his collar bone. The depression beneath his Adam’s apple was so deep the skin looked like it would split open if it stretched any more. His t-shirt had ridden up and you could see his stomach was sucked under his ribs. There was no movement. He stopped convulsing and tried to feel for a pulse. There was none. Allen said that we needed to breath for him and I tried to tilt his head back. He was so stiff that his head would not tilt. He jaw was locked and looked pleading into Allen’s eyes. “Dear God, Please DON”T take him away from me. . .Please.” I cried.
I felt a warm pressure on my left shoulder and I looked up into the beautiful calm eyes of woman who had obviously been exercising. She was dressed in a black tank top, black bicycle shorts with a white strip down them and pure white tennis shoes. Her hair was pulled back into a pony tail and she had a bottle of water in her hand. “You know how to save Your son. Think. You know how to do CPR. Just help him breath. God is everywhere. He sees your need and will answer your prayers.” I looked back down at the now lifeless body and say that he was totally relaxed. I tried to tilt his head back and this time his tiny chin rose a little. I put my and on his lower jaw and pushed down slightly to open his mouth but it still would not open. I placed my mouth over his nose and blew. Nothing. No rise in his chest. No movement. I looked at the woman in black and she smiled and said “Again.” I turned desperately back and looked with resolve at my son and blew again. The third time I saw a slight movement in his chest. I waited five seconds and blew one more time pleading with God to let his chest rise again. There was a significant rise in his chest and I finally allowed the tears to flow freely.
I heard the sirens on the ambulance and felt the first ray of hope enter my heart. The ambulance team apologized for taking so long they were given the wrong address by the operator. I moved out of the way and felt again the warm hands of the stranger in black. “ You did a great job. He will be fine. God has a way of taking care of all of his children.” I looked back to thank but she had already turned to go. Allen took my mother to the car and told her she was lucky she didn’t get killed stopping traffic for the ambulance. As the EMT rushed me to the ambulance, I heard him say to his partner that they will be lucky if he makes it the half mile to the emergency room. “I have never had anyone go without oxygen for 6 and a half minutes without having major problem.” “Neither have I,” the second man replied.
I climbed in and looked at all the tubes coming out of my son. I sent up another silent prayer “Thank you God for giving us this chance. . . Please guide the doctors hands .” I watched as the pumped several syringes of medication into the IV. We stopped suddenly and the short trip seemed to be over. The doors swung open and I saw five emergency room doctors and nurses. I held back to let them take my son. My mother and Allen pulled in and walked with me into the emergency room. They allowed all of us back there because they didn’t think he would make it. “You need to say right here. You will be able to see everything. . . But you need to allow us to try to help him. The heart monitors still were straight. Not one little raise to show a heart beat. “God I trust you. If it is his time I will understand.” Beep. Beep. Beep.
“Well, I’ll be damned.” The doctor said. “He’s back.” The relief that I felt was short lived as the nurse explained that there will be major complications if there is brain damage due to lack of oxygen. I didn’t care. He was back.
Two hours later he still was not stable and Care Flight had just arrived to airlift him to a hospital that could help critically ill patience. I was told that he was crashing everything they took him off 100% oxygen. They told me that I would not be allowed to fly with him because he was unstable and they may need to do surgery in flight. Allen and his wife brought me my car so we got in and left at the same time as the helicopter. Forty-five miles passed in 11minutes. I know that because I arrived at the hospital shortly after the helicopter did. “You know you are lucky you didn’t have and accident going that fast. You could have been killed or killed someone else,” the pilot said. I didn’t care I was here and Chris was still alive.
Seven days passed and there seems to be nothing wrong with Chris. He spent the first three days in an oxygen tent in pediatric ICU then he spent four days in ICU before they pronounced him healthy.
I filed a complaint with the medical board and the insurance company. Because I didn’t want anyone else to have to go through what I went through. Then I drove back out to that small town to see that men at the gas station. They were all old timers who got together every day and played cards or dominos. I pulled in and walked with my son into the station. I wanted them to see my little miracle. They grabbed him as if he was their long lost grandson. He gobbled up the attention.
I asked the owner “Do you know who the woman in black is? I would like to thank her. She calmed me down so much that I could remember all of my training.” “What woman?” He said. I looked at him quizzically and described her. All six men were looking at me intently. “Miss,. . . their was no woman. You were the only one here.” “No I wasn’t.” I told them what I remembered of what happened and there was silence. “The oldest man I ever saw slowly got up from his chair and shuffled over to me. He placed his hand on mine and said, “Their was no woman. Believe me when I tell you , you were the only woman here that morning. . .You and your son have been touched by God.” It was my turn to be silent. I looked at Chris playing checkers with a third grandfather and I felt this deep heat in my chest. A warmth so comforting that it radiated through my entire body. The statements of the grandfathers and their unwavering belief made me realize that I and my son had been touched by the hand of God.
My son is 21 years old now. He is Autistic. He has Aspergers syndrome. He has been the light of my life and will continue to amaze me. You see God still touches him. He has done everything that the doctors have said is impossible. I am Catholic and I have always had a deep faith from early childhood. I believe in the unseen miracles of God. I believe in all the Angels and Saints. Do you believe in Angels? If you haven’t before maybe you do now.