The nightmare began in utero during Benjamin’s final sonogram. The X-ray technician had been noticeably focusing on his kidneys but remained tightlipped until the radiologist could read the report. He eventually told us that Benjamin’s kidneys were swollen and then tried to reassure us that it still could be nothing. Since the sonogram in utero could be misleading, Benjamin would have another sonogram right after birth to determine if something was wrong.
Benjamin’s birthday finally arrived, a C-section three days after Christmas, so the next morning the sonogram was performed. Those results unfortunately confirmed that Benjamin’s kidneys were still enlarged and it would be another four weeks until his next sonogram which, if the kidneys had not changed or had gotten worse, would signal a need to take action.
At his four week sonogram the results were still not favorable as the kidneys continued to be enlarged. Our pediatrician referred us to the best pediatric urologist in the state; the “guy” that the star athletes take their children too. It was a comfort to know that at least our baby would be seen by the best doctor in the field.
His initial consultation was brief, to the point, and not at all encouraging. The doctor commented that there were two possible problems that were causing Benjamin’s kidneys to be enlarged. One problem, reflux, might self-correct as he matured while the other, a blockage, would require immediate surgery. In order to determine which of these was causing the enlarged kidneys, Benjamin, who was not quite two months old, needed some serious tests.
The first, a bladder x-ray, required him to be catheterized and injected with saline to watch how his bladder functioned in order to rule out reflux. The findings of this test were bittersweet since he did not have reflux which was good news, but that meant there was a blockage.
In meeting with the doctor following the test his demeanor was noticeably different as he was preparing us for the reality that our baby was going to need major surgery. The news was absolutely devastating. Our prayers from the onset had been for a misdiagnosis or a miraculous healing, both of which seemed increasingly unlikely at this point.
The last test, a nuclear medicine study, was needed in order to locate the source of the blockage. Benjamin had to have an I-V inserted in his little foot in order to have radiation injected into his bloodstream for the test to be performed. Ironically, I found the I-V insertion more unbearable to watch than his catheterizing.
As my wife and I sat on opposite sides of our baby boy we continued to pray for God’s healing. In addition though, we prayed for peace to accept it if it was not His will to heal Benjamin. We watched the monitors and talked with the technician throughout the test as the results did not look good. The technician had explained how Benjamin’s left kidney was not functioning properly which was why it was severely enlarged.
This situation was extremely frustrating as Benjamin had always appeared happy and healthy. We could not believe that there was something really wrong with him regardless of what they all said…until we saw the results of that last test with our own eyes. We then accepted Benjamin’s need for surgery and thanked God for answering our prayer and giving us peace about it.
Then the miracle happened.
The doctor called a week later and told us that Benjamin’s kidneys were functioning fine. He said he could not believe his own eyes. He had to verify the results because he did not believe them. He had never seen anything like this in the thousands of cases he had dealt with over the years. He could offer no explanation, but to us there was no explanation necessary. We both wept in pure joy. How great is our God!
Benjamin’s previously scheduled dedication was three days after we found out about his miraculous healing. It was such a great joy sharing the news with our Pastor. That Sunday morning as my wife and I dedicated Benjamin, words cannot adequately describe the moment when Pastor told the congregation. There were few dry eyes and I still get goose bumps remembering the moment.
During this ordeal there were so many prayers being said for Benjamin as he was on prayer lists at several churches. It is a common saying: “There is power in prayer”. To us, there is nothing common about it.
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