Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: JOY (12/07/17)
By linda simpson
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The labour had been long painful and difficult. An emergency caesarian section was arranged.
The anaesthetic blissfully released Ann Brown* into nothingness.
Sometime later, drowsily coming to, she asked "Was it a boy or a girl?"
The nurse, tidying the bedside table, couldn't help reading in the open Baby Journal “Labour started 16th June, 1972!”
“You had a baby boy!” replied Nurse Newman* carefully closing the book and placing it in the drawer.
“Can I see him?”
“Soon. Doctor Cook* wants to talk to you first though.”
“Why, what's wrong?” she was really awake now.
“Sorry, you will have to wait for the doctor – he shouldn't be too long. I'll be back in a few minutes with something for you to drink.”
Nurse Newman was relieved to see the doctor, walking purposefully towards Ann Brown's room. She didn't envy him telling the bad news.
“Hello Ann” Dr. Cook smiled, “You're looking better than when I last saw you!”
“What about my baby?” she queried anxiously.
Pulling up a chair and sitting down, he gently took her hand.
“There is no easy way to say this Ann” his words were filled with compassion.
“Your little boy has the rare 'Saberwait Syndrome'* He is profoundly disabled. The future is bleak. What we do know is that he will never be able to walk, sit, talk or feed himself. His facial features are also distorted. His life span is short. I am so very sorry. We are here to give you every possible support during this most difficult time.”
Ann broke into heart rending sobs. 'How could this be?' she wondered 'There had been no problems with the pregnancy. She had felt him kicking and moving inside. Perhaps it was all a horrible mistake.'
“Can I see him?” she queried finally gaining control.
“Of course you can – follow me.”
Entering a quiet private room, there, in the middle was a hospital cot holding a small bundle wrapped firmly in a white cotton blanket.
“Go ahead” the doctor said softly “You can pick him up”
Cautiously she leaned over and picked up her son.
Sitting carefully, Ann unfolded the blanket coming face to face with the facts Doctor Cook had described.
He was indeed badly deformed. His head was misshapen with eyes looking in different directions, long skinny legs with poorly formed feet. He couldn’t cry, instead there were jumbled noises. She wrapped him up again and held him to her.
“What can be done Doctor?'
“Nothing I'm afraid. The amount of care he will need is enormous. What will be his, and indeed your quality of life? We recommend you leave him here and let nature take its course”
“What are you saying? Do you mean to leave him here to eventually die?”
As she was holding him a little hand crept out of the blanket, when she put her own finger near, his tiny fingers clasped hold. This was her son Thomas. Ann knew what her response would be.
Only Ann knows the Herculean task involved in his care. Thomas needed 2 hourly feeds for many many months. He never walked or sat up and always had to be fed. As he grew older, a form of communication grew between Ann and Thomas so he was able to make known his likes and dislikes. There were frustrations, disappointments but also joy at the smallest improvement.
During the early stages of pregnancy Ann had become a Christian. As a single mum her faith in Jesus and support from the church were her anchor. On Sundays Thomas came to church in his special pusher. Children and adults would come to say 'Hi' to Thomas. He appeared to enjoy the interaction and the singing.
Thomas struggled at times with chest infections, but lived to be 18. Many people gave testimonies at his funeral. He had touched lives in special ways. People who had had contact with Thomas found it easier to relate to others with disabilities. Barriers were broken down.
During those 18 years there were many difficult, tiring times but also many happy memories. Ann can now look back confidently, knowing she did the right thing and, one day, will be joyfully reunited with Thomas.
Joy is a treasure hidden deep in the heart, growing out of love, shaped by circumstances, anchored by faith in Christ and the hope of eternity.
Loosely based on fact
All names changed.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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