Do You Honestly Believe that God Healed your Daughter? Faith in Medicine and a Dolly Update.

Dolly went for an Echo yesterday.  We’ve had Echos (an ultrasound of her heart) before, but this was the Echo to beat all Echos.  This Echo would tell us whether or not her lungs have normal blood pressure flowing to them.  If they don’t, then we aren’t a candidate for any further surgery, or for transplant, because not only would she need a new heart but she would need new lungs.  No one wanted to discuss that with us, the outcomes were so poor for kids like Dolly.  So, we didn’t talk about it.  
We just prayed.
Table paper is perfect for coloring.  See how she holds her crayon?  Thank you OT!!!
Dolly’s lung pressures are NORMAL.  Did you hear that?!?  I said NORMAL.  We will NOT need new lungs.  

She’s very happy about that.  Or, she’s happy because the entire room was so happy.  We all whooped, hollered and cheered.  This was everything we had hoped and prayed for since that fateful day at the beginning of December when we were told that Dolly’s lung pressures were so high that our best choice was to make a “humane decision for her” (in case you didn’t catch the implication there, it was that we should let her die).

We prayed HARD that this was what would happen, that we would find someone willing to take a chance on Dolly and that chance would pay off.

It did.

Do I believe that God healed our daughter?  Well…not exactly.  I know, I’m a terrible Christian.  I guess I don’t believe that God hears our prayers, there’s a clap of thunder and BOOM! my baby is healed.  If I did believe that, it somehow implies that all the mothers out there whose children don’t have the same outcome as Dolly were somehow worth less than I am, or that they didn’t pray enough, or that God favors me over them.

He doesn’t.  He loves me just the same as he loves everyone else.

Those moms and dads loved their babies just as much as I love mine.  Some of them fought just as hard.  I know that.  Here is where I believe faith and medicine compliment one another though.  When things were at their very worst, when that doctor left our small recovery room on that December day and left the idea of losing Dolly just hanging there in the air, I crumpled.  It took awhile, but both FPD and I found our faith and moved forward.  We prayed for strength.  We weren’t looking for God to fix it for us.  We were looking to Him for the strength to keep going, to fight, to move on and find someone to help our daughter when we were told it was a lost cause.  This is where I think the rubber meets the road when it comes to faith and medicine.

I think God gives you the strength to overcome the obstacles life/fate puts in your path.

Finding your strength, whether it’s to fight for your child, or to find comfort when they can’t fight anymore, is something God absolutely can help with.   Everyone needs hope.  I find that in God.  I’ve spent half my life in academia, I know other people chuckle at the idea of God in combination with science.  I firmly believe there is a place for both in this world.  That said, if you find comfort in Buddha, Allah or in running a marathon, I’m okay with that too.  I also believe in a God that doesn’t want me to judge.

I pray for everyone to find strength to look for the best answer.  Not the first answer, the best answer.  Sometimes, that means hours of research, talking to other parents and consulting other professionals besides your local ones.  We had our bad days (a lot of them), but ultimately, we’re where we need to be.

Totally in love with a little girl who has a VERY long life in front of her.  
who is praying hard for strength for all the babies out there who are fighting so hard to overcome.
An afterward:  We know we won’t need new lungs, but we don’t know if we will be able to ever completely “fix” Dolly’s heart.  One of the major heart valves is positioned in the exact spot that the patch that would fix her heart would be placed.  A patch may prove impossible.  If that’s the case, we will medically manage Dolly until the heart that she was born with finally wears out.  When that day comes, we’ll pray for the strength to wait for a new one.  This fall, FPM and Dolly will be making a trip to Boston to discuss what can be done, if anything, and when we should do it.  One of her valves has also begun to leak.  That may pose a problem later too.  For now, we will just continue to monitor her heart and pray for her to continue to fight with the amazing strength that God gave her.  

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