Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Be Inspired: How A Dog's Slobber Saved A Little Boy's Life

Today, I'm going to veer a little from my typical post, that's about myself and the journey I'm on, over to some very dear friends of ours, who also, happen to be family.

Meet Josh and Holly.

Holly is my husband's cousin, and Josh has been a very close friend of the family, who now actually IS family, thanks to Holly ;)   And every year when we come to Michigan, they are one of the first families that greet us.

This past Christmas season was no exception.  With our dogs in tow, we drove the 12 hours it takes, and met up with everyone, and we decided while we were there to have a big breakfast at my father-in-laws home.  With THREE dogs in the house and about 15 people, it was getting snug to say the least.  But our bullmastiff, Louie, is very friendly, so we didn't worry at all about all the chaos.  Immediately, when Louie met Holly and Josh's oldest son, Abe, who is two years old, he gave him a big lick that covered his entire face.  We all laughed and didn't think too much of it.  But about 15 minutes later, Abe began crying and scratching at his face.  About 5 minutes after that, his poor little face started to swell, and we all knew that we had an allergic reaction on our hands.  Holly and Josh had to leave the brunch in a hurry and rushed him over to the ER.

I hate to be the problem.  I don't really know anyone who likes to be.  But in this circumstance, I especially hated that MY dog, Louie, was the cause of little Abe's misery.  I can't even begin to tell you how terrible I felt.  I realize that as soon as he was around ANY dog, that this is what would have happened, I really hated that it was MY dog though.

Abe's allergic reaction continued, even with treatment, which led to additional appointments as well (insert my guilty conscience here).  

However, at one of Abe's final appointments, the doctor decided to check out their other son, Calvin too.  You see, Calvin was born with a heart defect, and although they were told that it was minor, that particular day, Calvin wasn't really eating much, which can be a sign that his condition was exacerbated, so they decided to check him out.  The doctor was shocked at what he discovered.

Calvin's heart was racing, and if not slowed down soon, would eventually stop.  They immediately were rushed to ER, where, he stopped breathing for a short time, and was then brought back.  His family was given the heartbreaking news that little Calvin's heart was only functioning at about 8%, and they decided to put him on an ECMO machine, which basically, pumps your heart for you.  Things were looking incredibly bleak.

So, while most people were spending their New Year's Eve celebrating, Josh and Holly were waiting by their son's side, praying for a miracle.

In the meantime, family and friends all over the US, and even across the world were praying.  Praying fervently for this sweet little boy, and his wonderful family.  And the family that did live close by rallied around them.  Whether it was watching their other son, Abe, so they could stay at the hospital, or sitting with them in the waiting room, providing meals, they made sure that this family, although there was nothing that they could do for Calvin's health, they DID make sure that Holly and Josh were supported and felt their love.

As the days passed, it DID seem that a miracle was happening.  The first big step was that Calvin was eventually taken off the ECMO machine, because his little heart was strong enough to function on it's own.  Then, what was once talk of a heart transplant in THIS visit, soon became a heart transplant 'someday'.  Calvin was healing.

The day finally came that they could take Calvin home!  Two long weeks in the hospital, and they were leaving with a little boy who, while still has some healing to do, was well enough to LEAVE the hospital.  We were all so incredibly happy!  And in the midst of ALL of that, I received this text message from Holly: 

'We were just talking about how Louie was used by God to save Calvin's life.  If Abe wouldn't have reacted, we wouldn't have had to go to his appointment.'

I broke down in tears.  I hadn't even though of that.  In fact, with everything going on with Calvin, I had actually felt even worse about Abe's reaction to Louie, because I just thought 'can this family get a break?!'

Little did I know, that my friendly, and at times not so bright, but totally lovable Louie, was a catalyst in a long line of things that happened so that Calvin got to the hospital at the exact moment that he needed to be there.  How cool. 

It takes me back to those moments in my own life, when I thought something absolutely terrible was happening, and in retrospect, realized that God had meant those difficult times for something that was ultimately much better than my original idea.

Now, this little family can still use our prayers!  Calvin continues to heal and adjust to being home, so I ask that you please pray for them as they continue in that transition.  And today, I challenge you to thank God for your trials, for the things that are annoying that pop into your life.  You never know their ultimate purpose.  


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