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Friday, July 13, 2018

Пятница Ponderings: It Takes a Village

Ponder: to consider something deeply and thoroughly; meditate 
Пятница (PYAHT-nee-tsuh): Friday in Russian


When a child has a birthday or reaches a milestone, it is common to reflect back on that child's birth. For us, we can't reflect on The Boy's birth without being reminded that his birth was the best and worst day of our lives.

20 years ago. The Boy had open-heart surgery as a newborn. He was born with Transposition of the Great Arteries. The pulmonary and aorta arteries are reversed and so the oxygenated blood doesn't circulate properly. It is a heart defect that is fatal without surgical intervention.

It truly does take a village to raise a child and we have had an amazing village of doctors and nurses who have treated, cared for and loved our son over these past 20 years.

Thank you to the surgeon who performed open-heart surgery when The Boy was 6 days old. An arterial switch; a complicated, delicate surgery that saved his life. We were never able to speak with you because we were told you didn't talk with parents. But we are incredibly grateful to you and for your knowledge and skill.

Thank you to amazing nurses who have loved and cared for The Boy, both in the NICU and in so many doctor's offices. And most especially, to nurse Carolyn, who saved his life when she noticed that his color wasn't good. She suspected a heart problem because he was slowly turning blue, but didn't tell me that when she took him to the nursery for the doctor to check him, because she didn't want me to worry. He was just 6 hours old. He'd weighed 8 lbs 11 oz and was huge. We had no reasons to suspect any problems. But Carolyn noticed, and acted, and she saved his life.

Thank you to pediatricians who cared for The Boy and who allayed parent fears with good humor, counsel and attention.

Thank you to pediatric cardiologists who have monitored progress and answered questions and counseled and advised, and who have reassured a worried Mom that her son could hike a 50 miler with his scout troop in the White Clouds.

Thank you to specialists and a family doctor who examine, monitor, order tests, explain results and counsel with us as to The Boy's health.

Today The Boy is a tall, strong 20-year-old college sophomore. He has no significant medical restrictions. He is healthy. He brings immeasurable joy to our lives. He is here today because of a village of medical professionals. Doctors and nurses who have worked as a cohesive team to monitor, mentor and care for him.

I am so very grateful to each and every medical professional who has touched our lives. It really does take a village.

Edited. Originally published August 2016.

Neonatal Nurse's Day...Our experience


  1. thank you for sharing this wonderful story about your son. And thank you to the wonderful medical professionals who perform miracles every day

  2. What a handsome young man and a wonderful story! We had a granddaughter that was born prematurely and I know a tiny bit of what you are feeling. Although she did not have to have surgeries, still we feel so very thankful as well. She just celebrated her 7th birthday. Thanks for sharing with SYC.