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Identity: A will to live

Joined: 9/25/2014
Posts: 8
He presented himself to the world without aid, while I was laying crooked on a gurney. It was the wee hours of the morning in a little 8 bed hospital. There was only one nurse, who was quite long of tooth. She had come in to check me, walked away saying I had lots of time but as she reached for the door handle a contraction hit and I yelled. "The baby's coming."
This was my third child and I knew the drill, I knew that it took a long time to dilate to five, but when I got there it was a matter of minutes. She hesitated, I yelled again and she hurried over, raised the blanket, raised her hand to her mouth saying "the baby's cresting" as she hurried into the delivery room for the gurney to transport me.
She realized we were close and that she needed to call the doctor. This was when there were separate delivery rooms, no phones in rooms, and no cell phones. As the door began to close behind her I felt the urgency of this child wanting to check out his new world. Try as I might I could not stop his propulsion into the world and as he slithered from my loins I'm sobbing. "Somebody catch my baby." I was grateful when I felt him stop by my ankles shortly before the nurse returned.

Within minutes the doctor joined us. "just couldn't wait a few more minutes for me to show up?"
I knew that early morning that our life together would be interesting.. The next day I learned he had a Hypospadias, (the opening on the penis wasn't on the end) and that they would have to keep him an extra day to make sure he was peeing. Sadly in all the attention to that region and a baby having a fast heart rate, it was not noticed immediately that he had a bad heart.. That was realized when he had his first pneumonia at 2 months of age.

He was born with a duct at the top of his heart that should have closed but didn't and a ventricular septal defect, a hole about the size of a quarter in the lower ventricle. Surgery was recommend but I was married to an ass and he kept postponing appointments until the day he asked a doctor who was being very forceful with him about the need to have the surgery. My then husband asked what his chances of surviving the surgery if we went forward.. the answer was about 30% with and zero % he'd last another year without. So thank God forward we went.

He was scheduled to be seen at the University of California Medical Hospital in San Francisco. He was almost three by then. He was a little charmer and the medical staff was wonderful.. many tests were run we found out that he had a bulge in the artery into the lungs and that added to the risk, not only of the surgery but if he didn't have it.. a damned if you do and damned if you don't situation.

We waited for over 8 hours as that first surgery was done, it was closed heart surgery. We would get updates throughout the day. He made it through, we saw him in recovery and then he was taken to his room. When the surgeon came in to see him, that young boy was sitting up on the edge of his bed, blowing up a surgical glove. The doctor looked at him with tears in his eyes, saying "I take no credit for what you see here. All that I know tells me he should not have survived the surgery. He is a miracle. It's his desire to live that keeps him here."

That desire saw him through open heart surgery, five surgeries to repair the hypospadias, many pneumonias, a cardiac arrest during a heart cauterization when he was twelve, a motorcycle wreck at age 14 and a shotgun blast to his left arm when he was 20. He is now 48 years old and I believe it is his will to live that keeps him with us. I'm sad to say he's lost his appreciation for the struggles, yet he fights to live.. and I am grateful every day.
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