On a fine spring day, May 26th, a few years ago, my daughter made me a Nana (grandmother). Because his mom and dad wanted to welcome their child into the world to just the two of them, none of the grandparents were allowed to be there. We respected their wishes and stayed at home for the first week. After that, their house was open to family and we descended but not all at once. We got together and decided who would go when.
My daughter brought Galen home where his dog, Sampson, Sam for short, was anxiously waiting for him. His mom put him in the pack-n-play set up like a crib in the living room pushed up against the back of the couch. Sam sat on the sofa with his head on the back, no movement in that pack-n-play went unnoted by a pair of doggie eyes.
When Sam didn’t like what he saw, he went to bark at my daughter and her husband in the kitchen just a few steps away. If they didn’t come when he thought they should, he went and took hold of a shirt-tail and drug my daughter to the “crib”. Galen got changed or fed and Sam took up guard duty again.
My daughter has her Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education. And she worked as a teacher at a private pre-school in North Atlanta. Galen went to work with mom when it was time for her to go back to work. He didn’t fair well being exposed to all the rampant germs of the pre-school environment, even if it was the premier pre-school of North Atlanta.
He suffered ear infections and sinus infections. He was a very sick baby boy a lot of the time. When he was seven months old, he spent eight days at Scottish Rite Hospital. He had double pneumonia, severe otitis media in his ears, and severe asthma, one extremely ill baby boy. He went home to take asthma treatments twice a day.
Less than 36 hours after coming home from the hospital, my daughter heard a funny noise coming from Galen’s room. He was having a nebulizer asthma treatment and faithful Sam was sitting in front of the door looking worried. My daughter opened the door and checked on Galen. He was having trouble breathing; his face and body was turning blue and gray. My daughter frantically called for her husband and picked up her baby.
The couple rushed their darling baby boy to the closest hospital emergency room. The ER doctor arrange to life-flight the baby to Eggleston Pediatric ICU and came out to tell the anxious parents that he couldn’t tell them if their son was going to make it. I received a phone call at midnight; my daughter says, “Mom, Galen . . . . Life-Flight . . . . . . Eggleston. I started my car and backed out of the driveway headed for Atlanta, praying as I went. I called my pastor, I called a friend who is a youth minister, I called my best friend, I called my mother who called her church. Although I was driving 90 miles an hour, it took three hours to drive the 150 miles to Eggleston, things really look different in the dark in Atlanta!
I got to the hospital and upstairs to the room in PICU where they have my grandson hooked up to all kinds of machines, no toothless smile from ear to ear. They’ve put a shunt in the vein in his groin and have the drip set up there where they can also take the blood samples. After hours sitting, worrying, I went downstairs to the chapel and prayed harder than I have every prayed in my life. They still aren’t saying he’ll be okay, “Oh God, please take me, let him grow up!” I went to the gift shop and asked if they could find me a chaplain. The woman looked at me and nodded, “Yes ma’am. They will meet you in the chapel.” So back to the chapel I went still praying, trying to cut a deal with my Lord. The chaplain said, “Yes, we do believe in anointing with oil.” in answer to my shaking question. I’ll have the ICU chaplain meet you in his room. Let’s pray together again before you go. So, the female chaplain prayed and held me while I cried.
I went into my grandson’s room and asked my daughter to allow the chaplain to do this because the couple believe in God but don’t always some of these things. But this time was different, “Alright Mom, let’s do it.” I went to the door and motioned to the chaplain. He came into the room and we formed a circle around a very sick baby boy lying motionless on a big white bed. His mother on one side and his nana on the other, we formed a circle. Holding hands and touching Galen’s head my daughter and I looked at each other. The chaplain anointed my grandson with olive oil and then took my hand and my son-in-law’s hand closing the circle. The chaplain led us in prayer, my prayers still asking Jesus to take me instead.
An hour later, Galen is awake with life brilliant in warm sherry brown eyes. The nurses are taking the machines away; the doctors are shaking their heads. The cause of this frightening occurrence hasn’t been found. After two more hours, the Life-Flight crew came in to check on him. Galen graces them with a big toothless smile. The pilots and the nurse were shocked because they only remembered the tiny baby that was blue and gray! The three came over to the bed for a sloppy wet kiss from a happy baby. You could see the tears of joy in their eyes as they walked out of the room. The doctors finally decide to call the event an ALTE, pronounced all tee. An ALTE is an Acute Life-Threatening Event. They never found out what caused it.
Galen’s paternal grandparents got there that evening. Moreover, Galen went home after three days in the PICU. The doctors still amazed and shaking their heads. But I knew what happened. God didn’t take me and left Galen to brighten all our lives. The power of prayer!! Don’t ever doubt the miracles it can wrought!! Galen is our miracle baby.
He is now a rambunctious toddler singing about Thomas the Train and Curious George. Climbing on the counters and the table, he drives poor Sam crazy trying to protect him. Mom’s life is now at home with her son, two other little boys, and a baby girl she takes care of for friends. She went to the pre-school and resigned two weeks after Galen got home from the hospital.