This past week has been really rough. I have not felt this way since my friend's baby was so sick. It started last tuesday night when I learned that Maggie's amazing surgeon had announced that he would be leaving St. Louis Children's Hospital sometime late spring or early summer. I felt like I had suffered a great loss… like a part of me had been taken away. Ryan and I talked and said that while we hoped we never needed his amazing skill again, that we would go wherever he was if we did. Then, the next morning we learned that he was going to Vancouver. VANCOUVER!!!! It is not possible to go to Vancouver because of their socialized medicine. I then began grieving. Yes, grieving. Some of you may not understand this at all. You may think I'm crazy and completely overreacting. However, this is a man that knows my daughter in a way that I never will. I, as her mom, do not know and cannot know her the way he does. He knows her heart and he has fixed it… 3 TIMES! She holds a special place in her heart for him and no surgeon no matter how skilled they are will be able to fill it.
In a letter that we wrote to the president of the hospital, Ryan and I had this to say,
"Dr. Gandhi is only a man, one of many great men in his field, I’m sure. His replacement, whomever that will be, I’m sure will be a great man. It is my opinon and impression that Dr. Gandhi is technically superb as a surgeon and has exhibited wisdom and insight in the the details and phases of my daughter’s surgeries. In a word however, the patient’s and patient’s family’s relationship with Dr. Ganhdi can be summarized as “Trust”. The world we live in has few certainties. Life is not certain. Yours, mine, my heart-healthy child, my heart child, each of our lives is held here as precious and at the same time fragile and uncertain.
Dr. Gandhi’s skill as a surgeon eases some of the uncertainty at the time when things seem most bleak, but it is his personality and interaction with us as families and individuals and with our children that take the edge off this uncertainty. The news might not always be good, great, or even well received, but we know, as best as anything can be known that what we are being told is true, and that he will do the absolute best for our child. The road ahead may not be pleasant or smooth, but at least we feel that we know where we will be going. I have seen this man give good news, and I know from first hand account of the emphathy, understanding, and compassion with which he delivers bad news. Maggie Jane who is only 2 ½ years old has a trust and love for Dr. Gandhi that is unexplainable. Her trust is not something that she gives away easily. It is something that has to be earned. She has had many wonderful doctors and nurses in the last few years, but there are none that she trusts and adores like her Dr. Gandhi. This makes him irreplaceable to us."
I have done my share of crying over this. I am somewhat angry and still somewhat in shock. However, my God has been speaking to this heart of mine this week and He has said, "Faith, I am in control. I am the one who has healed Maggie's heart and I know her even better than him. I will continue to hold her as I have in the last 3 years. She is my child, and I love her more than you do. I am your strength and shield. Trust in Me."
So, I am still sad and wish that there were something that I could do to keep him here. The fear of the unknown will always exist and I will always wonder what we will do if we need him and he is not here. However, I know that my God is in control and I will trust in Him.
Also, this week, a family in our support group here in St. Louis had to say goodbye to their sweet 8 yr. old boy. He has been struggling for a few months and went in for a valve repair last week. He did not do well post-surgery and things went down hill from there. I have only met this family once, but I have been reading their updates and lifting them up in prayer. I have kept my distance from this situation on purpose. Their son has done pretty well after his first year of life and then went down hill this year. He went in for surgery and came out needing a new heart, he then was not strong enough to stay on the transplant list, and they said goodbye to him last night. They are living my greatest fear. I am once again trusting in God to carry out His plan, and I'm treasuring my kids today.