See that young fellow with the red sweatshirt on, second from the right? That is Captain Tai Kwon Do and today is his tenth birthday.
Why do I mention this?
Because I want to tell you a story. A story about God and His hand in all things and His watching over little children. I asked my cousin, Hadoo, if I could tell the story. It really is her story but she gave permission.
Although if CTKD were standing here next to me he would make sure that I knew that he is most definitely NOT a small child and that he can take me down if he needs to.
I am just glad to know that he is here because he almost wasn’t. It was a very close thing.
The lovely and strikingly tall woman standing next to me is CTKD’s mom, my cousin Hadoo. I am 13 years her senior. She is 13 years older than Cartoon Girl. Cartoon Girl is 13 years older than Hadoo’s oldest son. Cosmic symmetry. Next to Hadoo is her sister, Laura and on the end is the youngest sister/cousin….Auntie Poo. We do love our nic-names.
Hadoo used to live very close to me, just two towns over or 20 minutes driving time, however you want to look at it. Close enough that we could see each other on a regular basis and close enough that I could occasionally make her husband, Coach Soccer, crazy with the thought that I might try to slip mayo into something that I made for them. He doesn’t like mayo. And I like holding power over people.
10 years ago today we had just finished up with a garage sale at her house…
And she was 30 weeks pregnant.
Cartoon Girl had spent the day at Hadoo’s house being a good older cousin and babysitting Tech Boy. I picked her up late in the afternoon and stopped for a bit to help clean up the garage sale aftermath and to shoot a raspberry at their crabby next door neighbor. I distinctly remember telling Hadoo that she needed to go and put her feet up and rest.
Yes, yes I will, I will. Coach Soccer is taking us out to dinner. All will be well.
We go home. I put my feet up for a bit. Then take them down and start dinner.
And just about that time the phone rings.
It is Coach Soccer on the phone and this is what I hear….
DEBBIE QUIGG DEBBIE QUIGG SHE IS BLEEDING! SHE IS BLEEDING ALL OVER THE FRONT STEPS! I CALLED 911! COME QUICK!
Bleeding? All over the front steps? I am on my way.
That 20 minute trip between our houses? I did it in 10 minutes and it was the longest 10 minutes of my life. I did 70 mph on back roads praying all the way. Praying hard. Because Hadoo was only 30 weeks along and that is never a time when there should be any blood anywhere. By the time that I arrived at their house, a bare 20 minutes after the phone call they were already gone in the ambulance.
They had gone out to dinner and had returned home happy and full. Hadoo was about to walk into her house when, BAM!, she is hemorrhaging on her front steps. No warning, just a river of blood. CS didn’t panic. He called 911. He called me. And then God took over and orchestrated all the rest.
Their across the street neighbors were just returning from church and saw something was wrong and came right over. They watched Tech boy until I got there and these sweet angels even washed all the blood off the steps. They were in their 70’s at the time and not in great health and yet they knelt down and washed those steps until they were spotless.
There was a hospital 5 minutes from the house. The EMT’s arrived within minutes and knew that Hadoo was not going to make it if they didn’t get her to the hospital. But Hadoo’s OB doctor was on the phone and he was telling Coach Soccer to IGNORE what the EMT’s were saying. To put Hadoo in the car and bring her up to the University Hospital’s Level 1 Trauma center…..a 40 minute drive away, in traffic. The EMTs couldn’t take her there, it would have to be CS. It is very hard to ignore a doctor who is stridently telling you to do something. A doctor who is adamant about what he is saying to you. Thank goodness CS did. If he had put Hadoo in the car and tried to go to University she would have bled to death before she ever arrived. We didn’t know it at the time but she had suffered a placental abruption. That is an emergency any way you look at it.
The EMT’s transported her to the local hospital, 5 minutes away. She was in very bad condition. They couldn’t stop the bleeding. And at the hospital there was a doctor. A doctor who is NEVER at that hospital. He just happened to be there that particular day and at that particular time. A doctor who knew about preemie babies.
And that local hospital had a crack ER team. A team that saved Hadoo’s life. They made the decision to intubate her and do a crash C-section…in the ER. There wasn’t time to take her to the OR. It was now or never. They saved Hadoo’s life. They saved CTKD’s life. He arrived weighing just over 3 pounds and 17” long.
We also happen to live in a metropolitan community that has one of the best children’s hospitals in the country, Rainbow Babies and Childrens Hospital. He was intubated and on his way to Rainbow in the blink of an eye.
This is CTKD’s foot two weeks after delivery. So very very small. But so very very alive.
The Lord provided people all along the way who were ministering angels to Hadoo, CS, CTKD and the wider family. Nurses who pointed the way to the right insurance. Therapists to help with medical issues. Neighbors and friends and church family. And the Lord’s hand can be seen in all of it.
Captain Tai Kwon Do I sure am glad you are here. All straight A’s in school and a purple belt and all.You with your sweet, loving heart and that mischievous twinkle in your eye. Even at an early age you knew how to lock your brother out of the house.
You are 10 years old TODAY!!!
Now go have some cake and ice cream