You know, it’s never a good time for a medical emergency. But God orchestrated the timing.
The next day, a Saturday, I’m scheduled to photograph a wedding. The event is 15 minutes away from my mom’s home in Ambler. The girls and I headed to to down Friday afternoon to await the call that Addy’s bed was ready. I left Analeigha (our oldest) with my mom and I headed to CHOP (again) with Addy. Brad met us at the hospital and she was admitted late Friday evening. Brad took the hospital shift, so early Saturday morning I headed back to my mom’s house and grabbed a few hours of sleep. In the morning I went back to the hospital, in hopes of talking with the doctor before the wedding. Unfortunately, I had to leave before rounds began.
When I arrived at the wedding I pulled the groom aside and told him very confidentially, “Please don’t tell the bride, but my baby is at CHOP, under observation. I don’t know how this day is going to end. BUT, I’m going to do my job. I’m going to take your photos and capture the memories, just like you hired me to do.”
His gracious response was nearly my undoing. God revealed himself to me through the groom.
Between me and my second shooter, Jill, we worked through the shot list. Getting ready. Reveal moment. Ceremony. Formal poses. I’m fairly numb, but I find great joy in my work. The wedding gives me purpose and focus as emotionally, I float in a sea of anxiety that is spinning out of control. Just before Jill and I walked into the reception venue, my phone rang.
I can still see myself standing on the sidewalk in front of the Marriott in Lansdale. Brad’s voice saying, “Addy just had a seizure. The doctors are saying she has epilepsy. They are discharging us.”
I had no emotions left. I couldn’t cry. I couldn’t scream. I couldn’t move.
In that moment Jill looked at me and said, “What can I do?”
With strength that only God could give, I walked into the reception and explained the situation to the bride. She immediately said, “Leave. Take care of your baby. We’re good here.” Jill did a fabulous job capturing the rest of the day.
You know, God’s grace, when it’s expressed by the people around us with love and compassion, is a remarkably incredible gift.
When I arrived at my mom’s house, the tears I had been holding back, were released in a torrent. In the midst of what felt like a hopeless situation, my brother Andy, began to tell me story after story after story of hope. Stories of friends and church family with epilepsy who led very normal lives.
Ana and I headed back to Denver and Brad and Addy were eventually discharged. We spent the following day at home, just the four of us. We started Addy on her anti-seizure meds.
We finally had an answer.
A name for “something is wrong with my baby.”
Shortly after we updated our family, I spoke with my biological sister, Tiffany, who is stationed with the Air Force in Oklahoma. She asked me what I needed and then said, “I requested leave. I’m on my way.” My heart overflowed on my cheeks. Again, God revealed himself through His people.
That week Brad and Ana started with colds and Addy followed quickly with symptoms. (We share EVERYTHING in our house!)
When Addy started running a fever, she quickly began having seizures. After five seizures in four hours, I called the pediatrician. When we arrived at the office for our appointment, they sent us immediately to Reading Hospital’s emergency room. Tiffany dropped us off at the door, and we were immediately whisked back to a room, bypassing a very busy waiting room. Tiffany took Ana home and Brad met us at the hospital. After a slew of tests, the attending doctor decided to send us to CHOP. Moments later the doctor was arranging an ambulance; just a few minutes later, the doctor was calling for a lifeflight.
Addy’s flying to Philadelphia?
What is happening?
Again, my heart is overflowing on my cheeks.
As soon as the helicopter departed, Brad and I were in the car, taking our own flight down 422. We made it from Reading Hospital to CHOP in a record 52 minutes.
When we arrived at CHOP the urgency had already subsided. The emergency in Reading wasn’t really an emergency, but the doctors at CHOP admitted Addy for observation. As we talked with the attending doctor the next morning, our world tumbled just a little more. Our new reality with Addy’s epilepsy diagnosis meant that anytime she gets sick, runs a fever, gets a common cold, she could end up in the hospital.
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.1 Peter 5:10
An Unexpected Journey – Part 1 – And So It Begins – Read Here
An Unexpected Journey – Part 3 – Hope – Read Here
An Unexpected Journey – Part 4 – What Are We Doing? – Read Here
An Unexpected Journey – Part 5 – Read Here
An Unexpected Journey – Part 6 – Read Here