Usually, in these blog posts, I don’t like to get too personal. American Catholic Solidarity is about helping our fellow Catholics. It is not about me. I just happen to be its president. So I try and keep my personal life out of it as much as possible. Yet, on this anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I think there is some relevance in a particular event in my life.
Actually, I could give several stories, but I have chosen this one in particular. I have always been pro-life. The position of the pro-abortionists is simply untenable, and has always seemed so to me. But if my compassion for some of the most defenseless of all human life was ever in threat of diminishing, this one event ensured that won’t ever happen. It, more than anything else in my life, showed me just how precious life really is.
When I was six weeks old I developed a disease that was almost unheard of in 1981. It is called pyloric stenosis. It is genetic (though I am apparently the first in my family to have had it). Pyloric stenosis basically causes the child to starve to death. It’s a brutal disease.
My wife’s and my third child was born in 2004. I knew there was a chance of Wesley developing pyloric stenosis, but I was hopeful we would dodge that bullet. Approximately six weeks later, however, I got a call at work. My wife told Wesley was projectile vomiting, and could hold nothing down. On top of that, this normally quiet child wouldn’t stop crying. I knew what was wrong, so I left work, and we took Wesley to the emergency room.
Our experience there was not pleasant, and my reaction to the rude, arrogant doctor is not something I’m proud of. Needless to say, the doctor wouldn’t even consider pyloric stenosis. It simply couldn’t be that. But I knew better. this was on Saturday. So, on Monday, we took Wesley to his pediatrician.
The pediatrician almost immediately confirmed Wesley had pyloric stenosis. Having been vindicated I thought surely Wes would immediately be admitted to the hospital for surgery. A pyloromyotomy is the only cure for pyloric stenosis. I was wrong.
Emberly and I were told that the law required an ultrasound be done on the child before surgery could be done. Apparently, other children had been misdiagnosed with pyloric stenosis, and the mistake wasn’t caught until after the child was cut open. Still, I thought we could go that day (Monday) for the ultrasound. Again, I was wrong. The pediatrician couldn’t get the ultrasound scheduled until Friday. Wes would have to hold on until then.
At this point our son’s life was literally in the hands of God. Wesley couldn’t hold anything down. He was getting no nutrition. By Monday Wesley’s entire body was beginning to look wasted. Tuesday and Wednesday were worse. By Thursday night I was desperate.
Wesley was so wasted away that he literally looked like a skeleton with a thin layer of skin on top. To make matters worse, Wesley was so weak he couldn’t even cry. So I cried for him. I held my poor little boy in my arms and I begged God not to take him.
“If I have done something to anger you, Lord,” I said, “punish me. Spare my little boy. Don’t take him, Lord.”
While I prayed for him and cried over him, I spoke to Wesley. I said, “You hang on little buddy. Don’t you die on me. I’m gonna get you help.”
On Friday we got Wesley to the hospital. The ultrasound was supposed to take at least a few minutes. Wes’ case was so severe (he couldn’t even open his eyes) that the ultrasound took about 30 seconds. Now, Wes would get his surgery, right? Wrong again!
The surgeon told us she had to hook Wes up to an IV to boost his electrolytes before the surgery could be performed. After several hours, the surgeon came back in and checked on Wesley. His test results had come back, and the surgeon asked Emberly and I to step out into the hallway. That is never good.
“I have good news and bad news,” she said. “The good news is that Wesley’s electrolytes are good.”
“So what’s the bad news,” Emberly and I asked.
The surgeon asked us, ” Do you know what potassium is?”
We responded that we knew it had something to do with heart.
“Yes,” said the surgeon, “it keeps the heart beating. Well, there is not a single trace of it in Wesley’s body. It appears he hasn’t had any for about 24 to 48 hours.”
“What exactly does that mean,” I asked.
The surgeon responded, “It means that your son should be dead, and we can’t figure out how he is still alive!”
My wife and I were floored! We both knew that Wesley wasn’t doing well at all, but we had no idea that his body was lacking all potassium! How could we know that he hadn’t had any potassium in his body for 24-48 hours? This was amazing!
Through this miracle God was showing us just how precious life is. God heard the prayers of a lowly, sinful couple. He deigned to show us His love and power in this little way. He showed us just how special this little, virtually defenseless life is to Him. God could have taken Wesley. Wesley belongs to Him, after all.
According to the world, our infant son was nobody. Not the kind of person people would select to be saved through a miracle. But God doesn’t see things the way we do. To God, each and every one of us is special. We are unique and unrepeatable.
Now, if God sees a helpless, ill six week old infant as special enough to receive such a miraculous blessing; then how much
more must He care for the unborn? If God could become human Himself, and save us sinners through the miracle of the cross and resurrection; then how much more must He have been willing to die for those innocent unborn who were murdered by their own mothers through abortion. All life is precious to God, and should be to us. God is sacred. His creative action is sacred. Therefore, everything He creates is sacred. Abortion destroys the life created by God. So abortion distorts the sacred act. This is the mortal sin of sacrilege. That is why abortion must be stopped. A society that can destroy the lives of the unborn is capable of any other atrocity. The preciousness of life must be protected!
Peace in Christ,
David J. Pollard
American Catholic Solidarity