Jillian Benfield has a lot to be thankful for today, all thanks to one Dr. John Nigro.
She and her husband discovered at 20 weeks gestation that their son, Anderson, had Down syndrome. But when they found out, not long after Andersons birth, that he also had a heart defect that would require open-heart surgery, it seemed like their world was on the verge of collapse. This heartbroken mother was faced with the possibility of losing her son, and the impossible task of putting on a brave face.
Before the surgery, Jillian admitted to needing to express her feelings about the whole ordeal. She did so in the form of a letter to the doctor who would be operating on Anderson, which she originally posted on her blog, News Anchor To Homemaker.
In a letter to Dr. Nigro, Jillian records the emotional rollercoaster from the moment of her sons diagnosis to his miraculous recovery. And she thanks the doctor who was able her son against all odds.
“Dear Dr. Nigro,
I didn’t want to meet you. In fact, I was angry on the two-and-a-half hour drive to your office. See, I was told that my son’s heart defect would most likely not require open-heart surgery. Then, all, of a sudden, it felt like a bomb went off and the explosion sent my husband and I to your office a few days later.”
Scroll down for the rest of this mom’s heartfelt note.
“I came prepared. The journalist in me researched articles, stalked heart groups on Facebook; I was armed with a pen and notebook. I was not going to let you cut open my sons chest just because you were the closest pediatric heart surgeon.
I asked you this, Have you ever lost a baby from this heart surgery? You looked down and said, Yes. There was one little girl, one among thousands, who also had Down syndrome, who went home and died in her sleep. Even though the loss was more than a decade ago, I could tell it still pained your heart. Thats when I knew you were the one.
On the day of surgery, you saw I was emotional, you gave me a tissue and assured me it would be okay. You were more than confident. This is what you do. Day in and day out you save our childrens lives.”
“If my son were born in the 80s, his life expectancy would have been around 25 years old. Now, it is in the 60s. This is in large part because of people like you.
I know you went to four years of undergrad, four years of medical school, multiple internships, residencies and a fellowship. You spent about two decades of your life sacrificing and learning so that you would know how to perform near miracles.”
“I saw you come in both Saturday and Sunday with your khaki pants and your wind-blown hair. I know you were trying to have a piece of normalcy but that you had to check on all of your patients before you could try to enjoy yourself outside of the hospitals 5th floor. I know your wife sees very little of you. I know that you have dedicated your life to save others.
For however broken our medical system seems to be, you are the bright spot. You spend the majority of your life surrounded by either the walls of the OR or the CICUs because of a calling, a calling to change lives and enhance futures.”
“When we are kids, we are taught that super heroes come with big muscles and capes. As an adult Ive realized they often times come in surgical caps and scrubs.
Thank you for your enormous dedication. Thank you for all of those years you sacrificed perfecting your craft. Thank you for making my sons broken heart whole. Thank you for making your life about making his better.”
Read more: http://www.littlethings.com/mom-pens-letter/