When you are told your son is not going to make it...

You Discover Who You Really Are!



A true test of a good leader comes when they are under pressure! Will they rise to the occasion or collapse like a house of cards on a windy day?

The night my son was born was one of those tests!















My wife and I were expecting our third child, which we already knew was a boy in just two more short months. I say short, although my wife would strongly disagree with the term short since she was the one carrying him.

This pregnancy was an extremely rough one for her. Almost every day was miserable for her I She would need to spend much of her day and nights resting!

As luck would have it we had just moved into a new home during her sixth month that we had purchased prior to knowing she was pregnant. I was tasked with selecting many of the finishes and window treatments because she just wasn't up to doing it!

Our other two boys were only five and six so , had my hands full with working as a Human Resources Director for a fortune 500 company, commuting almost two hours one way to work every day, taking care of the two boys, and all the other duties associated with running a home. I gladly accepted that responsibility and would do it over and over again for her and the boys. She needed my support and I was willingly available. She would do a hundred times more for me!


As much as I want to consider myself as a good leader I don't think I fit into that category...


Good leaders do what is necessary without any regard to themselves! As much as I want to consider myself as a good leader I don't think I fit into that category since I can be very selfish at times.

My wife was now in her seventh full month and still not feeling well.

In fact she thought she might have a bladder infection and decided to go to urgent care after we finished dinner that night. She had already made some arrangements while I was at work for her friend to take her while I stayed home with the two boys.

After dinner, approximately 6:00 pm, they left and I stayed and cleaned up the dinner dishes, gave the boys each a bath, put them in the pajamas and we settled in for the evening. Since my daily routine required me to get up at 4:30 am every day to make the 80 mile commute into San Diego I wanted to get the kids into bed at 7:30 pm so that I could relax for about an hour and then go to bed myself.

That is exactly what I did. I suppose it was around 8:30 pm when I crawled into bed, and asleep before 9:00 pm.

At 10:30 pm the phone began ringing! I know it was 10:30 pm because normally my wife answers the phone and she wasn't answering it! Why wasn't she answering the phone? As I turned toward the phone I immediately realized she was not in bed and the phone was still ringing! The time as I saw it on the clock radio read 10:30 pm! Where the hell was she?


"What" I screamed into the phone?


I picked up the phone and a voice I recognized as her friend began frantically yelling "You need to get to the hospital she is having the baby now!"

"What" I screamed into the phone?

Again, she frantically yelled "She is having the baby right now, you need to get here!"

This just couldn't be! She wasn't due for another two months! What in the world happened? Was I dreaming? Maybe I was dreaming! Yes, I must be dreaming!

No I wasn't dreaming!

The hospital was over 12 miles away!

My kids were in bed!

I was in bed!

Although I am certain I must have broken a law or two I was able to get the boys up, dress them, dress myself, put them in the car in their car seats, and get to the hospital within thirty minutes. I know because as I entered the emergency room the clock read 11:00 pm.

As soon as I came through the emergency room doors and asked for my wife they ushered me and the boys into a small room where they asked me to wait!

Wait!

I needed to know what was going on and I needed to know right now!

A good leader needs information to make good decisions, right?

Tonight! On this night! Information was not available at least at this moment! I would be required-to wait! Waiting is not my strong suit!

But tonight it would be required of me. I did not want to distract them from doing whatever it took to save my wife!

While we sat there I held my two boys and began praying out loud!

I know that there is a God!

I know that he answers prayer!

It may not be the answer we want but he answers it!


The room became completely silent! An eerie kind of silence!


The door opened and the doctor came in and kneeled down in front of my chair as I held my two boys tightly on my lap!

Now everyone knows that whenever a doctor kneels down in front of you and has a look of hopelessness on their face it is not going to be good news!

The room became completely silent! An eerie kind of silence!

The eerie silence was broken when he said, "I don't think you're son will make it!"

The words stuck me like a ton of bricks! How could that possibly be! One minute I'm home sleeping so that I can get up and go to work the next day, and the next minute I'm in a hospital emergency room wondering if my son who I've never met is going to live or die!

This can't be! I've faced a variety of different leadership challenges throughout my life! The difference with this particular challenge was that I had zero control over the outcome!

Well that was not necessarily true! I did have control over one very important thing and I certainly took full advantage of it! Prayer! Constant prayer! Passionate prayer! Prayer from the inner most depths of my soul!


The sight I saw made me stop in my tracks!


After the doctor gave me that shocking news the only response I could give him was, "Yes he will and please take us to him!" The way I said these words to him was with total authority! To be honest they were not just words I blurted out! They came from somewhere within me that I wasn't even aware of! There was a part of me that just knew he would survive!

I believe it was coming from the Holy Spirit! You can believe what you want!

The doctor got up and escorted me and my two boys to a room just a short distance away. The room was exposed to the corridor through several huge windows. The door was open but the sight I saw made me stop in my tracks right outside the door.

As I clasped my two boy's hands tightly all I could do was stare at my little boy lying on a stainless steel table inside the room as five or six medical professionals were working feverishly to keep him alive! All I can remember from that night was that I focused completely on him! My mind raced as I wondered if he was feeling any pain! Although his little eyes were not open did he know that his father was right there begging God to save him! Did he know that all that his father wanted to do was hold him and tell him to fight with every ounce of life he had!

What I soon learned was that his heart was beating so fast that the monitors couldn't even keep up with it! They were throwing out numbers like 300 to over 400 beats per minute. It would do that then stop and restart on its own!

The hospital was a small little out of the way community hospital that was unequipped and unprepared for such an emergency!


My job was to pray continually! I did my job!


They had already contacted Loma Linda University Hospital and a life Flight along with a Team of medical professionals we're going to be dispatched as soon as they could get them together. The time now was around 11:30 pm. and based on the distance from Loma Linda, approximately fifty miles, and that they were taking a helicopter it should be very long before they arrive!

I stood at the entrance to that room for another three hours before that Team arrived via helicopter!

The entire time my little boy fought every second for his life!

My job was to pray continually! I did my job!

During that time I developed a closeness like I have never had with our God! The God! The one and only God! I could finally relate to the unbelievable sacrifice He made to give His Son so that we would have everlasting life, if we would only ask Him!

As the four member team from Loma Linda entered the room they were all in flight gear! They had with them a space aged container sitting on top of a gunnery that was designed specifically for it! The container was fully enclosed in glass or plastic with all types of monitors and gadgets.

They were extremely efficient!

It was like the Calvary had arrived!

Although they didn't say it you just felt like they were saying, "Stand back! We'll take it from here!"

They completely took over the process! They eventually packaged him up and placed him into the space aged container on the gunnery.

Just as one of them sealed the container that must have taken fifteen minutes or so the heart monitor began making that sound no one ever wants to hear! It went from beep, beep, beep, to a constant blare!

I will never forget the moment it went off! The person that just sealed the container looked at me with a look of complete panic! It is burned into my memory bank forever!

Her look told me that she had no idea of what to do in order to save his life! He was completely sealed into this small container and it would take too much time to get to him! Although I am sure they have improved the process since this was over eighteen years ago, it seemed like a stupid way to do it as I look back on that night!

She began calling for the baby paddles as the heart monitor continued to scream out. She was frantically trying to undo everything she so diligently and methodically just did!

Someone from the hospital screamed out that they didn't have baby paddles! The person from Lorna Linda muddled something under her breath and continued undoing the sealed container!

The whole time I was praying! Begging God to give him a chance! During the process a peacefulness came over my body like I have never experienced in my life!


The helicopter made quick work of lifting off and was on its way to Loma Linda!


At that moment his heart began beating again on its own!

They reversed course again and began seating up the container!

They finished and immediately rolled him out into the corridor and toward the entrance to where the helicopter had landed. All four of them, two on one side and two on the other escorted him like something out of a movie! I followed closely behind!

As we exited the building I could see the helicopter!

They loaded him in quickly!

I was not allowed to ride along!

The helicopter made quick work of lifting off and was on its way to Loma Linda.

Although the doctor originally told me that he didn't think my son would live he was released from Lorna Linda Hospital just fourteen days later. Although doctor's that have dealt with heart transplants to who knows what could not explain how he could make such a quick turnaround I could! It was the hand of God on him!

He is now on his own living a productive life!

Leadership comes in all forms!

That night over eighteen years ago was a very hard night to live through; however, it made me stronger!

My two older boys needed someone that night to bring a sense of calmness and order into their lives. As a leader I was able to keep the chaotic situation within me! From my two boys perspective it was business as usual even though the world was clasping around us!

Leadership takes integrity, courage, strength, and wisdom.

Thank you and May God Bless you!

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