Friday, April 3, 2015

D: Doctor who saved my son

My son Chris with one of the many doctors
 who saved his life, Dr. Lewallen (neonatologist)--
back in 2008
Brian Doyle's son almost died when he was almost seven. My son almost died--several times--when he weighed only a few pounds. I am eternally grateful to many doctors who saved his life in the NICU.

My sister is a physician, so I'm well aware of the sacrifices people make to choose that type of career. Thanks to Brian Doyle for making me think about the pathways these talented doctors might have taken to get to the place where they could save our son.

Prayer of Gratitude for the Doctor Who Saved My Son

It's awfully tempting to think, sometimes, that You made him just for this purpose, hatching him in California and defending him against his own headlong idiocy long enough to get him trained as a cardiologist, and making sure he didn't break his neck with his madcap skiing, or die young because he worked twenty hours a day and hardly slept, or grew dark and weary after thousands of broken children were carried into his office by parents so frightened and desperate they could hardly speak;

but I know You let him form inside his cool brave tiny mother because You foment countless miracles like that every moment, and that is Your job, fomenting miracles, like the imagining of this universe, for example, well done there by the way;

and I suspect You let Dave find his own way in the world because that is our job, thrashing toward light and humility and tenderness and creativity, and losing our egos along the way if we are wise;

but I am awfully glad You fomented the particular miracle named Dave, because he then used his capacious imagination and skill to save my son's life, my son who would have died at age seven without Dave, my son who is not dead, not today, and I know this because I just had my hand on his shoulder a moment ago;

as I pray You will always have Your hand there too; and on Dave's shoulder, as a proud father salutes a son;

for he did well; believe me, he did real well.

And so: amen.

Here's more information on why I chose this focus for the A to Z, and you can read all my 2015 A to Z posts here. I hope you enjoy the celebrations of the miracle and muddle of the ordinary! 

You can buy the book at Brian's favorite local bookstore, Broadway Books, at Powell's Books, or on AmazonBrian's work is used with permission of Ave Maria Press.


  1. So sorry to hear that.Finally good to know he could do well :)

  2. What a wonderful prayer. So deep, so insightful, and Dr. McIrvin so deserving. Im so glad that this father understands and appreciates what a miracle and gift he's been given in the life of his son. God Bless.