Fate, Coincidence or Destiny  

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In a previous post I mentioned a hospital stay my little boy had when he was an infant. He was very suddenly sick, and I was at work. My wife called me and told me that something wasn't right. She was a bit in shock as to what was going on and it was evident in the tone of her voice. I immediately left work and we took Eap (nickname) to the doctor.

They were stumped and ran blood tests, hooked him up to the heart monitor and check every sign they could think of. No fever, just listless almost like a zombie. They tested him to see if he had been poisoned (that's not a pleasant thought when they are asking you if you could have poisoned your child). Nothing came back as a positive. So the doctor suggested that it could be something else that I don't even remember the name of anymore. He wanted a spinal tap done. My wife and I waited outside the room, since the doctor said it was much easier to do this without a parent there. We didn't know they had done it, because my son didn't cry. There was a negative result from that test too, so off we headed for the children's hospital.

At the hospital we were placed in a room and told that he couldn't be fed. They figured that this would make him testy and a little angry and then he would cry. I have to mention here that we have one of the finest pediatric hospitals in the nation here, and I was completely unimpressed with it. They treated us like we weren't even there most of the time. Most of the patients at that time came directly from Kaiser and we weren't Kaiser members so we were treated like outsiders. They provided care, but it almost seemed like a chore.

Three days of sheer hell ensued. We didn't get any answers and he didn't eat. No fussing, no complaining, no crying. Scary scary scary. We were just about at our wits end.

I've always believed I'm a man of faith. I am the first to admit that I don't practice it nearly as much as I should or could. I tend to question my faith a great deal too. That is the main reason that I am sure God is there. He has pushed me back in line more times than I can count. I do something stupid and for some reason or another something else comes along that allows me a chance to fix the mistake. Of course these times are when we seem to jump to our faith the most, we beg, plead and bargain for help. If he will fix this we will go to church till we die, we won't cuss, steal, cheat or drink. No more smoking or bad thoughts. Whatever it takes. Of course generally we forget that little promise as fast as the crisis passes. I was so overcome that I wasn't even thinking of promises to make, I was just begging for something to make my little boy better.

The third day as I was sitting in the room, my parents and in-laws were there. My dad told me to go sit outside and get some air. I took my nephew with me and we sat out in the courtyard where they have a little play area for the siblings of the children that are sick. As I was sitting there watching the other children play I struck up a conversation with a man who was sitting there watching his nephew also.

Turns out this guy had another nephew in the hospital with meningitis. The boy was 14 years old, and they just didn't know what was going to happen. This was all new to them and the parents were scared to death about it. I told this man that I had meningitis when I was in 7th grade but mine was bacterial so it probably wouldn't be the same. He was silent for a moment. He told me that his nephew did indeed have bacterial meningitis. The staff at the hospital told the family that they only had one other recorded case of this and that was from the 70's. Turns out I was the only other recorded case. He asked if I would consider talking to the parents and let them know my experience. I told him to hang on and ran back to my son's room. I explained to my wife and told her I had to go speak with these people. They needed to know that there is hope. That was the first spark of life I saw in her eyes in 3 days. She said I better get over there.

I spoke with his family for about 20 or 30 minutes. I told them my story and explained that it wasn't easy, but I did indeed beat it. I learned to walk again, got a tutor for my missed time at school and even went on to continue playing sports througout high school and even as an adult. You should have seen the way these people perked up when they realized that there is definitely a chance for this boy.

I felt much better as I left that room. My nephew came with me and even he was smiling as we walked back to my son's room. We started to get a little down as we got closer to the room. I heard a bunch of talking as we got to the door. Excited chatter that made me as nervous as could be. I immediately figured that something had happened and the doctors and nurses were in there to provide emergency care for my son.

Walking through the door the first thing I saw was my mom holding my little boy. He was screaming bloody murder. That was the most beautiful sound I've ever heard. I was told that as the nurse came in to check his vitals he just suddenly started screaming. My wife immediately picked him up and he screamed even louder. The doctor came in and check him to make sure that he wasn't screaming in pain. Turned out the only pain was the one in his stomach cause he hadn't eaten. They gave him a bottle shortly after I got there and we went home later that evening. Still not knowing what the ailment was.

It took me about 2 weeks to realize that my son came out of his "funk" about the time I got done speaking with that family. I have to wonder what the odds were that they would have found me if my son wasn't sick in the hospital. Probably pretty slim. Now you can call this a coincidence, it would seem like it. I think it was something a little bit more. I think I was meant to be there. I think that the family of that poor boy needed some hope and this was the way they got it, by realizing that somebody else had been through it, and that somebody walked away from it too.

Take from it what you want. I just know that those were the 3 worst days of my life, but they had a pretty happy ending. I never did find out if that boy completely recovered or not. I know that he didn't die from this. I think about that family everytime my son gets a sniffle or a fever. Now days I realize that my son suffered a whole lot, but it was for a good cause. I have told him this story and his only response was "Well I'm ok now, so I guess it was lucky that it happened."

This entry was posted at Saturday, February 06, 2010 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

16 comments

It is hard to explain destiny, but I think that is what you encountered. By God's intervention, you were placed there for a purpose. The chances of you being there at just the right moment are miraculous and far too difficult to understand any other way. It is difficult to understand why your child had to suffer though. It's one of life's great mysteries

February 6, 2010 at 8:55 PM

It definitely seemed like it was fate you were there. I am only sorry your poor little guy had to go through what he did! You are an amazing person for helping that family out at your time of suffering and anxiety. I commend you Bendigo!

February 6, 2010 at 9:40 PM

My goodness, I don't know what I would have done.... I'm glad he's better!

February 6, 2010 at 10:42 PM

I should clarify a bit...The only recorded case of a youth with bacterial meningitis is how they worded it....

February 6, 2010 at 10:48 PM

I love coincidences like that. It really does make you think that God has a purpose for us.

February 6, 2010 at 11:24 PM

Kato...made me think a little bit about that...I think that just about anybody in my spot would have done that. After sitting with my little boy feeling completely useless it was a great feeling to be able to do something, anything to help...

Kristy...either a purpose or he's got a sense of humor that I just can't understand...

February 7, 2010 at 6:54 AM

Incredible story. God sure works in mysterious ways. It makes you wonder sometimes why things happen the way they do but God knows what we need best, now and in the future. And yeah, when our children are in peril it definitely reminds us to repent real FAST! hehe.

February 7, 2010 at 7:13 AM

This scared the crap out of me. As a new parent I can relate to the anguish of knowing your child is suffering and you feel helpless. I am so glad that you made that connection to this other family. The human spirit is an amazing thing. I am thankful your child is well. I am glad you found strength and hope.
Still, that was very very very scary to read.

February 7, 2010 at 8:46 AM

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February 7, 2010 at 9:32 AM

Amazing story. We don't often know why God does things the way he does, and sometimes His plans DON'T appear to work out for us, in which case we have to be even more faithful.
I hope I have as much strength and faith as you do if I had to go through this.

February 7, 2010 at 9:59 AM

Wow! Can you say epiphany! You know Bendigo, it's reading posts like this, that help us (strangers) get a truer feel for the people we read. Thank you!

February 7, 2010 at 12:03 PM

You have some amazing stories to tell and I always feel better at the end of them, inspired, hopeful, uplifted. Thank you, Bendigo.

February 7, 2010 at 3:50 PM

I'm most comfortable when I'm writing about my experiences, cause let's face it, the human experience is a crazy ride sometimes.

I'm glad you guys are able to take something away from some of these tidbits of crazy I have encountered in my life. It helps me to write them down sometimes, so that I can flesh out what it really means to me..

Thanks again for reading :)

February 7, 2010 at 9:41 PM

That is wayyy surprising--and so cool! Who knows, huh, what happened? I'd rather think that the two events were related and had to happen.

By the way, it really was a wonderful thing to do to go talk to the family that obviously needed hope. Not everyone would have done that, sadly.

February 9, 2010 at 4:48 AM

Man, what a story. I apologize for not getting to it sooner but rest assured I read everything you post.

How long ago was this?

February 17, 2010 at 6:28 AM

This happened about 8 years ago now... My little boy was only a little baby... Scary time in our life that's for sure...

February 17, 2010 at 9:20 AM

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