At church this morning we talked about suffering and submission to God. I keep hearing this theme of submission or surrendering and I am trying to see what I need to surrender to God. I guess I need to surrender this entire situation and quit worrying about it. Easier said than done, but I am going to try. In the car on the way home Dan and I discussed again what we should do about coming to a decision regarding surgery. We thought maybe we should schedule surgery at Stanford, but still ask questions as we think of them.
When we got home I had an email from Dr. Mainwaring, a pediatric heart surgeon at Sutter, waiting in my inbox. Is that an answer to prayer or what? I have only met this man a few times, but I really love him! We sent him an email through a friend with a few questions we had and he took the time to write out a thoughtful and loving response, even though he has absolutely no obligation to do so. Here's a bit of what he said:
It is evident that you love your son very much and want to make the very best decision for him. It is a paradox, because it is the love for your son that makes this decision so difficult—it is an indication that you are great parents and care so much, and you should always view this as a virtue (and not a liability). If you didn’t care so much, then all these decisions would be much easier.He answered some other questions and closed with this:
I think it is great that you have turned to your faith in God to help you through these difficult times. The scripture that you quoted from Proverbs suggests that if you have faith in God then he will make your pathways straighter—no doubt confusing in light of the fact that you have been presented with no less than three potential paths. Which one should you take? Unfortunately, the Bible makes no comment about Drs. Hanley, Raff, or Azakie. But I do believe that your faith will ultimately assist you not only in making a good decision for your son but also give you the strength to negotiate that event.
Finally, as far as what I would do, and what I can advise you to do, I know Dr. Hanley quite well and have a tremendous amount of respect for his sound judgment and his surgical abilities. He is considered one of the premier congenital heart surgeons in the world for a reason. I don’t know either Dr. Azakie or Dr. Raff, and therefore cannot comment on their qualifications either in a positive or negative manner. So if I had to make this decision for my own child I would choose Dr. Hanley, and would trust his judgment as far as what operation would be best for my child.I am so thankful to Dr. Mainwaring for taking the time to really consider our situation and write such caring words to us. Especially since it really helped us come to a conclusion. After we read this email, Dan said he thinks we should go to Stanford. The fact that we keep hearing from cardiologists and surgeons with 30+ years in this field that they would trust Dr. Hanley with their own children means a lot to me. So tomorrow I am going to call Stanford and see about scheduling surgery. I feel a tremendous burden has been lifted and I am looking forward to moving closer toward surgery.