A Real Doctor (and a Physician Assistant) Respond to the “Plandemic Movie.”

All over social media, we are seeing links to a video called “Plandemic movie.” Our friends urge us to watch it before it “gets deleted!” “Watch, learn, open your mind!” “Think for yourself and for your best interests!” As a family physician working on the front lines of the COVID-19 epidemic, and a former Physician Assistant with a Master’s degree in Health Science, we decided to see for ourselves what this video was all about, and we watched it.

The first installment of this documentary series features Dr. Judy Mikovits.  The video portrays her as a prominent scientist who was privy to inside, confidential information about the government, infectious disease research, and conspiracies among top government officials concerning COVID-19.  She was supposedly exiled from the world of medical science after reporting something that “they” didn’t want you to know about, and is now speaking out, fighting those evildoers seeking to “silence her.”

Unfortunately, Dr. Mikovits is not a credible source, although her career begins innocently enough.  After earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Virginia in 1980, she went to the National Cancer Institute where she worked as a technician. She went on to earn a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at George Washington University in 1992.  Her PhD thesis was entitled, “Negative Regulation of HIV Expression in Monocytes.”  Her admirers will claim that her doctoral thesis “changed the treatment of HIV-AIDS,” although evidence of this is very hard to find.  She did participate in good research concerning retroviruses as an assistant, but she was never a principal investigator or independent researcher, and left the lab in 2001 when she got married and started work tending bar. 

Then, in 2004, the very wealthy Mr. and Mrs. Whittemore come into the picture. They founded a nonprofit research institute, the “Whittemore-Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease” for their daughter who had chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). They recruited Dr. Mikovits to direct their institute.  Remember that at this time, Dr. Mikovits was a scientist who had never been a principle investigator, hadn’t worked in the field for many years, and was tending bar at the time.  Why they would ask her to run their institute?  I have no idea. The cause of chronic fatigue syndrome has been a medical mystery for decades, and Dr. Mikovits had experience in only one area: retroviruses.  The Whittemores must have been convinced that CFS was caused by a virus.  In any event, Mikovits did (surprise!) come to the conclusion that a retrovirus must be the cause of CFS.  Her findings were that XMRV, a mouse retrovirus that can replicate in the cells of other animals, was the cause of CFS, and these findings were published in Science.

There were many criticisms of Mikovits’ methods, however.  Three independent studies that tried to replicate her results failed to find any evidence of XMRV in either healthy controls or CFS patients.  Finally, a nine-center study failed to confirm even the preliminary results of Mikovits’ study.

Science retracted her publication, she was terminated, then arrested and jailed for theft of laboratory materials, equipment, and documents.  Mr. and Mrs. Whittemore were sued by former partners for embezzling millions of dollars from a real estate business. Mr. Whittemore was also charged with making illegal campaign contributions.  Then, in March, the judge in the case against Dr. Mikovits disclosed that he had received campaign donations from Mr. Whittemore and recused himself.  Subsequently, the charges against Dr. Mikovits were droppedAs you can see, corruption abounded.

Now, it’s 2020.  We are in the middle of a global pandemic crisis.

Emotions and fears are high – both of the virus itself and its economic impact. The unknowns are many.  People are looking for answers, when truly there are none, because this virus is so new.  It’s the perfect storm for conspiracy theories and propaganda to run wild.  It’s also a great opportunity for a scientist with a failing career to try to make a comeback.

Let’s dive into this “Plandemic movie” now.

Although, after reading up on Dr. Mikovits history, we were less than excited to watch this thing.  I am sorry to say that it lived up to our expectations, and more.

I tried to watch with an open mind – I really did.  However, the number of outrageous claims, pseudo-science, plain nonsense and outright falsehoods in this production are too numerous to list.  It would be laughable if our friends and family weren’t touting it as the latest must-see truth.  I don’t want to go into every one of them, so we’ll just list some highlights:

-She claims that if COVID-19 had evolved naturally, it would have taken 800 years for it to “learn” how to infect humans.  (For a virologist, she seems to know very little about how quickly viruses change and mutate!) Many zoonotic viruses (viruses that originate in animals) have mutated and infected humans. Bird flu, swine flu, dengue fever, Lyme disease, West Nile virus and rabies are just a few examples.

-She likens COVID-19 infection to COPD, saying that if her husband died from COPD, “they” would classify him as a COVID death due to the presence of fibrosis in the lungs.  The only problem is, COPD does not cause fibrosis in the lungs. The two diseases are very, very different.

– The statement taken out of context from the CDC death certificate recommendation reads in full “In cases where a definitive diagnosis of COVID-19 cannot be made, but is suspected or likely (the circumstances are compelling within a reasonable degree of certainty), it is acceptable to report COVID-19 on a death certificate as “probable” or “presumed”. In these instances, certifiers should use their best judgment in determining if a COVID-19 diagnosis was likely. Testing for COVID-19 should be conducted whenever possible.” Physicians use probable causes of death all the time. In our situation, where testing supplies can be in short supply, a probable cause of death is definitely warranted.


– She says that physicians are being pressured to diagnose COVID-19 because reimbursements are higher for that diagnosis. We don’t know a single doctor that would falsify a diagnosis for the hospital to be paid more, but even if they did, most hospitals lose money on every single Medicare patient. This is not a money-making endeavor. Most hospitals are and health care facilities are deeply in the red right now. They might get paid $13,000 for your COVID-19 admission, but do you know what that’s based on? The fact that the average cost of a hospital admission for a respiratory condition is $13,297.

-She says the flu vaccine increases your chance of getting COVID-19 by 36%.  It doesn’t.

  This claim comes from a “Pentagon Study,” which, although published in Jan 2020, was studying data from the 2017-2018 flu season. They were not studying SARS-Co-2, as this virus was unknown at the time.  You have to understand that COVID-19 is named as such to set it apart from the many other identified viruses with the corona shape.  The previously identified coronaviruses were not anything of concern – they are wimpy, run-of-the-mill common cold viruses that we all have likely had.  These are the “coronaviruses” mentioned in this study.  Furthermore, in the conclusion of the study, the researchers wrote, “Receipt of influenza vaccination was not associated with virus interference among our population.” and “The overall results of the study showed little to no evidence supporting the association of virus interference and influenza vaccination.”  In other words, even though their data showed a small increase in coronavirus cases (common cold) among people who had received a flu shot, it was deemed statistically insignificant.  The articles that are quoting a 36% increased risk are (1): taking data and quoting text out of context in the study, reporting it as significant when it was not, and (2): allowing people to believe that this applies to COVID-19, which it does not.  This is clear manipulation of data in attempt to misinform the public.

-She makes a big deal out of Fauci calling the evidence for hydroxychloroquine “anecdotal.”  It was, obviously, anecdotal evidence.  That’s what we call things when they are based on doctor’s experiences with their own cases, not double-blind scientific studies.  It doesn’t mean that anecdotal evidence is not valuable – it is. And, doctors make clinical decisions based on anecdotal evidence all the time.  It just means that we haven’t had time to run a proper scientific study on it yet.

-The American Academy of Emergency Medicine and the American College of Emergency Physicians both issued statements condemning Dr. Daniel Erickson and Dr. Artin Massihi — the two emergency docs who spoke in the video suggesting that sheltering in place harms your immune system and wearing masks increases your risk of infection.

-She mentions her work on Ebola in 1999 and says that it couldn’t infect human cells until “she taught it how.” But, there were many pre-1999 Ebola outbreaks.

-She claims that there is no current vaccine that works for any RNA virus. Really? So, how would you explain the drastic worldwide reduction in polio, measles, and hepatitis A?

-She claims a flu vaccine grown in dog cells is to blame for the COVID-19 outbreak, because dogs have a lot of coronaviruses.  She actually says, “If you have ever had a flu vaccine, you have been injected with Coronavirus.”  umm… no. Canine coronavirus (CcoV) is not the same as SARS-CoV-2. Not even close. (Can we please call this “fear-mongreling?”)

As another physician stated on her facebook post, “[This statement is] so false based on the way vaccines are made that there are no studies specifically stating this claim. It would be like trying to conduct a study to examine whether humans can live with zero oxygen. Nope, we can’t. No study needed.”

-She claims wearing facial masks “activates” the virus.  Again, you would hope that she would understand the transmission of viruses that spread via respiratory droplets. We will address the issue of masking later, as it has become a hot topic as well.

I would go on, but honestly it’s just not worth my time or yours. If anybody wants to talk more about this one-on-one, we are happy to do so. But, dear friends, please don’t let your frustrations and emotions (or feelings regarding a certain overbearing, overreaching incompetent governor) blind you to reason. When we’re given information, we all need to consider the source. There is so much misinformation and fear-mongering happening right now, and so many people trying to use this crisis to their own advantage. Please don’t contribute to the problem by spreading this garbage.

Lastly, I wholeheartedly support free speech. However, private companies removing information from their platforms does not represent repression, and is in no way an indicator of truth. It’s their right to monitor what is posted on their platform – even if that platform is as big and public as YouTube.

We fervently pray that this pandemic will end very quickly. We pray that you and your loved ones stay healthy, and that our churches, businesses, and places of recreation open safely and reasonably very soon. May you know God’s love, now more than ever.

-Amy & Aaron

Breakfast Sandwiches for the Freezer

I have had multiple requests for this recipe.

Breakfast sandwiches that are so easy, so yummy,

and freeze well!

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Customize them with whatever bread, meat, or cheese your family enjoys.  I usually make a double-batch.  We’ll keep one batch in the refrigerator for eating that week, and freeze the other.  

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Breakfast Sandwiches for the Freezer

    • 12 eggs
    • 1/4 cup dairy product.  This can be milk, plain yogurt, sour cream, or whatever dairy you need to use up in your fridge.  The dairy helps to stabilize the eggs in the freezer, so they thaw and reheat with a better texture.
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    • 12 servings of breakfast meats (bacon, sausage patties, Canadian bacon, ham, etc.  Our family especially enjoys the turkey sausage breakfast patties from WalMart)
    • 12 english muffins or sandwich thins
    • Butter or canola oil, if desired
    • 12 slices of your favorite cheese
  1.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  If you don’t have a Demarle muffin mold or baking sheet, get one!  But until then, you can generously grease a 9×13 pan.
  2. Whisk the eggs, dairy, salt and pepper.  (I use my stand mixer)
  3. Pour the egg mixture into the greased pan or muffin mold, and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the center is just set.  Do not over-cook!
  4. Remove from the oven and allow the eggs to cool.
  5. While the eggs are cooling, toast your english muffins under broiler on low.  You may butter them if you wish – I spritz with canola oil because it’s fast and easy.
  6. Cut the eggs into 12 squares if you used a 9×13 pan.
  7. Build your sandwiches:  Bread, egg, meat, cheese, bread.
  8. Package and label your sandwiches.  I use sandwich bags.  If freezing, allow sandwiches to cool completely in the refrigerator, then package in a freezer-safe resealable bag or air-tight container.

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To reheat:

If frozen, allow sandwiches to thaw completely in refrigerator overnight.  Remove packaging and place on microwave-safe plate.  Heat on high for 30 seconds.  Turn over, and heat an additional 15-30 seconds until hot.  Alternately, you can reheat the sandwiches in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes, or use a toaster oven.

From my family to yours,

enjoy! 

 

When kids outgrow Santa

No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to keep my babies little.  They are growing up so fast.  Every time I look at Micah, I think “When did he get to be such a tall, handsome young gentleman?”  Matthew is maturing, able to do so much for himself now, and Jesse is a 10-year-old with a heart of gold.  Mikayla has always been a sweet little lady, but even “baby Nathan” is almost six, and growing out of “little kid” things.

Screen Shot 2019-12-13 at 7.40.09 AMWe do Santa at our house, and Santa has been pretty amazing.  We watch Santa’s progression around the globe on the NORAD Santa tracker, we set out cookies (and carrots for the reindeer!), and everyone is extra, extra good for the month of December.  Ever since he was very little, Santa has made Jesse’s beloved stuffed dog “new” again every Christmas Eve.  Jesse would love the stuffing out of Brown Doggie through the course of every year, so Santa’s magic was needed to keep it around!

When Matthew started seeing signs of Advent this year, he asked if he could go home and help fold laundry.  With big, bright eyes, he told me, “I’m really helpful.  Santa’s coming!”

Nathan, at age 5, is still learning about this whole process.  Yesterday he questioned, “Wait….. you mean Santa and Jesus are ALWAYS watching us?”  Then, after a quick wardrobe check, he remarked, “Phew!  At least I’m wearing underwear.”

When our kids reach an age when they are ready to know more about Mr. Clause, they get a “top secret” letter.  Micah was thrilled when he got his letter years ago, so excited to be let in on such a special secret, and has enjoyed being able to contribute to the magic for the rest of the family.  Jesse got his letter this year, and with his usual enthusiastic joy, was ecstatic to become a part of Santa’s team.  I will post the letter below … just in case you have a need for something similar at your house.

From our family to yours, we with you a holy and happy Advent season, and a very Merry Christmas! 

. . .

Dear Jesse,

Now that you are 10, we know that you have some questions about Christmas and Santa, and we wanted to give you good, true answers.

“Is Santa real?” The answer is “Yes!”  St. Nicholas is very real.  He is as real as any other saint in heaven.  But he lives in heaven, and in our hearts, not at the North Pole.  He lives in every single person who works to keep his spirit of joy, generosity, and love for the Infant Jesus alive.

Mom and Dad are the people who fill your stocking and wrap the presents that appear by the fireplace – just as our parents did for us, their parents did for them, and you will do for your kids someday.  But, we are not Santa.  There is no one, single Santa.

Santa is billions of people who keep the spirit of Christmas alive.  Santa is the magic and love and spirit of giving to others. What he does, is teach children to believe in something they can’t see or touch. Throughout your life you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your family, in your friends, and in God. You’ll need to be able to believe in things you can’t measure or hold in your hands.  You can’t see or measure love, generosity, or faith – but those things are very, very real.

Now you know the secret of how he gets down all of those chimneys on Christmas Eve: He has help from all of the people whose hearts he has filled with joy.  You could say that he truly does have lots and lots of “elves” that help him do his job!  With joyful hearts, people like Mommy and Daddy take our turn helping Santa do a job that would otherwise be impossible. So no, we are not Santa … but we do enjoy being his elves. 

Santa is the spirit of the real St. Nick, living on through years of tradition in every country across the globe.  He is love and magic and hope and happiness, all started by the generous and joyful spirit of the real St. Nicholas.  Can you imagine how happy St. Nick is when he gazes down on Earth and sees all the celebration for the birth of Christ, in his legacy of generosity?  We are on his team, and now you are too. 

Now, you are on our side of the magic, and it is a very important, privileged place to be.  You will have to work hard to preserve the magic for your younger siblings and for Matthew.  You can’t give us knowing glances or “thank-you’s” when you open your gift from Santa this year.  You can’t wink at us or do anything else to let on that you are now a part of the magic.  But you can experience the joy and wonder of it all, and let them believe in Santa.  And, if they ask you if Santa is “real,” you can confidently say “Yes!”

When you were little, you were VERY hard on Brown Doggie.  He was going to end up in shreds, yet you loved him like no child had ever loved a toy!  We bought all the Brown Doggies we could find, then every Christmas we replaced your Brown Doggie with a new one.  We needed a way to “fix” your beloved animal so you could keep loving him without having him fall apart! We have three more Brown Doggies set aside, so you can go ahead and put Brown Doggie out on Christmas Eve again if you want to. 

The story of the NORAD Santa Tracker is on the back of this letter.  It’s really a cool story … and proves that even the US Military is on Santa’s team, working to keep Christmas magic alive for young kids all over the world.  Santa has many, many helpers. 

Christmas should always feel magical, because the wonder and awe of God himself coming down to live with us as a humble baby is an incredible mystery we will never fully understand. We love you and always will.  Welcome to Santa’s Team!  Now, you get to help keep the magic alive too.

Love,   Mommy and Daddy

. . .

North American Aerospace Defense Command

The NORAD Santa Tracker

24 hours a day, 365 days a year, NORAD tracks everything that flies in and around North America in defense of our homelands. On Dec. 24, we have the very special mission of also tracking Santa.

NORAD has been tracking Santa since 1955 when a young child accidentally dialed the unlisted phone number of the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Operations Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, believing she was calling Santa Claus after seeing a promotion in a local newspaper.  Before the misprint, only a four-star general at the Pentagon and Colonel himself had that number.

It was the 1950s, war time, when the Colonel’s phone rang.  He answered it, expecting to hear that an air strike was happening and the US was under attack, but instead he heard a small voice say, “Is this Santa Clause?” 

The Colonel was quick to realize a mistake had been made, and assured the little girl that CONAD would guarantee Santa a safe journey from the North Pole.  He “Ho-Ho-Ho’d” and asked if she had been a good little girl.  He then assigned two airmen to sit by the phone and answer phone calls for Santa from other children.

The airmen had a big glass board with the United States on it, and when airplanes would come in they would track them. And Christmas Eve of 1955, when Colonel Shoup walked in, there was a drawing of a sleigh with eight reindeer coming over the North Pole… a joke from his airmen.  The Colonel looked at it for a while, and then called the radio station saying, “This is the commander at the Combat Alert Center, and we have an unidentified flying object. Why, it looks like a sleigh!” After that, the radio stations would call him nearly every hour and say, ‘Where’s Santa now?’

Thus a tradition was born that rolled over to NORAD when it was formed in 1958. Each year since, NORAD has dutifully reported Santa’s location on Dec. 24 to millions across the globe. 

 

Eleven!

Today is Matthew’s eleventh birthday!  Eleven!!  Can you believe it?

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Nobody loves birthdays as much as Matthew does.  He loves the joy, celebration, friends, family, ice cream cake, presents – no matter whose birthday we’re celebrating, he’s all for it!  But, there is something very, very special about his birthdays.  All of the kids recognize it, and plan for weeks.  They count up their chore money to see what gift they can buy for him, help plan his party and his cake, and help him count down the days … all just to hear that joyful squeal and see his big smile when his big day comes.

Last night, Matthew’s prayer before dinner was:

 

“Thank you for tomorrow.” 

 

Through the chaos of our family dinner, the profoundness of his prayer sunk in… “Thank you for tomorrow.”

This is the child who wasn’t supposed to have a “tomorrow.”  This is the child that wasn’t expected to live through the night… who kept us up more than once, wondering if he would live another day.

Yes, Lord, thank You for all of the “tomorrows” that You have given us with this beautiful, joyful, loving child,  and all of the tomorrows yet to come.

May we all be thankful for our own tomorrows.

Early Morning Cuddles

Yesterday, Nathan woke up at 5:50, as he usually does.  As is our routine, I got him a cup of milk, started a “Cat in the Hat” video, and sat down with my coffee for 20 minutes of quiet time before our busy day started.

At 6:10, a very sleepy-eyed Matthew came out of his room, and asked to sit on my lap.  He said, “so cozy…” as he drifted off to sleep on my shoulder.  I loved every minute of it – snuggling with my big 10-year-old bundle of love.

For the next half hour, as Matthew slept in my arms, all I could think about was how blessed we are to have this beautiful child in our family.  I thought back to when we were so scared – so unsure of what our future and his future would bring.  What would it be like to raise a child with Down syndrome?  How would it affect our lives and the lives of our other kids?

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Snuggling with his biggest cousin, Dominic

 

Now, we have a big ol’ bundle of goofy cuddly love, and wonder what we were so scared of.  To any new parents wondering what life is going to be like raising a child with an extra chromosome, please know that even though it’s not always easy (but, this is true of any child!), it is SO very worth it.  You will be immeasurably blessed, in ways you can’t even imagine right now.  Yes, you will also be challenged, and you will grow.  You will learn to slow down a little bit, gain patience and understanding, and you will love and be loved like never before.

Matthew woke up, looked up at me with his big blueberry eyes, and said, “I love you, Mommy.  Thanks for the cuddle.”

I love you, too, Mister.  More than you’ll ever know.

To My Friends that Marched

I have several friends and family members that participated in various “March for Women” events across the country last weekend.  These are lovely ladies, with good intentions, intelligent minds, and loving hearts.  Each one had their own reasons for participating, but I felt my own heart sink as their proud pictures came across my facebook feed, one after another.

My problem with the march is that it was made very clear that the pro-life viewpoint was not welcome to participate in the march. And this is not just an issue that is “very important to me,” but is an issue that is at the very core of who I am, and everything I believe in.

I have had strangers look at my disabled son and say, “Didn’t you know when you were pregnant?” Strangers, who never even want to see the beauty of his life, but rather think the world would be better off without him.  I wish you could see their shocked and horrified faces when I say, “Yes, we did know.  And we chose life for him.”  I have to explain to Matthew, and to his brothers and sisters, that he doesn’t have any friends that are like him, because over 90% of parents choose to kill their child rather than raise a child with Down syndrome.

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We know, without a shadow of a doubt, that life begins as conception. It is an indisputable scientific fact. So, how can I possibly be “okay” with someone making a “choice” to end a life? A baby is not a body-part of its mother. It is a human being. And, if we don’t have the right to life, no other rights matter.

The women’s march claimed to stand for “disability rights.” What about the rights of the 90% of babies with Down syndrome who are brutally killed? The women’s march claimed to stand against “violence” except for the ultimate act of violence committed against 60 million of our most vulnerable citizens since Roe V. Wade.

The women’s march claimed to stand for “civil rights,” but Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, wanted to eliminate the black race by using abortion. To this day, a disproportionately large percentage of Planned Parenthood clinics are in neighborhoods with minority populations. A disproportionately large number of minority children are killed.  In 2004, the rates of abortion by ethnicity in the U.S. were:

  • 50 abortions per 1,000 black women
  • 28 abortions per 1,000 Hispanic women
  • 11 abortions per 1,000 white women.

An outrage? Absolutely!

Pornography has been shown to be a root cause of much of the violence against women that is present in the United States today. It is also a root cause of child sex-trafficking. I can’t think of anything that is more degrading and objectifying of women, and yet it wasn’t mentioned at all in the Women’s March. In fact, the lewd attire of many of the participants only objectified us more. If we are more than our body parts, let’s not dress up like our genitalia.

As for religious freedom, what about the freedom to not pay for contraceptives and abortions that oppose a person’s religious beliefs? Many contraceptives are abortifacients, and groups like “Little Sisters of the Poor,” and Christian citizens should not have to pay for them.

As Matt Walsh said,

“Before the march even began, abortion on demand had been proclaimed an essential “unity principle” of the so-called “Women’s March.” They were so serious about this principle that pro-life groups were barred from participating. It’s fair to say that once a political demonstration cites baby murder as a fundamental value, nothing else it stands for really matters. I cannot take a march seriously after it has professed an affinity for child killing just as I cannot willingly consume your homemade chocolate cake after you inform me that fecal matter is one of its ingredients.”

Even Hitler had some perceived “good points” in his economic reform policies. There was a reason he was elected by the people.  However, none of us could say that we admire or support him. Because of the Eugenics he attempted, and the 11 million lives he ended, we would never stand at a rally and shout, “Hail Hitler!” because we thought his “other policies” were great. I can’t support this march or this movement for the same reason. Abortion is our holocaust, ending the lives of the disabled and minorities.

I will be marching this weekend at the March for Life, and I hope you will all join me.

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#WhyWeMarch #walkforlife #marchforlife

. . .

Addendum:  There are two women who wrote excellent, related articles.  They were able to touch on subjects that I did not have room or time to cover.  Please go check them out, and be as encouraging and uplifting to them as you have been to me here!

To My Sisters Who Marched on Washington by Jenny Uebbing reminds us that we were not created to be equal to Men.  Modern feminism seeks to destroy the wonderful uniqueness we were given as daughters of the King

An Apology From A Woman Who Didn’t March by Ruth Meyer reminds us that the freedoms we enjoy in the United States are only a dream for women around the world.  Before we cry that our “rights” have been violated, we should remember our sisters throughout the world who truly long for the rights and freedoms we enjoy every day.

Update on Clara Ray

Little Clara had heart surgery today.

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Going into the surgery, the doctors didn’t know if they would be able to do a 2-ventricle repair, or if they would need to make her heart function on 1 single ventricle.  They had to wait and see how she did during surgery, and see how her heart looked.  If a single ventricle was necessary, it would take at least 2 more open heart surgeries to complete the process of converting her heart to function with a single ventricle.

I am so very happy to report that the surgery was incredibly successful.  Not only were the doctors able to preserve both ventricles, but they were able to “fix everything,” according to her mama.  Every hole in her heart and every leaky valve is fixed, and she has a permanent pacemaker.

The next 24 hours are the most critical, and the doctors are watching her closely, but for now, no more major surgeries are on the horizon.  She is expected to recover over the next several weeks, then go home in her Mommy and Daddy’s arms.

To God be the Glory, now and forever.

 

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Welcome, Clara Ray!

Yesterday, another heart warrior was born.  The doctors are already calling Clara Ray a miracle.

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During her mother’s pregnancy, the doctors saw a combination of heart defects they had never before encountered at Boston Children’s hospital.  Although they had seen each defect individually, they had never seen all of the problems occur in one baby.

Clara had a full heart block, a complete unbalanced AV canal, Hetetotaxy syndrome, and hydrops, among other defects.

She wasn’t expected to live past 20 weeks, and of course, the doctors offered her parents an abortion.  Her brave and faithful parents, Johanna and Craig, refused the abortion and started to pray.

It was soon after this that Johanna found Matthew’s story with an internet search, and contacted me.  It has been incredible to watch their journey, celebrating each milestone with them.  When Clara’s heart was still beating at 28 weeks, she had already proved the doctors wrong.  Then came 30 weeks, then 35, and Clara still held on.  She was born early yesterday morning at 38 weeks, weighing 6 lbs, 9.6 oz.

Clara is not out of the woods yet, and still needs our prayers.  She will most likely need a pacemaker soon, and open heart surgeries after that.

Johanna and Craig’s faith is strong, and they have continued to pray, giving God all the credit for each and every step along their journey.  We are so thankful that she is finally in her Mommy and Daddy’s arms, and we praise God for this miraculous little fighter and the gift of new life.

Click on the links below to follow her journey:

GoFundMe page at Clara Ray’s Heart Journey or Facebook at Prayers for Clara Ray

Birthright International Conference

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Last weekend, I had the honor of sharing Matthew’s story at the Birthright International Conference in Newark, NJ.

If you are not familiar with Birthright, it is a wonderful organization that offers free, nonjudgmental help to any woman facing an unplanned, unwanted, or difficult pregnancy.  Their website says, “The essence of Birthright is love,” and we found that to be true as we were welcomed with warm and open arms by all of the delegates at the conference.  What an incredible group of women and men, all of whom have dedicated themselves to “loving both.”  They love all babies, born and unborn, and love their mothers no matter what the circumstances.

I shared Matthew’s story as the keynote speaker at the conference banquet, and it was very well received.

Aaron and I also got to see a part of the country we’d never seen:  New York City!  It was a lot for this small-town-girl to take in, but we had a lot of fun.  We walked through Central Park, rode the elevator to the 86th floor of the Empire State Building, and experienced Times Square and the busy, busy streets of the Big Apple.

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