I remember they wheeled me down the hall for surgery while the resident doctor ran beside me marking my stomach for the c-section-I found out later that this was his first c-section he'd ever done by himself! I thought, "Oh my gosh, I can feel that!" They paused for literally half a second while the anesthesiologist put the long, dangerous needle in my back, and then they were off again!!
Upon entering the emergency room, the chaos begin!! The anesthesiologist took charge. He yelled at everyone, "Grab this!! You don't have time to put on your gloves! Just go!!" Then, stroking my forehead, he turned to me and gently said, "It's ok; everything is going to be just fine." He did this back and forth several times; I remember praying for all the angels to guide these doctor's hands because the tension was high in the room.
The head doctor didn't show up until they were already pulling Jackson out! The umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck 4 times!! With tears in their eyes, the doctors and anesthesiologist, turned to me and said, "Angels were here helping us today."
Jackson was born with his heart on the right (wrong) side of his body; it's called Dextro-cardia. He also had holes in his heart (ASD, VSD). At the time, the doctors believed that was the extent of the problem and that we should just pray for the holes to close on their own. We were in and out of the emergency room and ambulances for all kinds of illnesses his first month of life, but the doctors still didn't know how severe his heart condition was. They continued to attribute his condition to other problems.
When they were about to send him home again after yet another emergency room visit, I had so much anxiety and felt so emotional that I knew something else needed to be done. My husband gave Jackson a priesthood blessing, and then I told the doctor that I was not leaving that hospital until they checked his heart again. They saw how serious I was and did yet another echocardiogram.
This time the surgeon returned and said, "In my 20 years and thousands of hearts, I have never seen a heart like this." Along with ASD, VSD, and Dextro-cardia, he also had transposition of the greater vessels and his heart was flipped over too! The surgeon said there were also many other difficult conditions present that he couldn't even explain to other medical doctors. Upon identifying the problem, peace settled in my heart. I knew we were on the road to fixing his problem.
At 14 months, Jackson had major open-heart surgery. He had been crawling around with oxygen tubes on and off up until that time and spent a lot of time with blue lips because his oxygen levels were not rising above 66% as he neared his time for surgery.
I asked his surgeon if we could have a prayer with him. He kindly agreed; and after the surgery, this amazing surgeon said, "I still don't understand exactly how his heart works, but it is fixed."
"Just hours after Jackson's surgery, with wires and tubes hanging out of his chest and every drug imaginable to keep him sedated, he rolled over on all fours and tried to crawl off the bed in the ICU!! His poor nurse, she practically dove across the room to catch him!
After the trauma of his surgery, he began to behave a little bit more reserved... a little different than other children. As I watched him play, I prayed harder than ever to know if there was another condition he was facing, and these are the words that I felt God speak to my heart. "There a lots of things unique about Jackson that others would want to label, but those pieces of him are uniquely put together so that he may do great things. Just as his heart has never been seen before, Jackson's unique type of personality has never been seen before either."
God wants me to become.