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The Blood Debt.

In olden times, the life codes were much simpler then they are now. Though some things never change, there was however a stronger sense of what is right and a code one could fall back on in certain situations. Children grew up instilled with a little rule book in their hearts that helped them discern the proper action befitting the circumstance. Some of those rules have trickled down through the generations into our modern day, but most have been thrown out with all the other things deemed "old fashioned," and "unenlightened." Our modern society lives unhampered by those bothersome things like morality, chivalry, and respect. Some of those things are so archaic, I wouldn't even know how to define them to my kids. Maybe because most of those things are based out of a society where everything is centered on person to person interactions. In RL (real life) so to speak. Most of our present-day interactions are held through some kind of screen image or in even more abstract text. I've almost forgotten what it's like to have a conversation with someone where my fingers aren't doing all the work. Good grief! But most of all, we have lost our ability of patience, lost our sense of owing, and most importantly, lost our capability to rely on other people. All our advances in technology, and in basically every other area, is focused on making life easier for number one. We are encouraged to be completely self-reliant. If you can't take care of yourself, then no one can, is the message we try to teach our children to survive in this dog eat dog world. Don't owe anyone anything, don't get involved, don't commit until you are positive of your benefits, and make sure you have the latest gizmo that will make all that easier to do. So now, when something completely unpredictable happens and snatches all semblance of control and reason from our hands, we are totally lost. There is nothing in our modern world that can prepare and teach us about that kind of situation. When our own self reliance falls through, how do we learn to rely on others? And more importantly, how can we acknowledge and live with our own perceived failure to perform and take care of our own selves? And to compound it all, what if you are a parent with all the responsibilities inherent in that position, in which suddenly you can not provide the care that your child needs? If this was a video game, I would just go and get the extra skill points and levels to attain my goals. Too bad that doesn't work in the real world. Being indebted to someone is a thing of the past in this society of fast money and credit cards. What does it mean to be truly grateful to someone? To be in a position of such helplessness that you have no choice but to take the first hand that reaches out to you? When all your self guards fall, how can you submit all your pride and throw yourself off the cliff with only your trust and faith to catch you? Try it sometime, it's an eye opener. Back in the day, folks would say that you owe a blood debt. If my neighbor has saved my child's life, I owe him a debt of such magnitude, that not only can't it be paid off, but it sticks and shapes your relationship for the rest of your life. Of course some cultures would try to avoid this like the plague, because they knew the seriousness of such a debt; the lasting effects of being in a state past simple gratefulness, way past where a simple thank you can suffice, it is a place that is almost sacred. Can you imagine the debt we owe our Savior? No wonder we Christians are in this thing for life. It takes that long to wrap our minds around the mystery that is our God's love. So, the reason I dug up all these retired ideas is because on behalf of my son, Justin, me, and everyone connected to him owe the people who stepped in and held his life in their capable hands a blood debt. It might be in their job description, but it sure as heck wasn't in mine. They have saved his life over and again through their knowledge, skills, and willingness. And also through their compassion. Call me old fashioned and backwards, but I would like to pay homage to these people and acknowledge the fact that if this was the jungle, I'd be watching their backs against tiger attacks. And this is not only for the surgeons and the docs but for those unsung heroes of the early hours, the nurses that do just as much to heal and fix as their MD counterparts. You know who you are and you are my heroes! Thanks to you, Blake, Katie, Amanda, Sarah, Dan, Aimee, Sterling, Buffy, Lisa, Mike, and those who's names I forgot: you nurses rock. And we have enjoyed getting to know you and be witnesses to your expertise in caring for our son when we didn't have the know-how to. And last but not least, to the folks who not only have the knowledge, but the confidence to cut open babies heads and the compassion to do so gently and with love, those who have to go out on a limb and make tough calls, those who take chances and yet are able to let nature take its course, and to those who understand the miracle that Leo really is, you have our eternal gratitude and respect. Let's raise our hats to Doctors: Susan Durham, Mitchell Stotland, George Little, Kathy Shubkin, Scott Lannon, Diana Baker,  Richard Morse, and Simon Hillier.  For most kids it takes a village to raise a child. For Leo, it takes a village full of the best doctors in the country!

L's Neurosurgeon
Plastic Surgeon
Super PCP
Neursurg Sidekick

Best Pedi Resident



  1. Hip hip hooray!
    All those times we prayed for God to guide the hands of those who were working to heal Leo - now we know to whom those prayers were directed.

    P.S. Have you ever seen the movie "About a Boy"? I just watched it last night - portrays a man trying to live just the way you described - as an island, assisted in his efforts by technology.

  2. Leo's Great Grandmother (86 yo) has been praying for his doctors as well. When she saw these pictures, she said, "I knew it! They all have intelligent and noble faces because they don't have the luxury of making mistakes... What a demanding profession!" ;-)

  3. Amen!! Thank you, Anna. It is so important to speak these words of gratitude. Isn't it wonderful how God lets His creatures join with Him in HIs miracles.


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