Just about 10 years ago I wrote a blog post (here) about Emma’s near-SIDS incident when she was just 5-1/2 weeks old. It was only by God’s infinite mercy and grace that was she in my arms sleeping when it happened.
The doctors in the PICU of St. Mary’s in Richmond, Virginia explained that if I had laid her down to sleep, rather than in my arms, we would have lost her.
After many tests and several days, we were sent home with Emma wearing a heart monitor. She wore it round the clock till she was just about a year old. Many, many times it would alarm and we would have to gently shake her as she would just forget to breathe. The heart monitor was with us wherever Emma went. I remember going to a wedding that Dw was officiating and holding tiny baby Emmy and having the heart monitor slung over my shoulder. It was heavy as lead, but it didn’t matter – it was, literally, a matter of life and death.
We were pastoring in the gorgeous countryside of Virginia at the time. It was rural and we loved it. Surrounded by rolling farmland – oh my – makes me heart sigh just thinking about it. We had built a home on 21 acres and it was absolutely delightful.
I grew up in Buffalo and my dream of being a country girl had come true – I loved it! I could hear the rooster next door and it was about as close to heaven as I’ve come! ha!
But as much as I longed for the country throughout my life, there was one little part that I was definitely not used to.
It could be a sunny day and suddenly the power would go out. And it might not come back on for hours, a couple days or even several days. We used to joke that Mabel was pedaling the wheel that generated the power and she must have decided to take a snooze, long break or a lengthy vacation. We were attempting to make the best of it. And we did okay without electricity during those times until Emma had the SIDS incident.
Not long after coming home from the PICU with Emma, the power went out. To be honest, I felt frantic! Suddenly we could no longer be lighthearted and just “make it work”….electricity was a necessity! Emmy’s monitor needed to have a functioning and fully charged battery 24 hours a day.
The rumor that time the power went out was that it was going to be out for several days! So we had to do something. I called our friends who lived about an hour and a half away in a little city (that never lost power) and asked if we could come stay with them until our power came back on. They graciously and eagerly said, “YES!” So we packed all the kids and everything we needed and off we went.
I have thought of that situation many times over the years. Always grateful for our hospitable friends who shared their home and their electricity with us. But that experience left me fully cognizant that there are so many people with medical equipment that doesn’t work without power.
Ruby’s feeding machine is a necessity and we depend on power to run it every single day. And when she’s having a seizure we cannot do without her oximeter or her oxygen.
And when I hear of tornadoes, hurricanes or flooding I have prayed for those who have machines they need to run,. It is a sobering reality when you have someone you love who depends on a machine to keep them alive.
Like many of the Gems.
Meet Jonah. His joy is palpable. And he depends on pureed food to be fed through his NgTube. I can’t imagine trying to puree food without electricity.
Meet Joey….who needs a suction machine to suction out his tracheostomy. Joey is deeply valued and loved (and yes, that’s one of my grands unprompted, unposed, loving on Joey).
As a mom with a precious child whose daily needs depend on electricity my heart was “all in” when Josh called to ask if I could advocate on the blog to help raise the funds for solar panels for Gem Village. And no better day to do it, then Earth Day, April 22nd, 2023.
Friends, please watch. I’m personally donating and I’m asking my friends to come alongside me to help the Gems have electricity at all times. Thank you guys in advance. Please watch the video. (Aren’t they the sweetest team? Okay, so I’m a bit biased but I love them both so very much.)
Below is the DONATE button. The drop-down menu has “Solar Panels”.