Friday, May 05, 2006

I have written before about the medical staff at St Vincent's Hospital. The interaction we had with them was very encouraging and positive through most of our stay. The only real times that things became discouraging were toward the end, when things began to look as though he would not make it.

The issue for the nurses became how to tell us honestly that it did not look good. We had spent 6 weeks side by side with them. We had laughed, and cried together and drawn close to some of them. You cannot walk a journey like that and not be emotionally attached. The nursing staff blessed us in a huge way.

I remember when a couple of our key nurses looked me in the face and said, "He has done so well, but it just does not look good, I don't think he is going to make it."

Can you imagine having to say those words to anyone? I cannot. They did it with such grace, and such love that I knew they were aware of something I did not believe was ever going to happen.

Somehow, when the doctors had told us this, it was easy to be angry with them. It was easy to say they just don't know, they are only reading the science of this whole thing, they don't know what God can do. Obviously, that was not always true, but for some reason, it was just easier to be mad at the doctors.

The nurses spent themselves hour after hour, day after day, week after week. They had struggles between them on who got to take care of BJ. We never saw anything unruly, but we knew they vied for his room. I must say that is very hard for me to understand. He was so ill, you would think they would want to be far away, in a room where the emotional toll was a little easier.

That is why I have so much love and respect for them. Each and every one of them. They are called to this role, and they embrace it as one who knew they just might make a difference. And they did.

They may not think so, but they changed my life. The level of compassion extended to us through them was so unbelievable. One or two of them had left instructions that if he passed, they were to be called immediately. I imagine it was more like, "if it looks like he is going, call me right away."

In the wee hours of Monday morning, September 26 at just before 3am, he went home... and after some private time as a family, the room filled with nurses who wept just as hard as we did. Some who were working, and some who came because of his passing. They loved us through the most traumatic moments of our lives. I shall never forget them for doing so.

They emptied the room, in what seemed like 2 seconds, of all the cumbersome paraphanalia that kept us from being able to love on him for the previous 6 weeks. They offered to allow us up onto his bed to lay beside him and love him one last time. Had they not worked as hard as they did for the previous weeks, they still would have earned my respect in those closing moments.

I remember each face that moved forward to embrace us, and offer their apologies for not being able to do more. Ladies, you did all you could. There was nothing left to do, but love us through... and you did. I love you for it. Let me say YOU ARE MY HEROES!!!

Deanna, Lauren and Whitney, when you eat dinner with them tonight, let them know how much I love them, and miss them.



At 9:29 AM, Blogger natenamy said...

Just wanted to say that we miss you and that we love you lots! I know how special all of the nurses at St. V's are to all of you, and I am so thankful to our loving Father for putting them near you when you needed them most. He's pretty cool that way, isn't He?
We're praying for you!
Hugs and kisses,
Amy (and Nate too)

At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Through tears in reading your post today, I could get a sense of the emotions, the pain, the sufferings you all felt that night/morning and of course often still. Nurses are a special breed, especially good ones, in helping a family through difficult times and showing love and tenderness to those suffering. They extended this love to BJ and then to you all when you needed it.

God, please bless of those that touched the Higgins family in their time of need in a special way today and may their time together tonight be special. Be with Brent as he struggles with not being able to be a part of it. Amen.

At 1:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless you...
Greenfield, Indiana

At 2:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Brent & family,

I remember that time well - I had asked Walker to update me all weekend on anything that might have changed about BJ. I was at a conference and we prayed for him! I was on my way to work that Monday morning when I got Walker's call - I had to pull over to the side of the road to share a moment with the Lord and to lift you all up! I texted about 50 of my friends to let them know how the Lord had answered our prayers and then when I got to work, I emailed my church to let them know the lastest! I was in AWE of what I read on this site when I got to work - it was a TOUGH day for us all!

Ohhhhhh how you all have impacted my life - I want you to know that YOU changed the lives of that nursing staff - it's not to be questioned :) I love you and continue to keep you in my prayers! Thank you for your FAITHFUL service to the Lord!

In Jesus name,

Laurel Lynn <><
San Diego, CA

At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the Precious Higgins Family,
I know I mention every time I post how much I love ALL of you, even though I have never met any of you. You are one of the most amazing families I have ever heard of. Our Savior did and continues to do miraculous things through your family. My walk has forever been changed by the things our Lord taught me through your ordeal. I would love to share all of it with you, but my post would be about 50,000 words long! :)
Anyway, once again I want to say thank you to all of you for allowing this time in your lives to be used for His Glory! Thank you for helping the love of Jesus reach me in a way it never had before! I wish you all lived next door.... I can't imagine more amazing people to have as an example to my children of what it means to die to self! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Much love and many hugs from,

Lori Gellerson
Everett, Washington

At 10:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We missed you at dinner tonight!! It was so, so good to see Deanna, Lauren and Whitney. As expected, there was much laughter and a few tears. I feel so honored to have cared for BJ and your entire family. You are an amazing family who gives meaning to "loving the Lord with all of your heart, soul and mind". You are an inspiration to all of us, and WE will never forget you. No matter to what ends of the earth that God will send will always be part of many PICU nurses hearts!! I know that God has amazing plans in store for the Higgins family, and I am excited to see what they are. I know for certain that BJ's passion of changing the world for Christ will continue on through those on this earth who loved him most!

At 9:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't seen Lattany post about her nephew Corbin (almost 2 years old) for a while. But for those of you who aren't directly following his care, he is again at a critical junction and is fighting infection on many fronts. He and his family could really use your prayers. He has been critically ill for 3 weeks now and has experienced many instances of miraculous healing... including making it off ECMO this week. But his little body has to be so tired at this point. Please pray that his body would be able to rest and fight these infections and restabilize. Also, his dad has to return from Michigan where he his hospitalized to home several hours and states away to go back to work... so please pray for his peace and for Corbin's Mom, Terri, who will remain in Michigan by herself.

At 11:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for all the kind words about nurses. It is a calling, not a job . . . that's the difference.

At 6:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the Higgins family,
i just bought my copy of Mercy Me"s new cd and read about BJ What an absolutely wonderful testimony your son had. How amazing for a 15 year old to go to the mission field. I shed many tears as I read through some of this blog and I send my deepest condolences with your loss. I have an 18 year old son and can't imagine losing him even though he sometimes just drives me crazy. May God be with you always

At 7:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know why, but this moves me to tears more than any other post that has ever been made here.
Keep on keeping on, you are all a true inspiration.

At 8:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just sent an e-mail to Deanna as I missed going to dinner. I think of you and your family often and will never forget BJ and the privelege I had in being able to care for him. I want you to know that one of the most kind and selfless acts of service I have ever experienced occurred when you, Deanna, Whitney and Lauren walked through the doors of my own hospital room. I have never felt such Christ-like compassion as when we joined hands and you prayed for me. Your hearts were all newly grieving the loss of BJ, yet you reached out and I felt your love as well as an overwhelming peace that only God can give. How do I say thank you for your living example of what the Savior would do? I saw the hand of God as me, the caregiver, became the cared-for.

I know that we will all see BJ again because I know that God's promises are sure. I look forward to talking "with" him instead of just "to" him. I will probably have to razz him a bit about his manly facial hair! I'll also thank him for introducing me to some really great Christian music (Mercy Me)as well as some hmmmm...really loud bands( that shall remain nameless.

The Higgins family will never be forgotten by this nurse!


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