The morning of September 6, 2017, Aaron and I took Owen to the surgeon’s office for his post-op appointment. We had a feeling it would be a pretty straightforward appointment since everything had gone so smoothly with his recovery. Owen came home from the hospital two days after surgery, and the following day he was off all pain medication.
Toward the end of our appointment, Dr. DeCou said, “Well, I don’t really see the need for any follow-up x-rays.” This comment caught us both by surprise. We were expecting Owen would need another year or two of follow up.
“So you mean we just raise him like a normal kid?” I asked.
In the half second while I waited for a response, memories began flashing through my mind: The initial phone call when I heard something was seriously wrong. The frequent ultrasounds checking for signs of heart failure. The painful and emotionally draining CT scan when Owen was five months old.
And now we could pretend like it never happened.
It did happen, of course, and it changed us. We walked out of the surgeon’s office that day carrying our sixth child, took him home to his four big sisters and one big brother, and knew we had crossed the finish line.
As the days go by, we raise our “normal kid,” though in reality Owen is anything but ordinary. Just like his siblings, he finds ways to amaze us every day. One thing we enjoy most about him is the look of delight that’s almost always on his face. He’s curious about the world, and as he watches and interacts with new things, his smile is completely captivating.
Our “young warrior” is healthy and strong. His left lung has one lobe instead of two, but it surely isn’t slowing him down. While his lung won’t grow new bronchioles, it will continue to expand and fill the space where the diseased lower lobe once was. And while we may never see an x-ray of the expanded lung, our sense is that God’s going to use Owen’s lungs to do great things.
“For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” —Romans 11:36