A colleague told a personal story that blew my mind. By the time the story was told, I had known that colleague for over 10 years but never knew of his adversity and his determination to make maximum impact on fellow humans.
On Allen Dew, this is the kind of story we seek to broadcast to the world.
Barnabas (my colleague) told of a story of how himself and his wife had lost 6 kids at birth. Each harrowing experience was as painful as the last one. He told of the agony his wife experienced from losing babies she carried for nine months.
As he explains the experience, I could imagine the strain his family experienced due to a situation they could not control. Even though their agony had turned to testimony, the memories could be really haunting.
Then the seventh came. Barnabas continued; “as I stood in the hospital, waiting for the news, I saw the doctor rush out with some nurses; they needed oxygen to keep the baby alive. Haaa!!! This time again; I exclaimed”. The sight was too much for me but I held my faith in God”. “My baby was moved to ICU within minutes. As the Doctor later explained, there was something blocking her lungs and if certain medical expertise and equipment were not available in the hospital that day, the baby would have died”.
“I followed them to ICU and stood by the glass. The ICU had an observatory glass where family members and friends could see everything going on. I witnessed as two doctors and some nurses made efforts to save my child. All I could do was to trust God. After about 30 mins, I could sense that the medical personnel were looking less tensed; it looked like the storm was over. This particular baby survived”.
“Oh!!! Allen; I have not told you an important part of my story. As I stood by the ICU glass, watching the daunting medical drama, I made a life’s commitment that should this baby survive, I will work really hard to ensure that she becomes a pediatric surgeon who will research the causes of this rare form of lungs blockage and seek out solutions”.
“And that’s what I did. I stayed true to my commitment. As my baby began to grow, she had all sorts of ambitions. At some point, she wanted to be an actress, later a lawyer then a politician, she opined that’s where the money is. All I did was silently nudge her in the medical line. We watched lots of medical documentaries and the great works doctors are doing to make humanity better; made her to visit and play at motherless babies’ home and interact with home workers.
Gradually, as the years turned into more years, I saw her interest in the medical profession grew, she even became known and recognized in school of her ambition to become a pediatrician. It came to her naturally. After reading Ben Carson’s book, “The big picture”, her determination to give it all it takes doubled”.
“The sacrifices have not been easy. My daughter did not like some relevant subjects when she was in high school. We would spend late nights together until the interest developed. I would take time to study the subject, understand it personally, then explain it to her without forcing it on her.
The strain of Night Studies we had together while taking her secondary school certificate exam at age 13 will not be forgotten. The main goal is that the world has a need, my family has felt the pain and we hope that in our life time, no other family will go through our kind of ordeal”.
As I left speaking with Barnabas, his story made me do some soul searching. “That’s one man’s story” I thought. Allen, what’s yours? Someday, that young lady will make a huge medical discovery; very few people will ever know the adversity, the sacrifices and the determination of a family to ensure that no other family gets to weep like they did.
Even as I write the story, the weight of their sacrifice and their love for humanity feel heavy on my heart. The young lady is currently studying Medicine in a university somewhere in Europe, I hope humanity learns from their story.