This I Believe

Liz - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on June 4, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

I used to believe that you either drowned or you did not drown. You lived or you died. On Jan 3, 2004, I learned there is a middle state and this is when my belief in power of faith began.

My husband and I were on vacation when we received a message that our 17 month old son, Conrad, had fallen into a swimming pool for an “unknown” length of time”. The child we came home to was almost unrecognizable. Tubes emerged from all parts of his body – a respirator, monitors, IVs – all supporting his life. His basic condition stabilized but his brain damage was severe. The doctors informed us the chances of him returning to normal were small and instructed us to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. The worst was not a pretty scenario. Typically children with a brain injury this severe progressively deteriorate. Their bodies deform and they are susceptible to serious illnesses such as pneumonia. But there was also the small chance he could recover. So faith kicked in.

Instead of dwelling on the prognosis, we began intensive training to learn how best to care for Conrad; how to feed him, clear his congestion, and stretch his muscles to maintain his range of motion. We researched and assembled a top-notch network of professionals to work on Conrad’s case. For 3 years my husband and I have dedicated our lives to coordinate the best and fullest treatment for Conrad; Days filled Hyperbaric Oxygen, physical therapy, acupuncture, reflexology, sensory integration, aqua therapy….. the list goes on. So many caregivers also express determination for Conrad’s recovery. And Conrad benefits from the love and support of family and friends who continue to make themselves available to help with his care and pray for his recovery.

Conrad is now almost five years old. While he has improved well beyond doctor’s expectations, he still cannot speak, stand, walk, or do almost any of the things he did lightheartedly 3 years ago. But my faith holds that Conrad will fully recover in body, mind and spirit. Some may consider my belief naïve or a failure to accept reality. I believe in the power of faith and faith implies perseverance. 3 years is a drop in the bucket of potential.

Faith is Belief, in the absence of knowledge

There is no guarantee that our efforts will restore Conrad but despite the odds, Conrad has made dramatic improvements. Today, he smiles and laughs readily and recognizes familiar people. He moves his arms and legs purposefully and is starting to hold his head up. Most of all he is a healthy, handsome boy with no physical deformities, requiring minimal medication. I believe in the power of the mind to recover with the right consistent and frequent therapy. No one knows where Conrad will end up if we keep pushing him. We owe it to him to help him reach his maximum potential. I believe in Conrad.