Lawrence - 83607, Idaho
Entered on October 14, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, hope, illness

The doctor said that chances were slim. Alan was born with a rare heart disease and we were told that he probably wasn’t going to make it. There were many complications after his birth. His heart was too underdeveloped and weak to support itself. His heart couldn’t pump his blood fast enough to his brain, and Alan had a stroke, causing him to go blind. Things were grim. We had all waited anxiously for nine months only to find out that he probably wouldn’t live. Despite the despairing circumstances, our family had hope that things would be okay. This was an anchor for us. It kept our family together, it strengthened us. All of us face different trials, but we can have a positive outlook and hope for the best. Having hope can help us as we believe that a positive outcome can come despite circumstances in our lives.

Alan continued to fight for his life. Within his first four months he had open heart surgery twice. But Alan slowly started to recover and the doctors decided he could come home. He came home with a big scar down the center of his chest, and an oxygen tank to help him breath. His heart was still very weak, his sight completely gone. He responded to the different sounds in the room, but he didn’t glance about curiously the way most babies did. His eyes moved slowly, without purpose. We were happy he was starting to recover, even though he was left blind. The doctors still weren’t sure how long Alan would continue to live; they had done all they could. We continued to hope for the best.

As the months went on Alan was taken to the hospital once a week for checkups. Tests proved that his heart was getting stronger. As time went on he no longer needed the support of the oxygen tank to help him breath. He slowly started to develop and learn the skills that he hadn’t had a chance to learn earlier in his life because of his setbacks. His muscles were developing and he was getting stronger, mentally and physically. This brought such great joy to our family to see the drastic changes and immense progress Alan was making.

One afternoon my mom was playing with Alan on the living room floor. She was holding a toy in front of his face, shaking it from side to side when she realized that Alan’s eyes were following the toy back and forth. She took him to an eye doctor where his eyes were examined. The doctor discovered that Alan’s sight had come back partially. He could see a little out of both eyes. With the help of an eye patch to strengthen the weaker eye, Alan’s sight was made significantly stronger.

Alan is older now, 17 years old still healthy. The first few years of his life were a struggle for all of us, but having hope was how we pulled through it. It was like an anchor helping us grip firm despite the difficult waves beating upon us. Our hope strengthened us and brought us closer together as a family. We all had one desire: that Alan would live and enjoy a happy life. This hope unified our family and helped us be strong despite our circumstances. Hope can strengthen all of us as we encounter different problems throughout our lives. We can come out on top.