Ever wondered what it’s like to hold a tender life in your hands and to know that despite all your efforts he is slowly dying and only has a 15% of survival rate?
That’s exactly how Maureen Azize felt when Francis respired for the first time in this world and to her fright- the odds were against her. The baby was born 4 months earlier and faced major health issues. The doctors had not more than 15 percent hopes for his survival but they didn’t give up trying while Maureen and Jeffery kept on praying for a little ray of sunshine or a little drop of rain. “Miracle” is what they were looking for. Days passed by and they had to make a decision. “To do nothing or to do everything” the doctors reported.
Without a doubt they knew what they wanted “Francis William.” The boy had perforated bowels and the parents were to decide a severe surgery or less- invasive stent. They chose wisely and were ready from the very core of their hearts to do whatever it takes to get their son a life full of light and thus they decided to go for it. Maureen had already suffered a miscarriage because of her bicornuate uterus but this time she made it possible through medication and treatment. Francis was dying and so were the parents wearing out as the baby was not quite responsive but then a nurse form the hospital came up with an idea to keep their hopes alive. She presented them with colored markers and asked them to allure Francis with captivating colors and drawings. Francis’s aunt filled the wall with the appearances of the characters from ‘Finding Nemo’.
“It kindled everyone there and gave us a reason to renew our efforts” said Maureen.
As the family was struggling here, Maureen’s brother Charles sent her a video from the 2012 Ted talk conference. At first Maureen was not interested to give it a look but Charles kept on insisting and Maureen unwillingly watched it realizing that Oscar winning director Andrew Stanton was the speaker.
Azize quoted “At first I was like it means a lot that you care so much but I on the contrary don’t feel like watching a TED talk”
What surprised the parents most were the words stated by Stanton.
“I was quite a sick newly born and the doctors had very little hope for me to survive but now as I see back I feel lucky that whatever I wound up being good at, I would endeavor to be deserving of that second opportunity I was given”
After they came across his speech, the parents eased out a little and hoped that their efforts would soon turn out to be meaningful. A month later, Charles met Stanton in a flight to Oakland and showed him a few pictures of Francis “He couldn’t have been nicer”, said Charles. Oscar winning director said after seeing the photos “Us Preemies need to stick together” Before leaving, he handed over a signed note with his signature line for Francis saying “To Francis William, Just keep swimming”
Everyone in the hospital was profoundly moved with these three magic words and carried huge gratitude for Stanton.
After endless prayers and efforts of 118 days Francis was allowed to leave the NICU and travel his way back to his much awaited home for the very first time. They finally made it!
Francis is now a year old and healthy. This is one of the reasons why I strongly believe that life is pretty rebounding so screw the odds-stand up-face it and fight! Because, you never know what’s waiting for you ahead.