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  • Writer's pictureKatie Russell

Into the Unknown

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Over the last almost four years, our family's "normal" has evolved in many ways. We have spent many sleepless nights trying to make sense of everything we have had to endure since Noah passed away. For three years, we desperately fought for Noah, only to find ourselves at square one time and time again. We had to learn to accept the harsh reality that we would never find justice for Noah's death. The words, "we can't hold [doctors] accountable for specialties they are not trained in," have consumed our lives and everytime those words were repeated, we found ourselves flat on our backs, struggling to find a way to pick up the pieces all over again. Our son was not a lost cause. He was a child who deserved to have someone on his side fighting to find the cause for his debilitating symptoms. I have struggled to find the words to say because for a period of time, this was a subject that we just couldn't talk about.

I have said many times, "There has got to be some good that can come from this." In the hospital we prayed for Noah's "miracle" healing. Surely God would use it as a witness to not only the many doctors and nurses that cared for him, but also for the millions of our followers that prayed right along side us; but it didn't happen.

Again we found ourselves desperately praying that God would help us find an attorney that would fight for us so that we could have the validation that we needed to help put protocols in our local hospitals for pediatric stroke. But each and every one of those doors closed and again we found ourselves broken and pleading with God to help our son's death to not be in vain.

Once again, we stand here desperately seeking God's guidance in finding our purpose. Surely he must still have a plan for us. Perhaps our son had to die so that other kids could have a chance to live. With each step forward, our focus has become clearer and we hope that soon we will know exactly how God is going to use our story for His glory.

As a family, we are committed to educating our community in hopes that our story will fall on the right ears, and with God's help, Noah's life can make a huge impact on changing the perceptions of pediatric stroke. I will say it again; EVERY CHILD DESERVES A FIGHTING CHANCE. We understand that just because a pediatric stroke is diagnosed, does not mean that the child will survive. However, those children deserve medical teams that are not afraid to take that extra step and THINK STROKE so that they can say, "we followed protocols and did everything we could." I do not feel that is too much to ask for, do you?

I dream of the day when every hospital will have protocols in place for pediatric stroke. I know many doctors who are fighting right along side me to make this happen. I dream of a day when pediatric stroke is no longer one of the top ten reasons why kids die. If Noah's story can help make this happen, then I will shout it from the roof tops because I know that God can still make something good come out of this and I am not afraid to take a stand for the sake of your children. Who will stand with me?

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