God’s Got This: Seth’s Story

Christmas 2006 came and went. Tim and I were so excited to be expecting our first child. My water broke while I was shopping with my mom at Costco on December 28th.

Overwhelming Love

We welcomed the most beautiful baby boy into the world right on schedule, December 29th at 11:04 am. Everything was right in the world. The love Tim and I had for this human was so overwhelming. I stayed up all night, counted his fingers & toes, watched his facial expressions. He was perfect, with every moment I fell more and more in love with this creation from God.
 

Hour 22

We named him Seth, and when our pediatrician pulled out his stethoscope to listen to his heart, life as we knew it, began to crumble.
 

He was rushed to the NICU; he had tubes and wires going in and coming out of everywhere. A team of doctors rolled up chairs for us and began to explain what was wrong with Seth’s heart. I heard their “noise” but my every fiber of my being was focused on our perfect baby. 

Life seemed to stop.  The weight of heartache as we walked out from the NICU without our baby dropped me to my knees in the elevator and I began to cry out. 

 

Disbelief

We left the hospital alone, our baby on his way up to A.I. hospital, and we were on our way home to pack.  We had no idea what to expect. 
 
For me, life became a blur. On day 4, baby Seth underwent open heart surgery to “fix” his heart. After a week and no recovery, they went in again to modify the procedure. I remember feeling extreme heartache, extreme uncertainty. The kind of pain that people say, “you could die of a broken heart.” I was mad at God. I spent a lot of time on the bathroom floor of our hospital room, yelling and crying in despair. In between my outbursts with God, I would walk down to the Intensive Care Unit and sit at the bedside of the most precious creation. 

 

Waiting out the Heartache

We weren’t supposed to talk to Seth or even touch him. His heart was so fragile that any stimulation could cause his heart rate to rise to unsafe levels. I sat there, hour after hour weeping and praying. Occasionally I would gently lay my lips on his forehead or fingers on his arms, just so he knew I was there…and wasn’t going anywhere.

 

Four weeks had gone by, we were given a lot of information, none that seemed to matter. Seth wasn’t recovering. The doctors decided to “go in” again. And when things seemed like they couldn’t get worse, they did. 

 

Broken Hearted

Seth had a heart attack.  His coronary arteries were damaged. The head Cardiologist walked into our room and spoke the words that will never leave me, “in order for your son to have a chance to survive, he needs to have a heart transplant.” The news shattered my world even more. I could not wrap my head around,

 

‘in order for my son to live, someone else must die.’

 

On February 2nd, after ALOT of prayers, speaking with family and our pastor, we listed our son on the transplant list. He was listed as 1A, most critical. 

 

Waiting on a Heart

The pain of living in a hospital, watching our perfect baby being poked, prodded, opened up, fighting for his life – and now the heavy weight of guilt, was so unbelievably overwhelming. 

A lot of crying, a lot of anger and uncertainty, , a lot of pain, and now a lot of guilt. Some days, I prayed God would take Seth so he didn’t have to go through all that we were making him go through. Some days, I prayed He would take me. 

 

The Cry of my Heart

One day in February, I fell on our hospital bed and just…wept.
I was tired.
I was broken. 
I cried out to God….except this time was different.

 

There was no voice from Heaven, but I heard HIM.
There were no robed arms around me, but I felt HIM.
Like a blanket draped over me, a peace covered me. All the pain I felt in the moment before was lifted. And I heard,
 
“I got this. I GOT THIS. I GOT THIS!!!!!”
 
I wish I could say that I felt 100% better.  I didn’t. But what I did feel was an overwhelming sense of PEACE, that NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENED, NO MATTER WHAT THE OUTCOME, GOD HAD THIS!!!!
I felt it in my core.
I KNEW IT.  
 

The Cost of a New Heart

On March 29th at 9pm, the phone rang.  “We have a heart available.  We are headed down to view it and if it as good as it sounds, we are doing this tonight.  We are preparing Seth for you to hold him. You can go down to the NICU, we will notify you as soon as possible.”  

 

They took Seth away from us at 4am.When we saw him next he had even more tubes than before, but he was warm and pink – he was ALIVE.   

 

Four years after his transplant, we met our donor family. Seven years later, Seth asked Jesus into his heart.

This past month, we celebrated his 13th heart-anniversary. 

Kristy and Wendell donated their son’s heart so another child could have LIFE. 
But God donated HIS SON, so that we could ALL HAVE LIFE! 
 
There is so much to Seth’s story, I could go on and on, but I’ll stop here.  Those days were hard, the hardest time in my life, but the blessings are so real.

 

Hope In Spite of Uncertainty

We are all in a season of uncertainty today.  You may not be waiting on the Lord for a new heart or waiting for Him to fix the one He gave you, but GOD…

 

Maybe everything in your life was good prior to COVID19. Maybe your job was amazing, and your coworkers were the best. Or maybe things weren’t amazing, and this made it unbearable. Maybe this pandemic made you lose your job. Maybe you worry about getting sick or worry about friends or family. Maybe you worry that you can’t get any toilet paper (or in my case, chicken.)  

 

Hope in the Waiting

This pandemic is a completely different time than when we were quarantined to the cardiac NICU….but it’s the same.  The fear…the uncertainty of what life will look like after this. The fear of how long this could possibly go on.  During our wait on the transplant list, we were told it could be a day, a month, a year. We had no idea when a heart would become available.  We were also told that Seth didn’t have much time. And that he probably wouldn’t make it 6 months.  

 

But GOD…

God didn’t give us a spirit of fear. 
I don’t want to fear. I don’t want to worry how we are going to pay the bills. I don’t want to worry about getting sick. Will we be hospitalized alone?  The truth is, there is a lot unknown. We are living in an unknown time-just as we were 13 years ago with Seth.  
 
To this day, remembering and telling Seth’s story brings up a lot of raw emotion. But Seth said something to me as I was writing about this that stood out. He said,
 
“Mom, why are you crying? You know the ending of the story.”

 

Oh boy, YES I DO KNOW THE END OF THE STORY.  We are living his story.  Now we are living the pandemic story.  And I know the ending to both stories.  But GOD… 

God has got this.  I am SO thankful I have hope in this uncertain time.
 
-Lesley Correll, Seth’s mom
 

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