Though she be but little, she is fierce!–William Shakespeare
Earlier this month, Texas Right to Life relayed the story of baby Abigail Jones. Abigail was born with Down syndrome and a tumor doctors thought would claim her young Life. The Joneses started a blog to share their journey with Abigail, who was believed to be dying. In mid-September, Abigail’s mother, Erika, penned the following poignant words on the blog:
[…]Abigail has no nursery, no cute, themed room especially designed for her. In fact, I have no idea where she’ll sleep when she has outgrown the bassinet. We haven’t planned that far ahead. In an effort to guard my heart, I’ve made every attempt to prepare for Abigail’s impending death.
But what if she lives?
The family had accepted Abigail’s dark prognosis and was settling into a phase of acceptance. The potentiality that Abigail would live was weak, but Erika saw the glimmer of hope amidst the family’s sadness.
And then something extraordinary happened. The family’s shred of hope exploded into a joyous reality. Abigail was taken to Boston to see a neurosurgeon the family hoped would have a different opinion of the tumor in her head – the tumor that her team of doctors in Florida believed was malignant and deadly. And the neurosurgeon in Boston did have a different opinion.
“The doctors were wrong. Way wrong! And I’m so, so glad! I cannot wait to march this girl into their offices and say 'Look at her!'”
Of Abigail’s doctors in Florida, Erika said: “The doctors prepared us for every scenario, except life. But hope is always an option!” In fact, the neurosurgeon in Boston not only had a different opinion; he also removed Abigail’s tumor and sent her home to live a healthy, happy life with her family.
Erika has struggled with the emotions of having thought her baby would die, then finding out she would live. She grapples with guilt over having so readily accepted the terminal diagnosis before taking steps to seek a different opinion, and feels heavy-hearted on behalf of the parents who are walking the path of real terminal diagnoses for their children.
Erika feels compelled to go beyond rejoicing in the fact that her daughter is healthy; she knows she must take action in the face of the blessing. “In a world where sorrow steals hope and joy,” says Erika, “we know we have received a precious, irreplaceable gift. We are stewards and witnesses of a miracle. Now what are we going to do with that?”
Erika believes that “something major is going to come from this… I must hear God’s plan for Abigail and mother her to foster the greatness that is inside.” Abigail is only two months old and has already defied death. We cannot wait to see what mighty things little Abby has in store for the world.