Recently I finished a book given to me by Sara to read called “Angels in the ER”. It is a book of true stories from the ER by physician Dr. Robert Leslie, from his perspective when he was an emergency room doctor. One story that I would like to share is from the chapter, “The Still, Small Voice.”
Dr. Leslie learned a valuable lesson one day from the family dog, Scooter, who was having a difficult time giving birth while his small children and wife looked on. Earlier in the morning, the ER doctor had called the family vet, concerned about their dachshund’s slow progress. He had delivered many babies, though he wasn’t an OB, and he knew something was wrong. The vet had told him that was typical for the long-backed breed and to expect some stillborn pups out of the litter. When he asked her what he was supposed to do about that, she said, “nothing…don’t do anything. Just let nature take its course.”
That answer didn’t sit well with him because he wasn’t trained to just stand by, watch and do nothing. When a pup came out not breathing and still…dead, he acted. Watching the concerned expressions on his families’ and dog’s faces, he told the dog he would see what he could do. The dog allowed him to pick up the pup and just watched. He noticed a slick, wet membrane on the puppy’s head, preventing her from breathing and he peeled it off. Then he suctioned the pup’s lungs with his own mouth and continued to do mouth to mouth resuscitation and chest compression. He had no idea how to do the latter…he just did what “felt right”. The pup’s mouth opened, she breathed, she yipped, she was “going to be fine”. He had to do this on two more pups and they were all fine. The family was elated and both family and Scooter were thankful.
Two weeks later he was faced with a similar situation. This time it was a mother ready to deliver a baby in ER when there was no time for an OB. The delivery he performed seemed to be going normal until the nurse brought something to his attention. “What in the world is that,” she asked? “And then an image flashed before my eyes and I suddenly remembered. Scooter.” The baby was covered with the same membrane (called an intact membrane) as the pup that would prevent her from breathing. Dr. Leslie had read and heard about this rare medical condition but never dealt with it. With a calm in his voice he instructed the nurse what to do and he peeled the membrane from the baby girl’s head and suctioned the nose and mouth with a bulb syringe. The baby cried loudly and was fine!
The nurse asked him how he knew to do this since he had not seen this before. This is the answer and the end of the story: “Later when it was again quiet, I would tell her. And Sheila would understand. This was not some fortuitous coincidence. I believe Einstein was wrong when he said that “coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.” Our Creator doesn’t choose to remain unknown or in the background of our lives. He wants us to know Him, and to walk with Him, and to talk with Him. And if we will listen, He wants to talk with us. For that, this night, I was grateful.”