Where it All Began
Updated: Jan 22, 2021
October 7, 1998 began as a beautiful and exciting Autumn day, as Bill and I called the midwife and let her know I had begun contractions. This was our third child, one we chose to have in the comfort and ease of home. As the contractions increased, the midwife became concerned and made quick arrangements to transport us to the local hospital, where an examination lead me straight to the emergency room for a C-section. Through the confusion and concern, I clearly heard the doctor exclaim, "Looks like we have a downs baby here!"
While the nurses rushed to care for our little Andy, Bill and I were left stunned and frightened and appalled, yet we turned to the only source of strength and hope we know. We joined hands in desperate prayer for Andy's health and life, for courage and wisdom in the days ahead, for faith to believe Jesus still heals. Many friends and our entire church began to pray.
The initial diagnosis was awful - heart disease, respiratory distress, kidney disease and downs syndrome. He was life-flighted to Cook Children's Hospital in Ft. Worth and placed in the NICU. We spent hours and hours over the next week, holding him, praying over him as others came to pray with us. Heart disease disappeared, kidney disease disappeared - there were clear tests showing the disease was there, and then it was gone! Every day, Andy in his little NICU cradle would move up in rows, meaning he was actually improving. At the end of that week - he was allowed to come home!
For years after, as we would drive past Cook Children's Hospital and see the blue neon lights illuminated on the roof, Andy would point to it and say, "One day, I'm going back there." The Joy rocker in the picture is from the day Andy returned to Cook's to fulfill what he said, and to thank them
for the wonderful care he was given there. He named it the Joy Chair because he wanted to encourage children, parents and caregivers that God does still heal, that "the joy of the Lord is your strength." The chair sits just outside the chapel - the perfect place to meet with God.
The story of Andy's healing continues even today - and all of his chairs, canvas paintings and other works are designed to share with others the beautiful goodness and faithfulness of the Lord.