Friday, February 27, 2015

Two Lives Saved

When she asked if abortion would make the pain go away, the doctor said no. She decided her daughter had a right to live.  Twelve years old, that's bravery.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Vatican Shenanigans

Watching this story.

The people who crafted the Five Cardinals Book™ wanted to make sure that Synod members had copies, at least in English or Italian, as the Synod was starting up.  Therefore, they sent copies to every member of the Synod (quite a few) through the Italian post to each member’s personal mailbox near the Synod Hall which was set up individually by the Vatican Post.  Remember, Vatican Post is the postal service of a sovereign nation that has laws.  The Book was sent in individually addressed and franked envelopes.  They weren’t just envelopes with someone’s name on them shoved into the slots by whomever.  They were properly sent postal items.
 When the organizers of the Synod realized what had been sent to the members of the Synod, someone removed all the envelopes from the members’ mail boxes!

It's almost too unbelievable to be true. And if it weren't on Father Zuhldorf's site, I would dismiss it. But this is a guy that I trust. So I am waiting to see what comes next.

No one mentions D'Souza

Recent discussions on Fox News have often focused on President Obama's "love of America". A firestorm began with Rudy Giuliani's statement that President Obama does not love America, the way that he or the average American does. Few have defended Giuliani, and the liberal media have torn Giuliani apart for comments that have their basis in facts, facts that that same media did not vet when Obama became the presidential candidate in 2007.

There are plenty of articles written about Giuliani's comments, over 9000 in fact! while other items that should really be in the news have gotten far less attention. Simply google his name to read some or watch some videos on this topic.

What bothers me however is the fact that I haven't heard one mention of Dinesh D'Souza and his book The Roots of Obama's Rage which came out in 2010. In that book, D'Souza traced Obama's background from his birth parents to his growing up in Indonesia, to his being shipped to Hawaii so that his maternal grandparents could raise him (while his mother continued her child-free life-style in Indonesia). Obama was introduced at an early age to Frank Marshall Davis, known for being a radical Communist and Obama spent a lot of his college age years in the company of Bill Ayers and his wife Bernadette Dohrn, both of whom were charged and convicted of terrorist acts against the US.

Dinesh D'Souza went on to write another book about Obama, 2016: Obama's America, which was also made into a film in 2012. It was just around that time that charges were laid against D'Souza that he had given money illegally to a political candidate running for the Senate.
In January 2014, D'Souza was indicted on charges of making illegal political contributions to a 2012 United States Senate campaign.[10] On May 20, 2014, D'Souza pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to a charge of using "straw donors" to make illegal political campaign donations. On September 23, D'Souza was sentenced to eight months in a community confinement center, five years parole, and a $30,000 fine.[11][12]
D'Souza is still serving his eight month's sentence and he has admitted publicly that he was wrong to do what he did, although there seems to be some question about whether he actually knew it was wrong to give this running-for-Senator person money. No one seems to question the huge amounts of money given by people like Tom Steyer, environmentalist and hedge-fund manager, to the Democratic Party. No question of anything illegal about that transaction in the millions of dollars, while D'Souza's donation was only in the tens of thousands.

The only person who interviews D'Souza is Megyn Kelly. He was on her show a couple of months ago, but I would have thought that someone would want to talk to him again. Given that Giuliani has uncovered once again the facts that D'Souza released in his first book, shouldn't someone be giving him some airtime? 

It is time to vindicate D'Souza. He is a brave man who dares to say some unpleasant things about someone of whom the vast majority of people, including non-Americans, have been enamored.

It mystifies me that people prefer to turn a blind eye to unpleasant truths. They would rather carry on with things as they are, even if the current political course is headed for disaster. Being a liberal must mean believing that it really is possible to create a utopia here on earth. And when someone like Obama, who is the most liberal president in American history, leads the country, the majority are willing to be led like sheep to the slaughter.

I prefer to be in the ranks of D'Souza and Giuliani who really do love their country, even though I am not an American. But I do know that how America leads, that is how the world will go. And that is why it is so terribly important to ensure the next president does have the interests of democratic America at heart.

Giuliani is correct; Obama does not love America, not the America that he was elected to lead. He might love another America, the one he intended to build when he stated that he was going to transform the United States. Just what kind of over-inflated ego would think something like that?
Surely the person who is chosen to lead should have a more realistic sense of self. Please God the next president will be someone willing to learn, rather than someone who thinks he knows what is right for everyone.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Religious Freedom not on the gay agenda

Christian florist is willing to risk losing her business and her home for her principles. Even though the customer was a friend of hers, he went ahead and sued her for not providing the flowers for his same-sex wedding ceremony.

This woman is very brave, she is staying true to her beliefs rather than protect her assets. I don't think I would have her guts. Bravo, Baronelle. As she said:

It's not about the money, it's about freedom. It's about my eight kids, and our twenty-three grandchildren, and the future and now. There's not a price on freedom, you can't buy my freedom. It's me now, but tomorrow it's going to be you, you gotta wake up.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Feminism turned on itself

I have always been a fan of Mary Eberstadt's writings.

Her article yesterday in the National Review Online is worth the read.

Rather than opine on Fifty Shades of Grey, Eberstadt writes about the phenomena of women trash talking about themselves and taking on what was once considered the territory of the frat house or bar room bad-mouths.

Of course this approach takes for granted the sexual revolution’s first commandment, which is that any such act ever committed by any woman is by definition beyond reproach. That said, one can otherwise sympathize with the feminists’ intent here. Spurred in part by heartbreaking cases of teenage girls who suffered catcalling on social media and committed suicide, the sisters mean good. Trouble is, their initiative suffers mortally from the “Don’t think of an elephant” paradox. The more the word “slut” gets hurled around, the harder it is not to think about its meaning, and the more likely it is to stick somewhere unwanted.
Even so, something deeper is at work here than ideological tussling over a word that no halfway-civilized person would use anyway. The promiscuous slinging of “slut” is only the beginning of the obscenity- and profanity-saturated woman-talk these days, from otherwise obscurantist academic feminism on down to popular magazines and blogs.

Yet listening in on some of the conversation today suggests an explanation other than simple venality. Something else is up out there making female trash talk all the rage — something unexpected, poignant, and, at the same time, awful to behold. It’s the language of bondage and captivity, told by prisoners of the sexual revolution.
On the ubiquitous  pornographic nature of modern female vocalists, something that has been puzzling me. I really don`t understand why Beyoncé has to produce videos of herself in these poses; after all, it`s not as if she needs the money or needs to sell an album.
And on it goes. Many of today’s so-called feminist singers can’t warble without throwing in a pole dance or an homage to leather. Avril Lavigne, in addition to providing some of the soundtrack of Fifty Shades, has made a sexualized song and video about little-girl icon Hello Kitty. Kesha, Britney Spears, the defunct Pussycat Dolls, not to mention the queen cougar of them all, Madonna: The trick isn’t finding a female vocal artist whose work is enthusiastically pornographic; it’s locating any whose isn’t.

It’s a predator’s market out there. The fact that there’s no cottage industry related to “stud-shaming,” or even such a word, says it all. Many women are now exactly what feminists say they are: victims — only not in the way that feminism understands. They are captives behind enemy lines, but the enemy is not patriarchy or gender-norming. It’s the sexual revolution itself. And like other people held hostage for too long by a hostile force, these women are suffering from a problem that has had a name for some time. It’s Stockholm syndrome.
Love that last line, it`s a clincher.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Jewish Generosity

The students were generous, but really check out the facts on this hospital. Treating one million patients annually regardless of race, religion, or national origin, even treating those who aim to eliminate the state of Israel.

Forty students from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance took a classical approach to the flashmob as they flashwaltzed Tchaikovsky's Waltz of the Flowers at the new Sarah Wetsman Davidson Hospital Tower in Jerusalem. Doctors, patients and passers-by joined in the fun.

The surprise concert was part of Good Deeds Day, an annual event that originated in Israel in 2007 and now takes place in over 50 countries worldwide. On this day volunteers reach out to the less fortunate and the vulnerable.

The Academy students enjoyed the day so much that they have decided to schedule regular concerts at the hospital. Hadassah Medical Organization treats over one million patients annually, without regard to race, religion or national origin.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

What's wrong with the pill - from a man

Refreshing especially since it is coming from a man and a young one at that. Some snippets, the entire post is worth reading.
Feminists are on a constant quest to find double standards, yet they miss the most obvious ones. Women assume the enormous risk and consequence of birth control, and men just get free sex out of the deal.
 ... in our culture, we often stumble upon the right conclusions, and then point them in precisely the wrong directions. In this case, we’re right to fret about consuming “chemicals” and synthetic hormones, but we ought to be far less worried about the chemicals that make our beef taste delicious, and far more worried about the chemicals that fundamentally alter a woman’s physiology and screw around with her reproductive system. It seems rather silly to get worked up over genetically modified food when we are so eager to chemically modify ourselves.
 ... is there any other drug where the risks include blood clots and cancer (more on that in a minute) and the primary benefit is to stymie a natural, normal, and healthy bodily function? It carries risks similar to other medications, but unlike those other medications, it wasn’t primarily designed to treat a dysfunction. It was designed instead to cause dysfunction. The pill tricks a woman’s pituitary gland into essentially “thinking” she’s pregnant all the time. 
 If this happened on its own, without the pill and without actually being pregnant, a woman would go to the doctor and be diagnosed with some kind of disease or disorder. It seems odd, then, that she might also go to the doctor and be prescribed medication to cause the thing that would be considered an illness if it happened without the medicine.
This is one, though not the only, reason why the rates of birth control usage and divorce track almost identically. As the pill gained prevalence, so did divorce. That doesn’t necessarily prove anything, and you certainly can’t blame a pill for your decision to get divorced, but it’s a correlation that no honest person can ignore.
Here’s another interesting correlation: among couples who use natural family planning, the divorce rate is less than 3 percent. Again, does that prove something? No, not on its own, but it gives us something to think about.
 ... if scientists ever develop a birth control pill for men that renders them impotent, potentially causes cancer, requires them to take a dose every day, and makes their testicles shrivel, I can guarantee that drug would not be among Rite Aid’s best sellers.
 Read it all, well done Matt.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Sun News gone ....

Shock .... tonight at 8 pm, I turned the channel to 663 on Eastlink here on the east coast of Canada and found that Sun News was gone "at the discretion of the programmer".

A call to Eastlink got someone who told me she saw it on Facebook this morning, that Sun News was shut down at 5 am today.

A search on Facebook for Michael Coren leads to a link to an article in the National Post.
The struggling channel’s future had been uncertain for some weeks as it negotiated a possible acquisition by ZoomerMedia. Thursday night, however, reports began emerging from Sun News’s Toronto headquarters that the channel had only hours to live.....
In the years since (2011), Sun News has struggled to retain viewers, and in 2013 its application to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission for mandatory carriage was denied.
 Since 2008, Fox’s ace in the hole has been Barack Obama. No matter how thin the news may be on a given day, Fox anchors always can wile away the hours reminding viewers of how awful America has become under Obama’s socialist, Islamo-appeasing presidency. In Canada, it’s precisely the opposite. Sun News started broadcasting on April 18, 2011, exactly two weeks before Stephen Harper earned his first majority mandate. The timing couldn’t have been worse. The whole raison d’être of an insurgent network like Sun is to kick the bums out. But Harper had already taken care of that. So what’s the point of watching?

A more critical analysis of why Sun News never had a fighting chance comes from Jonathan Kay of the National Post.

And for an in-depth analysis that hits a lot of bases, this one is very good.
Sun News has none of that. It needed its own trucks, its own journalists, its own resources. It could rely on the Sun chain of newspapers and the QMI Agency wire service, but those resources aren’t nearly as useful for a television news network. And it made a channel that ran cheaply seem even cheaper. Most interviews — even with their own journalists — were done via Skype, featuring compressed images of people holding phones to their ears.
Sun News was right about one thing: It often brought up issues and perspectives that we didn’t see in mainstream TV news. We should do something about that, because being stuck in a left-wing echo chamber is no more healthy for our minds or society than being stuck in a right-wing echo chamber.

I feel as if the voice of freedom has been silenced.  Where will we hear from Ezra Levant who was unafraid to discuss the Islamic terrorist issue with anyone, or Brian Lilley on pro-life issues or Michael Coren with Robert Spence of Jihad Watch?  Now we have only the politically correct views of the nation's broadcaster, the CBC, and the pitiful copy-the-news-from-other-channels Global and CTV. A loss for Canada, but then most people don't know and don't care.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Flawed analogy by Obama

"And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ."  - President Barack Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast
The analogy is deeply flawed. When one looks at the deeds committed in the name of radical Islam, and then look to see what the founder of Islam Mohammed would say about them, you come up with approval.

When you look at the deeds committed by Christians, atrocities committed against non-Christians, and then look at what Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity, would say -  yup, you come up with absolute judgment that such behaviour is wrong.

The trouble is that the religion of Islam doesn't permit its followers to find out about Christ, so they really do think that Mohammed is the supreme leader.  A violent man, a pedophile, there is nothing in Mohammed to prove that Islam is a "religion of peace". 


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Assisted Suicide in Canada

On Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the ruling that criminalized assisted suicide in Canada. This is hardly surprising as Canada has become one of the most secularized countries in the world. What is surprising is that the vote was unanimous. Not one judge voted against assisted suicide.

It was very timely that the Archdiocese of Halifax had organized a half day session on the subject yesterday. The speakers were Sister Nualla Kenny, Larry Worthen, John O'Donnell, and Archbishop Mancini.

I was quite encouraged by the talks. I went, not really expecting to hear anything that would be encouraging, but I was wrong. Every speaker called upon us to stand witness to our faith on this issue, not to be intimidated by the law or by the culture. None of them were optimistic that we could change the law or change the prevailing attitude in our country, but they all stressed the fact that this is something we need to stand up for even though we are in the minority.

Sister Nualla Kenny, a Sister of Charity, who is also a pediatrician and now a professor of ethics at Dalhousie University has vast experience in the medical field on these life issues. For ten years, she was the CEO of the IWK Children's Hospital here in Halifax. Having come through her own cancer battle in the past four to five years, she now has the personal experience of facing death and resolving a whole lot of issues in that area. What I recall most from her talk was the differentiation she made between pain and suffering. From her experience, almost all pain can be alleviated. For instance, a patient may go to a doctor because of chest pain and the doctor can treat him for a heart condition. However, to whom can you take your broken heart? 

Kenny said that, in this issue of assisted suicide and euthanasia, what we have are people who don`t have faith and they are trying to overcome their situations of suffering by dealing with it physically. What is missing for them is the spiritual medicine which is provided by faith. Therefore we see a poll that says 84% of Canadians support the legalization of assisted suicide precisely because they are trying to eliminate the suffering that either they or their loved ones experience. In Sister Nualla's experience, the majority of these sufferings are relational; in other words, people suffer because of broken or dysfunctional relationships in their lives or a complete lack of relationships.

Larry Worthen is a lawyer and in the past year, has been asked to be the national director for the Canadian Christian Doctors and Dentists association. Larry is married to a general practitioner and he also has a son in medical school. His emphasis was that we need to protect our doctors now, because they are the vulnerable ones. As he said, if the state curtails conscience protection in Canada, we will have the situation where Christian doctors will be unable to practise, and then what will become of services such as palliative care?  Those medical services which are based on Christian principles that respect all life will be undermined and eroded.

John O'Donnell is the national director of L'Arche communities. These are homes around the world, that were founded by Jean Vanier fifty years ago. From one small house in France, the organization now encompasses over 60 homes for adults who suffer from mental handicaps. With the aging of L'Arche, they are now dealing with the palliative care of many of their residents. John spoke of the dignity of life for disabled persons, and how their physical and mental limitations do not limit their emotional and spiritual lives. On the contrary, such individuals often lead the way in what Jean Vanier called the "irreversible decision to love".

Archbishop Anthony Mancini wrapped up the day with a short summation. This is the first time I have heard the archbishop speak with great force and conviction. I wondered if this came from feeling that he was with a group that completely supported what he had to say. This archbishop is not ideological, he is a very down-to-earth man, and he stated right away that this law will not be overturned. In the face of such secularism, he said that we must rise up as the early Christians who lived their lives in service for others. Their example was what brought about the conversion of many pagans.

Today after Mass, my husband and I were speaking with Father Owen Connolly who has been a chaplain at the hospital for many years. Father Owen's homily also spoke of how we must stand up and push back against this secularism. But rather than shout attacks from the sidelines, he said we must get in there and do the dirty work of charity. In other words, we need to be setting up hospices where we care for the sick and disabled, and that work will be the witness to a culture that has lost its way.

We may not be risking our physical lives as the early Christians did, but we will be risking scorn and derision if we begin to act in this way. But what is there left to do? 

It is not lost on me that, just on Friday, a friend called to let me know that he has been diagnosed with ALS and his health is deteriorating rapidly. ALS must be one of the most horrific diseases one can be afflicted with. Both Nick and I feel a personal call to be of some help to Dan in the days to come. I first became acquainted with Dan through pro-life work in the area of abortion, and now we are entering the area of Christian dying. It is surprising how the theoretical and the practical come together when one least expects it.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The moral issue behind vaccinations

All news stations are reporting on the measles outbreak in the US, and I just saw that a case was reported in Niagara, Ontario.  The question is raised "should the government mandate vaccinations for all children"  with the qualifier that they mean children who are attending school. I am led to believe that, if a parent chooses not to vaccinate their child/ren, they have the option of home-schooling.

I have fired off several emails to Bill O'Reilly, but as of yet, none of my emails have ever been answered.  Two days ago, I sent another one, asking him to raise the question of ethical vaccines, since many parents don't wish to vaccinate their children. Not out of fear of autism, but because they know that the vaccines are produced using the cells of aborted fetuses.

No reply.  Even so-called pro-life news commentators don't want to talk about this one.  Perhaps I will try Megyn Kelly, although she has already stated that she vaccinated all three of her children and she strongly advises all parents to do the same.

And so here is a very reasonable article, written by a Catholic mom, who has faced this question of whether vaccines can be used knowing where they are sourced.  She doesn't come down on either side of this issue, but rather appeals to people to be reasonable.  There can be more than one reason for why someone would choose not to vaccinate their child, and this one concerning the source of vaccines from aborted babies, is certainly a reason that deserves consideration. 
I’ve asked all of my children’s doctors if it were possible to procure ethically-sourced vaccines, offering to pay out of pocket if necessary (barring anything prohibitively expensive). I was always told they weren’t able to procure any, even prior to 2009 when they were allegedly available from Merck.
 At every check-up, I ask my kids’ doctor if he thinks the risk is significant enough that we need to take recourse to the vaccines. (So far, the answer has been no, but my youngest son’s 15-month well-baby check is coming up in a few weeks and I plan to ask again, given some recent cases in our area.) I don’t take measles lightly; I know it is a serious illness that can have serious complications, and it scares me. But I don’t want to ignore my conscience simply out of fear – that can set a bad precedent.
It’s also not helpful to accuse me (or anyone else) of deliberately wanting to kill children, as Mark Shea did in that same Facebook conversation: “Your views are a public menace and a threat to the lives of my granddaughters. I don’t take kindly to people who threaten to blind and kill my granddaughters.” I don’t think this is how Catholics should talk with one another.

(Mark Shea is one writer whom I refuse to read; anytime I have read something by him, I have become so incensed, I really don't understand why he has such a following, he lashes out frequently and vindictively, hardly something I admire in a commentator.)

For more information on this issue, click this link for a good article.

More on this subject by Jill Stanek

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Baby saves mother's life

A friend at church this morning gave me this article. It was written by her brother-in-law, Dr. J.A. MacDougall who was an anesthestist at St. Martha's Hospital in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. `

That December, I finally had to tell her. Medically, we were beaten. The decision lay with God. She took it quietly, lying there, wasting away, only 23, and the mother of a year-old child. I will call her Eleanor Munro. She was a devout and courageous woman. She had red hair and had probably been rather pretty, but it was hard to tell anymore; she was that near to death from tuberculosis. Now that she knew it, she asked just one thing.
"If I'm still alive on Christmas Eve" she said slowly, "I would like your promise that I can go home for Christmas."
It disturbed me, I knew she shouldn't go. The lower lobe of her right lung had a growing tuberculous cavity in it, roughly 2 1/2 centimetres in diameter. She had what we doctors call open TB, and could spread the germs by coughing. But I made the promise and, frankly, I did so because I was sure she'd be dead before Christmas Eve. Under the circumstances, it seemed little enough to do. And if I hadn't made the promise, I wouldn't be telling this story now. 
Eleanor's husband had the disease when he returned to Nova Scotia from overseas service in World War II. It was a mild case and he didn't know he had it. Before it was detected and checked, they married. She caught the disease and had little immunity against it. It came on so fast and lodged in such a difficult place that it confounded every doctor who tried to help her.
To have a tuberculous cavity in the lower lobe is rare. When they took Eleanor to the provincial sanitarium in Kentville, it became obvious that the main problem was how to get at it. If it had been in the upper lobe, they could have performed thoracoplasty, which involves taking out some of the upper ribs to collapse the lobe and put that area of the lung at rest.  Unfortunately, this operation couldn't be used for the lower lobe because it would have meant removing some of the lower ribs, which her body needed for support.
With thorocoplasty ruled out, the doctors tried a process called artificial pneumothorax: Air was pumped in through a needle to force collapse of the lung through pressure. Although several attempts were made, this process didn't work either; previous bouts of pleurisy had stuck the lung to the chest wall, and the air couldn't circulate.
Finally they considered taking out the entire lung - but rejected this procedure (rare at the time) because Eleanor was too sick to withstand surgery, and steadily getting worse. The alternatives exhausted, Eleanor's doctors reluctantly listed her as a hopeless case and sent her back to her home hospital in Antigonish.
I was 30 when she arrived. I had graduated from Dalhousie University's medical school in 1942, gone into the Royal Canadian Air Force, and then completed my training as an anesthetist in Montreal once the war was over. A native of Sydney, N.S., I accepted a position with St. Martha's Hospital in Antigonish. I was to provide an anesthesia service and take care of the medical needs of the students at two local colleges. I was also asked to look after the TB annex at the hospital, a place for about 40 patients, most of them chronics with little or no hope of being cured. That's how Eleanor Munro came to be my patient in 1947. 
She had weighted 125 pounds. She was down to 87 the first time I saw her. Her fever was high, around 39 degrees. She was very ill, and looked it. But she could still smile. I'll always remember that. If you did her the slightest kindness, she'd smile.
Maybe that encouraged me. I don't know. But I did know that I had to try to help her. I phoned a doctor in New York who was experimenting with a procedure called pneumoperitoneum.
This procedure consists of injecting air into the peritoneal cavity  to push the diaphragm up against the lung. If we could get pressure against that lower lobe, we might force the TB cavity shut. If we could do that, nature would have a chance to heal the cavity by letting the sides grow together.
The operation took place the day after my phone call. We pumped air into the peritoneal cavity, but it nearly killed her. It was obvious that the amount of air she could tolerate would not help.
Every doctor in the room agreed we shouldn't try a second time. We were licked.
It was then that I told her medical science had gone as far as it could go. I told her that her Creator now had the final verdict and that it would not necessarily be what either of us wanted, but would be the best for her under the circumstances. She nodded, and then exacted from me that promise.  

Amazingly, she was still alive on Christmas Eve, but just barely. The cavity was still growing; she was so far gone that she had already had the last rites of the Roman Catholic Church. But she held me to my promise.
With renewed doubts, I kept it. I told her not to hold her child and to wear a surgical mask if she was talking to anyone but her husband. His own case had given him immunity.
She came back to St. Martha's late Christmas Day, and she kept ebbing. No one could have watched her struggle without being deeply moved. Every day her condition grew just a bit worse, yet every day she clung to life. It went on, to our continued amazement, for weeks.
Towards the end of February she was down to or below 80 pounds, she couldn't eat, and new complications developed. She became nauseous - even without food in her stomach. I was stumped. I called in a senior medical consultant; he was stumped too. But with a grin, almost facetiously, he asked me if I thought she could be pregnant.
I can still remember exactly how I felt. The suggestion was utterly ridiculous. Everything I knew about medicine added up to one conclusion: she was so ill, so weak, that she couldn't possibly have conceived. Her body just wasn't up to it. Nevertheless, I ordered a pregnancy test. To my astonishment, it was positive. On the very outer frontier of life itself, she now bore a second life within her. It was virtually impossible, but it was true.  
Legally, medically, we could have taken the child through abortion; it endangered a life that was already in jeopardy. But we didn't do it. Eleanor and her husband were against it. We doctors at St. Martha's were against it, not only as Catholics, but because we were certain that the operation would kill her. Besides, she was so far gone we were sure her body would reject the child anyway.
The struggle went on for weeks, and never once did we doubt that she was dying. But she kept living. And she kept her child. And in late June 1948, an incredible thing happened. Her temperature began to go down. For the first time we noted some improvement in her condition, and the improvement continued. She began to eat, and to gain weight. A chest X ray showed that the growth of the TB cavity had stopped. Not long after, another X ray showed why. The diaphragm was pushing up against the lower lobe of her diseased lung to make room for the child she was bearing. Nature was doing exactly what we'd failed to do. It was pressing the sides of that deadly hole together. The child was saving the mother.
The child did save her. By the time it was born, a normal, healthy baby, the TB cavity was closed. The mother was markedly better, so much better that we let her go home for good within a few months. Her smile had never been brighter.

Call it the will of God; call it human love; call it the mystical quality of motherhood, the turning in upon herself to fight still more because she had still more to fight for; call it what you will. It happened. And I still wonder at the unfathomable force it signifies.
I remember too, with delight, the Christmas cards Eleanor sent me for years afterwards. They were just ordinary cards, with printed greetings and her name. But to me they were monuments to a miracle.  

Copyright 1985 by J.A. MacDougall, M.D. Catholic Digest November '85