In Honor of Blake
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We have been asked to post the background story here ...instead we are deferring to a post from our firnd and Blake's pediatrician Dr Barrett...
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My name is Greg Barrett, and I am Blake Haxton's pediatrician. I assume you have been following the story of this brave young man and his remarkable family for some time but it is possible you still don't understand the true magnitude of what has transpired here. I would like to take a moment, with the family's permission, to explain in more detail from my perspective.
Blake was admitted to the hospital on a Monday evening four weeks ago with what turned out to be, as all of you know by now, necrotizing fasciitis. In less than 72 hours he had had his first leg amputated, his heart had stopped, he was in shock with complete liver, lung, and kidney failure, and he had been transferred to a tertiary care center for palliative support on a heart/lung machine. I had spoken to his coctors, I had seen his numbers, and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt the unspeakable truth---Blake was going to die.
On Thursday morning I drove into OSU Hospital to console his parents. I listened to Blake's father, Steve, tearfully recount all that his 18-year-old son had been through, and then I told him what I had learned from the dedicated physicians who had worked so tirelessly to support him. There was simply no hope. He was "violently ill" (their words) and his labs and clinical condition were incompatible with survival, the only remaining question being when it was finally agreed upon by all involved that Blake had had enough and it was time to let him go. Steve listened but he didn't need me to say it; he and his wife Heather had already decoded the doctors' words and they knew the story. Then Steve made the most amazing statement---he and his wife Heather understood that their son was in God's hands and they would trust His judgment, if this was their son's time to go join his maker they would accept it, rejoicing and celebrating Blake's life and the time they had been given him. Utterly speechless I left, all of us understanding that man had done all he could for Blake, the only hope left being a miracle.
I am a scientist by trade, but this is what I believe occurred next---from family and friends, from classmates and people who had never even heard of him prior to his illness, from churches, synagogues, and mosques, from his community and from literally all parts of the world, thousands of prayers were directed skyward in one voice crying in unison, "Please, dear God, if you could find it in your mercy please spare him, not this wonderful young man, God, not now, not this time, not yet." And the unfathomable happened. In spite of longer odds than any of you could ever imagine, Blake Haxton did not die.
Why was he spared? I don't think any of us will ever know for sure. But just consider all of the good which has come from his story already. A newfound awareness of this rare and vicious infection has spread all over the planet. The strength, spirit, and humility of this family and their bravery in the face of a brutality beyond comprehension has inspired millions. And perhaps above all else Steve and Heather's steadfast, unwavering trust in God's will during the ultimate test has fortified the faith of all who have witnessed it, and most certainly that would include yours truly.
The road ahead for Blake is going to be long and arduous. He and his family will surely be tested further, and they will need our continued prayers and support. But I for one will never again doubt this amazing young man. And who knows, his story may only just be beginning as now that he is famous with the whole world watching he may re-define for many the concept of living with a disability. The Haxtons just may not be done inspiring us yet. All I know is that they will be in my heart forever.
In the final analysis I suppose the medical professionals will have their own theories of how Blake somehow managed to survive, how it was possible he came back from the dead as he did. And that's okay, they're entitled to their opinions. But friends, I was there, and trust me, this is the solemn truth:
It was a miracle.