"It is always good to be shaped by tragedy, and not be defined by it." -@jasonwes77
I was actually looking for some other quotes that really speak about character in adversities. However, in the end I decided to post about this quote from a very strong and powerful man I know, who is @iamjadeline's husband, my husband's elder brother. Whose quote would suit this motivation more than the man who is in the adversity himself and can still motivate us as a pastor? I think I am deeply urged in my heart to highlight this family now.
Also, if you have been following me, you may realize I have a series called Discovering the Undermined Gems where I highlight people whom may go unnoticed. Of course, I would be highlighting this family whom I am related to because they are LITERALLY gems, diamonds that birth out of so much stress and pressure. Hence, the payout of this post will be dedicated and transferred to @iamjadeline, just like what I do with every post payouts in my series.
All photos in this post are posted with permission from @iamjadeline, whom I have asked before I use this post to rally support and prayers for them.
A Brief Summary of What This Family Is Going Through
Okay, it is actually quite a long story of what this family has been going through and @iamjadeline actually posted many times about her second son, Jansen's condition on her blog to raise awareness on Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH). He was born with a hole in his diaphragm, resulting in an undeveloped right lung. Here is some medical information about this condition for you to get a better picture:
The wide, flat muscle that separates the chest and abdominal cavities is called the diaphragm. The diaphragm forms when a fetus is at 8 weeks’ gestation. When it does not form completely, a defect, called a congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), is created. This is a hole in the muscle between the chest and the abdomen. The hole allows the contents of the abdomen (stomach, intestine, liver, spleen, and kidneys) to go up into the fetal chest. The herniation of these abdominal organs into the chest occupies that space and prevents the lungs from growing to normal size. The growth of both lungs can be affected. The result of this is called pulmonary hypoplasia. While in the uterus, a fetus does not need its lungs to breathe, because the placenta performs this function. However, if the lungs are too small after the baby is born, the baby will not be able to provide itself with enough oxygen to survive. Source - The Fetal Treatment Centre
Jansen checked in the NICU right after his birth before his mom could really hold him and was on breathing support. Next, he spent another 4 months in the hospital for major procedures to be done such as repairing the hole in the diaphragm, tying up the stomach, opening up a hole in his stomach for tube-feeding. It was very nervous times for his family and even us as related aunts and uncles. With doctors and specialists' advices, it was told to @iamjadeline and family that he is to be kept away from anyone having flu and cough, as though they look mild and normal to us, it may be fatal and can put him in dangerous risks for him.
Jadeline and family did their very best to keep him alive and free from germs as much as possible. She is one meticulous woman who really would clean everything before letting Jansen touch or be in contact with. I too have learnt this part and joined in the protection effort as much as I can. All because we want to see Jansen alive and well. We make people who are sick around us to wear facial masks, make the children to sanitize their hands before they go near Jansen, as much as we can. Jansen has grown up without going anywhere except for hospital rounds till up to near 3 years old (correct me if I am wrong @iamjadeline). Before that, he was also on this breathing support machine to strengthen his lungs called the bipap machine. At 3, he was able to breathe without it, so he went bipap-free, and it was super good news to us! As a growing child, Jansen is curious about the outside world and he started to feel why the family could not really bring him out, though he is naturally a very understanding and gentle boy, but with a fighter's spirit. With better improvement each day and he started to eat with mouth more and more, @iamjadeline and @jasonwes77 took their steps of faith and started taking him out, only at times where is not much crowd and they chose the places to go carefully too.
However, on last Tuesday, Jansen started to have developed some coughing spell and he could cough up to an hour. He became tired and his breathing became difficult and fast. Jadeline's mother instinct kicked in and she was praying hard it would not be anything too serious. They went to the ER to get checked and were given antibiotics. Last Saturday, they realized the antibiotics were not helping too so they went to the ER again and got admitted.
Jansen had been motionless without much strength for days. I know @iamjadeline's heart really sunk and she had been depending on God and the wonderful communities she met on Steemit for support because at times, it could be very scary for her to even exercise faith as Jansen's condition has become worrisome. She had not been sleeping much because she felt she needed to observe Jansen's breathing. Her chatting with some of us was to relieve herself a bit too, and to get support. I cannot imagine how much she has been crying, which is only done after Jansen sleeps. However, I know she has very very strong inner strength too, as I have always seen her as a tough cookie with the bulldog kind of faith, holding on and would not let go. She would cry but she will be back on her feet. So, finally today the secretion result is out and he contracted RSV(Respiratory syncytial virus), the one they have greatly prevent him from, the one the doctors most fear he would get. It may take 2 weeks for the virus to wear off, so it means that they may not be discharged anytime soon too.
Respiratory syncytial (sin-SISH-uhl) virus, or RSV, is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. Most people recover in a week or two, but RSV can be serious, especially for infants and older adults. In fact, RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia (infection of the lungs) in children younger than 1 year of age in the United States. It is also a significant cause of respiratory illness in older adults. Source
As for @jasonwes77, he went back to church and still preached his heart out in the midst of this ordeal. He worshipped, broke down before God as real as he is, but still stood back on his feet with much support after just recovering from a whole month of recovery due to a horrible case of ankle misalignment. In all times, they never blame God or anyone. They would be praising God, still. They would be hanging on to God's promises. They would still believe.
The guys showing physical and emotional support to @jasonwes77 by praying and hugging him real tight.
He does have people who would go through life together with him, proving how he has also invested so much in theirs and many others.
The eldest son, Jayden missing his mommy and little brother so much, having to be separated into two different teams now: @iamjadeline and Jansen in the hospital, @jasonwes77 and Jayden staying home.
Our mum-in-law praying for Jansen and tried to make him smile whenever she pays a visit to the hospital.
So amazed by the bond between these two brothers. Jansen would try to interact and play with his brother whenever he visits. His soul would be uplifted and his countenance changed.
Now that is why I quoted @jasonwes77's words:
"It is always good to be shaped by tragedy, and not be defined by it."
Tragedies and adversities may hit them (or us) left and right, up and down, but it is either we let the bad situation define us and wallow ourselves in self-pity, or we let something higher to define us. In their case, God is their definition. Their belief system is the one defining them. There are unexplained scenarios in life, most definitely. Instead of sulking, let's make the best out of it. Let's go through it and be stronger. We can then boast about the strengths and not focus on just the moments we are being weak. There are always two sides of a coin for us to look at. I learn so much from this family as powerful people - people who do not let difficulties lead them here and there and reacting only to what they are in, but can decide to stand together as a family to pull through and still make strong decisions, even with tears involved. I think I must not forget to mention that even in her adversities, they would still be concerned of others, and still care or be there for others. @iamjadeline was there in my lowest time of my pregnancy even when Jansen was already with them and she had been caring for him intensively at home. They have never been overcome by their situations until they cannot stretch out to others. That's how I know they live by this quote and love fiercely. This family is still and always is finding reasons to smile even in the midst of the storm. Just their lives itself, is already very very inspiring!
Another Reason for this post, more related to Steemit...
@iamjadeline and I have unknowingly become like accountable partners to challenge each other with a post each day. This is also her source of income actually. With their current condition, it is hard for her to still post everyday like how she has committed herself to do before this. She is an amazing writer, in case if you do not know, with very outstanding life values. So, with this post, I hope to raise funds for her to cover the days she has to be staying over at the hospital and absent more from Steemit, thus it is as if this post is "written" by her. At the same time, it may relieve the family off some extra financial burdens due to this hospital stay and put smiles on their faces!!!!
OH YEAH, IT IS ALSO @IAMJADELINE'S BIRTHDAY TOMORROW, 1ST MAY!
Some Better News from Jade
Latest update is Jansen can at least speak a little now and also drank some soup from his grandma today! He was transferred from ER to normal pediatric ward, to acute ward and today back to the normal ward again! Rejoicing over every progress he is making, big or small!
I am aiming to raise maybe at least a week's worth of the upvotes @iamjadeline usually get by her posts approximately since she may not be able to do her usual postings for a week: $5 x 7 = $35.
This is my first time participating this challenge by @theluvbug which you can check out here. I have decided to do some motivation for myself and the family today in the midst of many things going on at the same time.
Thank you everyone for reading and also thank you in advance for your contribution. You may upvote this post, send some kind donations either to me @happycrazycon or @iamjadeline with the memo "Supporting the J's" if you want to do something for them.
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