“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities, brilliantly disguised as impossible situations…” — Charles Swindoll
I will always remember the first time I saw this quote. It was fairly recently, in an email I got from an extraordinary person, Dr. Anitha John. She specializes in adult congenital cardiology, a relatively new field that is both demanding and in demand. Dr. John has this quote appended to her email signature and contact details.
When we first sought her help as a local expert to work in consultation with Matt’s cardiology team in Norfolk, we were deeply apprehensive about Matt’s ongoing medical challenges. Seeing this quote in Dr. John’s email was wonderfully reassuring, and my impression that we were in excellent hands was underscored and magnified. You just have to love a physician with that kind of signature line, which matches perfectly with her attitude, expertise and compassion.
One of the great blessings to come out of our medical trials and tribulations has been the opportunity to know some of the most amazing medical professionals in the world. Some have international reputations, and some are known only locally, but all have had a wonderful combination of education, experience, competence, humility, understanding, and respect for their patients and families.
There’s an unfortunate stereotype that physicians (and surgeons in particular) can be arrogant and uncaring, but we have never, ever found this to be the case with any of the doctors, therapists, nurses or other staff who have worked together to save Matt’s life more times than we can immediately recall. Perhaps those who go into any pediatric subspecialty have an extra measure of the helping heart that draws people to careers in medicine, but I’ve had many years of close proximity to all sorts of medical personnel, and I know firsthand that they live and work with one impossible situation after another, always finding the opportunity within the challenge. As much as any other support we’ve been blessed to enjoy, the faith and diligence of these providers has kept us going over the years.
Our proximity to health care professionals has given me a deep gratitude for the excellent medical care we’ve received, along with an abiding interest in eliminating the obstacles that still prevent far too many people from access to appropriate, compassionate health care. If you have good health care providers, be thankful! May we all draw inspiration from their tireless determination to find the opportunities that lie within the impossible.