Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Carter Luke Vermilyea - Part 19

Not long after Carter was born, we began to hear people talking about Shriner’s Hospitals for Children. We had several parents tell us their children were sponsored there. I didn’t know what that meant and begun to research it. After not really finding any information, we just so happened to find out that a church member’s good friend was a Shriner. Within days, he called us and offered to sponsor Carter at Shriner’s Hospital. We didn’t really know what that meant at the time, but later found out that they will be a great support to us as Carter grows up.

We were signed up for an appointment with Shriner’s in Tampa the beginning of March. It was an emotional time for us. As we pulled into the parking lot of the hospital it just hit me all over again as to why we were there, that I never imagined we would be. It also overwhelmed me that we could be there, at a very special place, because other’s care about kids. As we sat in the waiting area we watched many other children run around, read books, play, or sit with their parents. There were children of all ages there. I was choked up pretty much the whole time we sat there. I realized Ryan was pretty quiet too. I asked him how he was and he said, “I was just thinking how everyone here actually kind of knows what we have been thinking and feeling. Here people understand.” It was interesting to think about how in that waiting room, Carter wasn’t so different.

There were children there with all kinds of orthopedic things going on, some with more than just orthopedic. How wonderful to realize that God was using that place to minister to us and other families.

We met with a Care Coordinator first, who basically will be a contact person for us if we need anything! She was so kind and helpful, ready to help with anything. We saw a nurse practitioner who checked our Carter and looked at the x-rays we brought. We were able to meet another little boy (around 9 years old) who has the same limb difference as Carter. It was great to meet someone else, who seemed happy and doing great.

Shriner’s will provide Carter with care (in regards to his limb difference) and prosthetics through the age of 18. Isn’t that wonderful? (We don’t necessarily want him to have them, but we want him to have the opportunity if he chooses to do so. Most kids don’t want them and as adults don’t really use them either.) They are going to see him again when he turns 1 and see how he is progressing. Our time there was a wonderful experience. We are so thankful!

(On a side note, we were told while we were there that because of funding they may not always be able to provide this service free of cost. (Prosthetics are very expensive.) So, let me encourage you to give to the Shriner’s you see when you are out and about! It is a wonderful service to support, and so many kids they are reaching (in more difficult situations than Carter).

1 comment:

  1. Dear Friends,

    My brother Ryan became physically disabled at 2 weeks old after a drunk driver hit us from the rear. He lived with much taunting and stares much of his childhood. His condition became so serious, that he drug his right leg (he constantly wore out the toe), and continued to drastically slump over as he walked. After reading about how the Lord heals in Scripture, he asked my father if the leaders in the church would anoint him with oil and pray for him to be healed. Some months later, my brother went spelunking(cave exploring) with his boy scout troop, and had to be carried out of the cave from sheer exhaustion (although his body was incapable of a lot of physical activities, he still tried). After the trip, the troop leader approached my father, offering to help my brother get admitted to the Shriner Hospital in Greenville, SC. Amazingly, he was only one of approximately ten other men (who were from different parts of the state, who did not know each other) who approached my father simultaneously with the same offer - to help my brother to get into the Shriner Hospital! Today, at 28, my brother stands upright and walks much better thanks to the Shriners' gift of thousands of dollars worth of free surgery, and to a compassionate God who heard my brother's prayer. I will always give thanks to our Lord, and to the man wearing the red fez! We will pray for Carter in this same manner as well.