Our precious baby Eliana will be a year old tomorrow. We know that without you, this past year would have been very different and Eliana would not be here with us today. One whole year of kisses. One whole year of full arms and overflowing hearts, of doting older brothers and sisters, tiny dresses and a warm little body to cuddle. One whole year of a precious personality emerging, revealing who Eliana is…
Those big beautiful eyes and soft downy hair; her sweet and happy spirit; her sensitive heart; her irresistible love for life. She’s everything to us. And we say thank you.
But Eliana is not the first baby of ours that you have saved. I will never forget seeing Elijah’s swollen belly on the ultrasound at just 16 weeks gestation. You said he may have a week or two before he would succumb to the onslaught of my antibodies. I had a choice – let nature take its course, meaning Elijah’s death or you could try and save him by giving an emergency blood transfusion (IUT) into his impossibly tiny tummy. It was risky as the procedure could take the very life we were hoping to save. We chose the latter and a little dimple in his tummy is a daily reminder of the skill required to save his fragile life.
In a culture where the pre-born are often overlooked, I want to thank you for seeing the value of these tiny babies before they are even viable. You treat each baby like the most precious baby in the world, even though they are just one of the many babies you help on a daily basis. Thank you for recognising how important these little lives are to mothers like me, and for treating them with respect and gentle care before they take their first breath. When you save a baby’s life, you are also saving the parents, siblings, and grandparents from living the rest of their days without that precious child.
It is rare to find a doctor who is so generous with his time. I have lost count of the many emails I have sent you, grasping for answers and a glimmer of hope during stressful pregnancies. You have always answered these emails, never dismissing my fears and even taking the time to talk to me over the phone, sharing your opinion about my options and discussing the possibilities for another child. This gesture of kindness from a busy Doctor will never be forgotten. When someone contacts me with questions about rhesus antibodies or advice about what their treatment should look like I will give of my time gladly, remembering that even in your extremely busy schedule you still took time out to answer me.
Each time Eliana, Elijah or Jeremiah celebrate a birthday, we think of you. In our family, Dr. Gardener is a household name. We want our kids to know how one life can be used by God to change the lives of other people for good. We will always be grateful for the priceless gift you have given us.