Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Bradley's Journey

I wanted to share with you a remarkable story of God's power and mercy. Bradley Thomas was born February 7, 2011 at just 23 weeks and 4 days. Weighing only 1 pound 9 oz and 12 1/2 inches long, he has fought for his life. Little Bradley faced months of infections, tests, procedures, therapy, and setbacks. More importantly, by the grace of God, Bradley achieved milestones.

Bradley's arm with his parents' wedding rings. 3 days old.

Bradley Thomas. 13 days old. 1 lb. 14 oz.

Bradley's mom, Corinne, is a childhood friend of mine. I have been blessed to get to know her on a deeper level through Facebook the past few years. At just 23 weeks into her pregnancy, Corinne started having contractions which could not be stopped. The doctors gave her the choice to deliver her baby via c-section, which would most likely prevent her from having any future pregnancies, or to deliver naturally. The risks involved with delivering naturally were the baby could come out feet first, its head could get stuck if it came out feet first, or its umbilical cord could be wrapped around his neck and possibly losing the baby. Corinne writes about that moment, saying: "I asked if I could pray and think about it and while doing do I realized that God already had His plan for Bradley and that if it was in God’s will for Bradley to survive then Bradley was going to survive any way that he was delivered. Against the doctor wishes I delivered Bradley naturally and guess what… he came out feet first, his head did get stuck and the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck twice. I knew that if God’s plan was for us to lose our baby (at this time we still didn’t know if he was a boy or girl), that our baby was going to be in Heaven with Him. I didn’t want to try to go against God’s will and have a c-section because it’s “safer” and hope that the baby would survived."

5 weeks old. 2 lbs.

Following this family through their journey with Bradley has been inspiring to me. Corinne and her husband, Robert, have shown tremendous trust in the Lord with their son's life. They know Bradley is a beautiful gift from God with his own testimony to share. In all of her updates on Bradley, Corinne gives the glory to God for each of Bradley's accomplishments and seeks for God's will when he is struggling. It is especially touching to me to hear experiences of nurses or other parents asking Corinne and Robert how they can stay so positive when dealing with everything going on with Bradley. They are quick to answer that it's by the grace of God and they just trust in Him.

Bradley with his momma and big sister, Libby. 4 months old.

Almost 4 months old.

In one of her updates about Bradley, Corinne wrote:

"In the past 6 months I have had several people ask me, “How do you do it?” or “I couldn’t do it if I were you.” My answer has been “It’s just my life, so I just do it.” The truth is that I do it with the help of God. Bradley Thomas is God’s child and He has blessed me with him. God has trusted me to take care of his children and in this situation; God has trusted me to take care of his sick child. Having Bradley has done nothing but brought me closer to God. I may miss a few church services because I’m visit with Bradley but while I’m at the hospital I am able to read my Bible, talk to people about God, and lift up His Holy Name. This whole situation has also brought some strain to the rest of my family but we are able to pray and talk things out and just take it day-by-day and week by week.

People have also asked me “Why does Bradley keep getting sick if you believe in God so much and if everyone has been praying for him so much?” I don’t fully know the answer to this but I believe that it is so that we can learn to lean even more on God and trust that He is a just God and has a plan. I have faith that this is all in God’s plan and that this is not a punishment for something that we did wrong in the past but it is a gift to help heighten our faith in him for the future."

Bradley stayed in the NICU for several months before being transferred to a trasitional unit. Today, Bradley and his family will celebrate his 1st birthday by bringing him home to his parents, big sister, and big brother. The first year of little Bradley's life has been full of trials, joys, and growth. Bradley still has a long road ahead of him. We know that it is of the Lord's mercies we are not consumed. We have confidence that the Lord who has worked miracles in the first year of Bradley's life has the power to continue working in his life in a mighty way. Be praying for this sweet family as they transition to caring for Bradley at home. Pray for them as they have months and years of decisions, treatments, and therapies. Pray for the Bradley to continue to grow stronger and healthier with each new day. Pray for strength and grace for his parents. Pray for his sister and brother as they face the transition of having their baby brother home. Pray for the Lord to continue to be magnified through the life of this precious gift!

Bradley Thomas. 11 months, 23 days.

Bradley at home in his bed on his 1st birthday!

2Corinthians 12:9-"My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."


marilyn H said...

The grace of God, gets us through so many trials. Little Bradley is indeed a miracle on earth. May He continue to guide and bless Bradley and his entire family.

His Mercy Endureth Forever said...

What a very touching story. We will definitely say some special prayers for this sweet family and their Godly journey to caring for their son. Thanks for sharing.

Corinne said...

Just read this again and still love it just as much as the first time I read it! Thank you again for writing it!

lydia said...

It was my pleasure! I'm so thankful he's doing so well! He sure is a blessed boy!