It happened one Wednesday night. We had just come home from bible study. We’re like most families, with everyone in a separate room doing their own thing. My son who was nearly one at the time was playing on the floor in the corner. He is still at that age where he places everything into his mouth. I no sooner had that thought when I noticed his hand go to his mouth. I raced across the room as my son started gasping for air. As I lifted him up, I cried out to my wife, “I believe D.J. put something in his mouth!”
The next several minutes were a blur. I ran to the phone and dialed 911 as my wife cried and prayed. She tried in vain to comfort a son who could not, would not be comforted. “Are you sure?” She asked. Hoping against hope. “Yes I am sure! Listen to his breathing. That’s not normal.” I exclaimed. This was followed by a series of questions we asked each other that neither one of us could answer. “What did he put in his mouth? Why won’t it go down?” As we waited I tried to figure out what he swallowed. Perhaps it was my keys, I thought, but after checking my key ring everything seemed in tact. Next I checked for a missing ring that actually holds the keys but they were all in place as well. I watched as my wife’s face reflected the fear she was feeling. She had recently lost her mother and this was too much too soon. We waited. “What is taking them so long?” I asked out loud. “I could have driven him there by now! I am taking him there myself!” I stated. “David, you can’t.” She replied. “They are on the way.” She continued. “I cannot just sit here and let him die!” I called 911 again and was assured someone was in route. When the paramedics arrived they confirmed he had swallowed something. They stated, “We need to get him to the hospital.” They assured us he would get prompt care if they took him directly to the ER.
Once we arrived at the hospital they placed him on monitors. His oxygen level was fine in spite of his gasping for air. Eventually we were taken up to x-ray. The x-ray revealed that he had swallowed a thumbtack. “What do you have to do to remove that?” I asked. “The doctor will have to explain that to you.” She replied. As we headed back to ER my son went through a very difficult breathing spell. During that time the nurse gave us the news that my son needed to be transferred to Birmingham. I overheard someone say, “He isn’t going to make it.” My heart dropped. “What do you mean?” I demanded of no one in particular and of everyone. For the third time that night I made a phone call, this time I called my pastor. I needed someone praying with us and for us. I was praying and my wife was crying. A stranger from across the room walked over and hugged her. She did not know us but she was moved with compassion and she held my wife. My pastor arrived and he prayed. It was determined that if my son remained calm he could be transported by ambulance. My wife was allowed to ride with him and I followed behind. As I drove I prayed. I reminded God of what it states in scripture about Him being, “A very present help in time of trouble.” “This is trouble and I need your help! Please work this thing out for us. I don’t want my son to have to undergo an operation. You have the capability to make this thing come up without surgery.” I prayed.
When we arrived at Children’s Hospital my son was taken up to HICU. As they processed us in the doctor told me of the various complications we could encounter trying to get the thumbtack. He wanted to make sure we understood before signing the papers giving them the right to operate. As I prepared to sign I looked at the tear stained face of my wife. Bible study seemed to be light years away now. It is amazing how quickly life can change. Here we were listening to the doctor tell us various ways my son might not make it.
Right before they were about to take my son down for surgery, I noticed that D.J. was frowning. Next, I noticed what I thought to be a flash of white inside his mouth. I told my wife, “I believe there is something inside his mouth.” She stuck her finger in his mouth and pulled out the tack. The entire staff erupted in cheers! They couldn’t believe that God had answered our prayers. My son remained there that night for observation. He walked from room to room visiting all the sick children in HICU. The doctors stated, “We are not used to having healthy babies here. He is a miracle baby!”