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  • Tarah OSullivan

Jesus Moment in the ER

When we were at the emergency room Sunday night having Vivian checked out, we had a moment that we have learned to call a “Jesus moment”. We have had so many moments like this throughout their journey and these moments always keep our eyes focused up to Father.


We had been at the ER for a few hours. We were explaining the symptoms Vivian was experiencing, talking through some of our concerns with her presentation, and all collectively trying to create a plan of action to help figure out what was happening so we could get her the help she needed.

We had two precious nurse that were working hard to get a vein on Vivian’s little arms. Vivian and Drake had already went the past Tuesday to have their monthly infusions, so their veins were pretty picked over already.

We all took our places helping to hold Vivian still, and I asked Eric to pray over her little body before we got started. Finding a vein is always a hard task and most of the time it takes multiple tries unfortunately. Praying over the process before we begin brings Holy Spirit’s presence and seems to steady all of our stance.

Our babies are so strong, but they still hurt, cry out and fight to free their arms. I normally cry, you would think after seven years in this journey I would have trained myself to be numb to this by now. I have learned to cry without anyone seeing, but it still breaks me every time we have to hold them down and try to console them as they are thrashing in pain and fear.

Our sweet nurse tried and failed twice and bless her heart, she continued to apologize as we watched the tears slip down her nose onto the bed. No one likes to have to have to stick a child, we all do it because we know it is necessary and we want to get them help as fast as we can.

The nurses walked out to give us time to console Vivian and I scooped her up into my arms and kissed her sweet little sweaty face. She had worked herself up from all the fussing and needed time to catch her breathe so that is exactly what we did.

A few minutes later a new nurse came in and we started the process again. Scanning veins with lights and devices, tying a tourniquet around each arm to see if a vein really plumped up, and deciding the one we would try next. I am thankful Eric is there with us. He is always so calm as in my head all I can hear is my mom heart screaming to take her in my arms, call off everything, and bring her home where I can protect her.

The new nurse was extremely kind and spoke very calmly to Vivian. Reassuring her we would not try unless she felt very confident she could get the line. After one stick, in went the needle that threaded the plastic tubing in the vein, and out came the blood for the necessary labs we needed.

We cleaned up all the warming packs, syringes and alcohol wipes that laid across the bed. The labs were drawn, the IV was successfully placed, and there was a big sigh of relief from us and the nurses.

After a few minutes had passed, one of the nurses slipped back into our room and closed the door behind her. She asked some questions and shifted her posture, and we noticed she seemed a little less comfortable this visit.

She looked at us and then with a exhale stated, “ I am just going to ask..."

"Yes ma’am", we replied, not fully knowing what we were agreeing to answer just yet.

She said a little cautiously, “I saw the last name O’Sullivan on your daughter’s file, and I just wanted to ask if she may have a brother?”

Eric and I smiled and said yes, his name is Drake and he also has the same diagnosis as Vivian.

Her posture relaxed and she continued to tell us that she was at the ER almost 2 years ago when Drake’s heart stopped suddenly. She had been apart of his emergency responding team. She said they rarely get to know how the patients do when they leave their bay and was just curious if we didn’t mind sharing with her an update.

We told her he was home with his siblings and his grandmother was helping watch them, and then we pulled out our phones and showed all the pictures of the last two years. Him learning to smile, matching brother for this past Easter, and how he is learning to use his legs again which is a complete miracle.

Once she left the room with a sweet smile on her face, Eric and I sat and talked of how hard it must be to see what those precious workers witness every day.

Our son was wheeled in on a stretcher, lifeless, and without a heartbeat that July day. His little 5 year old body was completely gray, with a paramedic straddling him physically pumping his heart so that it would continue to circulate blood throughout his body.

He had been without a heartbeat for almost 20-25 mins before he had ever reached the ER floor. His heart unexpectedly stopping in the ambulance on the ride there for a precautionary check up.

The tiny room was so full of nurses and people working fiercely to keep his blood pumping that the only way the ER doctor could see above the crowd was to stand in the chair and shout orders. She would shout out numbers and medicines as people frantically responded as quickly as she called them out.

This continued for another 10-15 minutes as our son lay, for all medical purposes, dead for almost 40 minutes collectively now.

Eric had been asked to stand in the hall right outside the room while I desperately asked questions in his ear on the phone. I was at home with Vivian as Eric rode with Drake in the ambulance. Two chaplains had taken their place beside Eric waiting for the inevitable call to be made.

But God...

But our Father had other plans that day for our son.

Instead of time of death being called out as everyone gravely were bracing for....

”I ...have....a... pulse....” rang throughout the room.

The very mentioned of a pulse brought the room to a screeching halt and Eric said the preacher standing beside him gasped putting his hand over his mouth in amazement.

You can read more about that in our post called, “Medical Miracle".... as I will never be silent about the miracle we witnessed that day.


Here we were....sitting in a room just a few doors down from that daunting space, talking with a precious nurse, telling of Drake's advancements and setbacks.....almost two years later.

We didn’t have any answers to Vivian’s unexplained changes, we knew the familiar tightness in our chest that comes from walking back into that ER. We felt the new depth of fear that came from the things we have witnessed and lived through.

We wiped the tears that fell from reliving the moments, feeling the full impact of the trauma that day and a then His over-whelming peace settled into our soul.

I have always thought that fear and peace can’t exist together. I still don’t know the answer here. I can’t deny the consuming fear my body experiences when we are faced with the scary medical experiences we have witnessed.

But I can control my choice to allow Father’s embrace to hold me as I choose to trust Him in those moments and the moments to come.

Just as I am consoling my baby as fear and uncertainty press into her through the physical pain she is experiencing. I envision Father wrapping his arms around me trying to hold and embrace me, as I push past the physical pain of watching my children suffer and locking my eyes on His in submission to His will.

My weary hands laying at His feet some days is all I have to offer Him. I am so thankful it is enough to Him. He reminds me it is not about the physical obstacles or emotional hurdles, or the inadequacies I feel. It is always about Him and His goodness.


God used that nurse’s curiosity to help remind us of His goodness and His faithfulness.

You can trust matter what you are facing.

He is faithful, He is just, and He is in control.


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