Yesterday was four years since I got the call that no mom ever wants to get. It is always such a numbing day. In fact, the next six will be just as hard as we approach the day we finally had to let Jamie go. I’ll give a quick update and then I am going to share Chapter one in my book, Hold Me Long Enough to Fight.

I picked this title for two reasons, one being it is the name of a song Jamie wrote and produced. It is linked in the side column and two it reflects how I feel about any loved one being given TIME to fight if they are in a horrible accident.

Four Years

I find that hard to believe it is has been four years since I have spoken to my son. He is never far away from my thoughts and yet the pain is not so intense and for that I am thankful. It is just painful as the days approach that he went to our eternal home and left us behind. I know he is fine, and wouldn’t come back IF given the chance but for those who miss him, it is a continual void in our lives every day.

In January, I went out on my own and started Savvy Realty Group. I have a fabulous team of buyer agents and we have had the BEST year in real estate since Jamie’s accident. So career wise life is good. We have had our up’s and down’s as a family as I have walked through numerous challenges with some of my children. I’m not going into details as it is their stories to tell if and when they want to.

I started a Healing Care course, support group that my former ObGyn and his wife teach in Ann Arbor and I am learning to let go of painful things that have happened over the years when Mike and I were in ministry. Although I had forgiven it is a deeper work that God is doing in my life. I desire more than anything to finish my race and accomplish the rest of what He has for me on planet earth.

I hope you enjoy Chapter one.

Chapter 1

A Miracle for Jamie

Jamie Caulk I was humming along to the music on the car radio when the ringing of my cell phone interrupted me. I fumbled in my purse for it. Being a Realtor I was constantly on the phone and knew I’d probably let it ring through to voicemail this time. I glanced at the screen. It was a 615 number—a Nashville number, but not one I recognized. I was on the way to Nashville from Ann Arbor, Michigan to celebrate my granddaughter’s first birthday.

Thinking that my son Matthew, or Sharon, my best friend in Nashville, might be using a borrowed phone to check and see how far along I was, I answered.

A perfunctory female voice at the other end said, “Ma’am this is Vanderbilt Hospital Trauma Unit calling. Are you Jamie Caulk’s mother?”

Immediately, even before I had processed her words with my brain, my heart pounded, and my mouth went dry. “Yes, I’m Jamie’s mother. I’m driving to Nashville. What’s wrong?”

I knew I was speaking too loudly into the phone, but I didn’t care. Something was wrong, very wrong. Thoughts tumbled over each other, vying for my attention as I tried to understand the context of the conversation. Jamie must have given this person my number. Was he in trouble? Why was I talking to this woman and not Jamie?

Why didn’t they put Jamie on the line?

“Ma’am can you pull the car over?”

“Hold on,” I said as I pulled the steering wheel to the right and eased the car onto the shoulder. I sat for a second acutely aware that I was about to hear something unfathomable. I took a deep breath and said, “Okay, I’ve pulled over; please tell me what’s wrong.”

The woman’s voice remained flat and detached. “I am a social worker in the Trauma Unit. Your son,

Jamie was in a car accident early this morning. The accident was near Vanderbilt Hospital, so the EMTs were able to get to him very quickly. He was conversant when he was brought in. The doctors were stabilizing him so they could perform surgery on his neck when he had an episode and had to be intubated. He has not had any feeling below his nipples since he arrived.”

I struggled to take in what was being said. What did she mean stabilizing him for neck surgery and no feeling? Was she telling me my son was paralyzed? Was that what the surgery was for? And it all happened early this morning. Why hadn’t she called hours ago? Hadn’t I checked my phone before I started out? There were no messages. It made no sense. Perhaps it was a huge mistake. I checked the clock.

“It’s 10:00 A.M., why am I just now being called?”

“Your son is 27, he’s an adult. On his admission form, he requested that no one in his family be informed. When he was no longer able to communicate, the medical team deemed his situation critical and were legally able to override his request.” ( Found out when I got the medical records this was not true as in his own handwriting he had written down my name and cell phone number.)

I felt my body start to shake. It was all I could do to hold the phone. No longer able to communicate…deemed critical… neck surgery… paralyzed… Visions of Jamie throwing the football 40 yards down the field to Seth Belinsky flashed in my mind; Jamie skating down the ice with his arms raised when he scored a goal in hockey; Jamie sitting at ESPN in Nashville doing a radio broadcast.

Now I imagined him laying on a gurney in a room filled with electronic devices, all alone with none of his family there with him.

Thoughts of my youngest daughter Allyssa being in a car accident in 2007 flashed through my mind too. I remembered the roller coaster ride; first the terror of being told she’d been t-boned by a truck then the relief of hearing she was not badly injured, followed by the shock of seeing her the next day and realizing she had a broken pelvis, ruptured bladder and a traumatic brain injury. That had been five years ago. But look at Allyssa now, I told myself, she’s healthy and fit. Jamie is strong and fit and young, he’ll pull through this. I just need to get to him.

“What should I do?” I asked the social worker.

“You need to get to the hospital quickly but safely, ma’am. How far away are you?”

“About seven hours,” I said, “but my son Matt, Jamie’s brother, lives in Nashville. He can be there in

twenty-five minutes.”

“Fine,” said the voice. “Have him go to the entrance of Vanderbilt Trauma Unit then up to the tenth floor.

“Drive safely,” said the social worker as the phone clicked off. I speed-dialed Matthew’s number, knowing that I was about to change his plans dramatically; his daughter Presley’s first birthday would be taking a back seat now.

“Mom?”

“Matt, we don’t have time to waste,” I said, imagining how odd this must sound. “Get over to Vanderbilt Trauma Center, Jamie was in a bad car wreck early this morning.”

“Early this morning? Why didn’t you tell me sooner?”

“I just found out. Apparently he didn’t want any of us to know, but now he’s critical. You have to go now.”

“What’s wrong with him? Did they tell you what’s wrong?”

I took a deep breath, Matthew, my second child, and oldest son, was always the one who needed answers, but now was not the time. “I don’t know Matt. They said something about him being okay when he got there and then some neck surgery and then he crashed. Please, I need to hear you tell me he ‘s going to be okay. Get in your car now, okay?”

“On my way, Mom,” Matthew said, “I’ll call you as soon as I know anything.”

“Thank you,” I replied, “And pray Matt—pray hard.”

“Yes, Mom,” Matt replied softly. And I knew he would. Matthew had a close walk with the Lord. As a family, we had always been there for one another and prayed together during challenging times.

I don’t know how long I sat motionless in my car on the side of the freeway. I wanted to go but was afraid I was too panicked to drive. My mind raced a mile a minute over the conversation with the social worker at the trauma center. Had she said Jamie was still alive just to get us there? Was he already dead and she didn’t want to tell me on the phone? It was something that happened in movies, wasn’t it? I imaged Jamie lying with a sheet pulled over his head. Waves of nausea rolled over me. I wanted to wail, but I forced myself to stay calm. I dialed Matt again.

“I’m almost ready to get off I-65, Mom, only about ten minutes away. Not much traffic. Have you heard anything more?”

“No,” I said. “Matt, find out if Jamie is dead and they are just telling me he is okay until I get there. Promise; make them take you to him. You have to see him. Don’t take no for an answer.”

“Okay, Mom,” said Matt, “I’ll make sure I see him, and I’ll call you as soon as I do. If there’s something…wrong”—he choked up at the word—“I’ll tell you, I promise.”

I took a few deep breaths and remembered my husband. Mike was a social studies teacher at Belleville High School. He’d be in class now. If I called he would pick up the phone since he knew I would only interrupt him in an emergency. But I couldn’t tell him the little I knew over the phone. He’d already had two heart attacks and needed to hear this news as gently as possible. Instead, I called our oldest daughter Christa. As calmly as I could speak, I told her what I knew. I asked her to drive to Belleville and tell her dad in person. I also asked her to call the rest of the family to let them know what was happening.

After I’d flicked the phone shut I turned the car key and eased the Lexus back onto the freeway. I felt numb—empty—useless—a million miles away from my beautiful son who might be dying right that minute.

I gripped the steering wheel as tears flowed down my cheeks. “Keep him, safe Lord,” I prayed, “Keep him safe. Wrap your arms around him and keep him safe. We need a miracle right now, a miracle, please Lord, a miracle for Jamie.”

Thanks for reading Chapter 1.

I love you, James Lindsay Caulk, I miss you so much, but I will see you soon.

Jamie’s Journal

Jamie Caulk Journal The last 18 months I have been doing a lot of remodeling to my home of 25 years. In the middle of painting, going to Salvation Army, renting three 150 ton dumpsters you learn to be careful that you are NOT accidentally getting rid of something important.

My husband was a pack rat…” you never know” he use to say.

Living in the same house for 25 years…we accumulated a lot of stuff.

My great-grandfather was a Methodist minister and my grandmother had a lot of his library. When she died Mike and I took boxes of his books. It was fun to look through them, read some of them and see the handwritten notes in the margins. I have given a ton of books to the Saline Library but not really sure what to do with these very OLD books.

Today I was going through some shelf’s and I came across Jamie’s diary. I didn’t even know he had a diary. He must have ditched it because he had only one entry, but it was a good one.

 

He wrote this on Thanksgiving Day 2009.

God is so faithful, what could have been a tough day became one the most blessed days for me EVER. Writing about it now is bringing some of the same feelings back to me. Praise God. He does renew. He does restore. He is so good. I am so thankful to be chosen and loved and able to share such things with others. The fellowship and love and laughter we shared will never be taken from me. It will go with me to eternity. I love you Jesus. I am yours.

Jamie Caulk Journal WOW, He did take that into eternity as this was written only 2 years before the Lord took Jamie home.

I don’t know why I found it today, but I love those God nods as we call them in my family. It brought such joy to Andrew and Christa when reading it. As a grieving mother anything like this brings such comfort.

The last two weeks have been particularly hard, as another young man in the Saline community died from injuries sustained in an auto accident. My heart was breaking for the pain I know the family is going through and how their lives will never be the same.

I was in Nashville when I heard the news and was also able to spend time with Jamie’s girlfriend. It is hard to see her still learning to deal with the loss of Jamie and yet oddly comforting to know someone else loved him as much as we did.

It’s also been hard with Michigan football starting in a few days. I know right? But, our family especially Mike and Jamie were so intense when it came to Michigan football. We are so excited about our new coach as both Mike and Jamie wanted Jim Harbaugh to come back years ago.

Now Jim is here and they are not. 

With all that has happened the last two weeks, reading Jamie’s journal was a much-needed God nod.

Jamie's journal Dr. John Rice said in his book Bible Facts about Heaven,

“Not one in that blessed land would, if he could, return to the decaying form he left, to live out the life he had planned, to see the happiest future he could imagine on this earth. Death for a sinner is horrible, but never to a child of God. “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them” (Rev. 14:13). Blessed and happy are the Christian dead!”

The majority of the time we sit and talk about Jamie, Mike and Lillian we always end up saying, “but…they wouldn’t come back even if they could.

As King David said when his son died, “he will not come back, but I will go to him.”

 

 

Organ Harvesting in Africa

If I hadn’t read this, I would have NOT believed it.

President Barack Obama told a group of young African leaders on Monday that harvesting organs from humans that are killed as part of an African ritual was “craziness” and a “cruel” tradition that needed to stop. He warned of dehumanizing marginal groups of humans and of the problems that arise when “you are not able to see someone else as a human being.”

Molly Hemingway at the Federalist BlogThe law on selling any organs reported it today. I found it on Twitter and had to read it because I honestly thought it was satire.

Not so.

Obama’s comments come in the midst of a weeks-long scandal in his own country over the killing of unborn children via abortion followed by the harvesting and distribution of their organs. The Center for Medical Progress has released five videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing the killing of human fetuses and the harvesting of their organs — or entire cadavers — to researchers willing to pay a pretty penny for them.

I know the lame stream media has reported VERY LITTLE on the atrocity. I know very few Congress has watched them as reported by Josh Earnest, the President own press secretary.  I watched them so I could hear it all in context and not soundbites on Facebook. I literally felt like I was going to throw up when I saw the little babies hand be picked up on the pie dish.

Disconnect

I am really having a disconnect on how our President can say this to these young Africans and then still support the same “cruel” and “crazy” harvesting in our country.

“Young people, you can lead the way and set a good example. But it requires some courage because the old thinking, people will push back at you and if you don’t have convictions and courage to be able stand up for what you think is right, then cruelty will perpetuate itself,” he said. He added, “If there’s one thing I want YALI leaders to come out with, it’s the notion of you are strong by taking care of the people who are vulnerable, by looking after the minority, looking after the disabled, looking after the vulnerable. You’re not strong by putting people down you’re strong by lifting them up. That’s the measure of a leader.” Obama to the Young African Leaders Initiative.

As President Obama said, it is “crazy” and “cruel” to harvest organs from humans that are killed. Yes, I agree both from those in the womb and those pronounced “brain dead”.

Why is everyone shocked at the harvesting of babies organs?

Disgusted yes? Horrified yes? But, shocked? No, I am not.

In January 1999, Life Site News posted a article by Celeste McGovern called, Secrets of the Dead-Baby Industry

Price list for babies livers

Aborted fetuses are being dissected alive, harvested and SOLD in pieces to fuel a vast research enterprise.

Take a peak at the for profit business Stem Express and you can see the order form for a liver and other organs. In their own words,

“StemExpress is a multi-million dollar company that supplies human blood, tissue products, primary cells and other clinical specimens to biomedical researchers around the world to fuel regenerative medicine and translational research. Founded in 2010, we offer the largest variety of raw material in the industry, as well as fresh, fixed and cryopreserved human primary cells.”

Same argument for organs harvested from people pronounced, “Brain Dead”

Order form for baby partsWell if they are already dead, then why bury the parts in the grave, let them be used to help someone else.

How altruistic it sounds but in BOTH cases the life of someone is taken in order to donate their organs and tissues.

Whenever you read a story about a person “donating” an unpaired major organ, the “donor” has to be killed. Major organs like the heart and liver are not vital or can NOT be used when “harvested” from a cadaver.

The person has to be alive with a living, beating heart circulating blood throughout the body in order to keep the other major organs alive.

There are no hearts, livers, pancreases, kidneys that are harvested from truly dead individuals. That person must be “kept alive” until his organs are harvested.

The last organ taken is the heart because that is what kills the “donor.”

You can’t live without a heart.

Pro-life

Personally I have been active in the pro-life movement for 40 years. I have picked Planned Parenthood, stood with Operation Rescue, counseled  woman in a Pregnancy Counseling Center, and helped facilitate an adoption.

Someone told me recently my name was still on a tree outside Ann Arbor Planned Parenthood in Ann Arbor, Missy Caulk do NOT trespass.

However, before I was active in the pro-life movement  I had an abortion. It was around the time abortion in America became legal. It was before I KNEW it was a baby and NOT a blob of tissue. I sinned. But, God forgave me when I understood and could repent of what I had done. I know I will meet my child in heaven one day.

Selling organs from a baby to a adult severely injured person is big business

Someone asked me once what I hoped to get out of this blog and my response was to help save lives from birth to natural death.  To help educate the masses who don’t understand that “brain death” is a legal fiction, made up to justify killing of people who are severely injured but not DEAD.

For you created my inmost being;

    you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Psalms 139:13

 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

    your works are wonderful,

    I know that full well. Psalm 139:14

My frame was not hidden from you

    when I was made in the secret place  Psalm 139:15

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Psalm 139:16

organ trafficking cost chart

Success Stories

More on the selling of baby parts

Organ Donation category 

Organ Donation Facts and Life Guardian Foundation 

There is no sin too big that can not be forgiven. If you have had an abortion God can and will forgive you IF you ask. I think most people know this and the harder thing to do is to forgive yourself. God does not want you to go through life punishing yourself for your abortion or for any other wrong you have done. The blood shed on the cross is powerful to heal. Jesus paid the price for our sin, so we don’t have to.

These are not blobs of tissue, they are babies who have a heartbeat and a brain. The brain and spinal cord begins to form at 5 weeks or 3 weeks AFTER conception. (Mayo Clinic)

If you watch the video produced by The Center of Medical Progress the brain of the baby is highly desirable. The doctors performing try to turn the baby’s head so they don’t crush it. I found this interesting since doctor’s are so quick to pronounce someone “brain-dead.”

The law on selling any organs

May God use the national exposure to change hearts and laws across the nation.

 

Nevada Doctor Needed

Nevada Doctor Needed Aden is a 20-year-old college student who had abdominal pain on April 1, 2015. Exploratory surgery was done; her normal appendix was removed after finding no disease in her abdomen. As the surgery was ending, Aden’s blood pressure and heart rate went down. Since then Aden has not awakened. She has been diagnosed as “brain dead,” the doctors have related this to lack of oxygen. Aden continues to live on a ventilator with nutrition in a vein. The doctors at the Nevada hospital informed the family that the ventilator would be removed on July 2 at 5 PM. That afternoon a petition from the father was heard in Court.

My testimony was that Aden is not truly dead. Aden has many signs of being alive although the doctors and hospital have been declaring that Aden is “brain dead” since the middle of April. Besides the findings that result in the doctors determining that Aden is “brain dead,” laboratory tests show that Aden suffers from hypothyroidism.

Aden needs life-saving and life-preserving thyroid hormone, a tracheostomy (like patients on a ventilator for a prolonged period), and a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube to provide nutrition through her stomach.

During the court proceedings the hospital administrator agreed to allow physician(s) licensed in Nevada, after the physician(s) has(have) been properly credentialed at their hospital, for that physician(s) to order (if he or she wishes) thyroid medication, a tracheostomy and gastrostomy. Having a tracheostomy and gastrostomy are necessary to facilitate transfer and care to a long-term care facility or her home. If you are a physician licensed in Nevada and willing to evaluate this patient and participate in treating this patient, please contact me immediately.

What happens after a determination of “brain death,” is that the life preserving ventilator is continued until it is convenient to either remove the vital organs for transplantation or discontinue the ventilator. Both result in true death. Many physicians are participating in such determination and subsequent actions. Others are non-participants because these actions are not within the scope of their practice. The majority of people including physicians and lawyers know little or nothing about the issues of “brain death.” Of the many who do know; it seems that they surmise that it is okay if physicians and lawyers are participating.

Furthermore, most, possibly everyone, have some ideas, thoughts or a concept of death. When the term “brain death” is heard, many think or believe “brain death” to be true death. Everyone with a determination of “brain death” has a beating heart, circulation respiration and interdependent functioning of their heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, spleen, bone marrow and intestines, etc. “Brain dead” is applied to patients who are unconscious and not taking a breath on their own. While parts of the brain may not be showing evidence of activity or functioning it does not necessarily mean destruction of the entire brain much less true death of the person (Latin: mors vera). True death of the person comes after the ventilator is removed, or vital organs are cut out.

There would not have been any difficulties if Aden’s father would have succumbed to the recommendation of the physicians who declared Aden to be “brain dead.” But it made no sense to Aden’s father who realized his daughter was seriously ill, but not dead. The life-supporting ventilator provides a breath for Aden every 5 seconds. Aden’s heart beats about 100,000 times a day without a pacemaker or medications. Aden’s father (also legal Guardian) directed doctors not to do an apnea test. Nevertheless, the apnea test was done. (The apnea test is not the familiar test for sleep apnea.) When the apnea test was done, the life supporting ventilator was taken away from Aden for 10 minutes. This caused Aden’s carbon dioxide to go sky high and caused severe acidosis. Every doctor knows that severe acidosis is not good for any patient.

The apnea test will do nothing for the individual patient except possibly cause harm to their already injured brain. It is done in order to show that the brain centers that usually respond to higher levels of carbon dioxide are not functioning to initiate a breath and thereby allow doctors to make the diagnosis of “brain death.” But in doing the test, elevated carbon dioxide and acidosis can cause the brain to swell even more and impair function even more. This test was not good for Aden. When she did not breathe on her own, it allowed the doctors to call her “brain dead.” Once that diagnosis was made and the family was told that care would be discontinued, the father needed to go to court to fight to have the necessary care for his daughter. Furthermore in court, it was learned that am apnea test was done to Aden more than once.

Realize that my objective is not to be against that hospital or those doctors. It is to be for Aden, her life and health. Aden, albeit with the diagnosis of “brain death,” with a spontaneously beating heart, even if she needs a ventilator to breathe, is simply not truly dead! Perhaps treatment with thyroid medication, tracheostomy and PEG tube will protect and preserve her life. Abruptly taking away the ventilator very likely will result in her death. Probably many would be supportive of protecting and preserving Aden’s life.

Is there one physician licensed in Nevada who will come forward to try to help?

Dr. Paul A. Byrne is a Board Certified Neonatologist and Pediatrician. He is the Founder of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis, MO. He is Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at University of Toledo, College of Medicine. He is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Fellowship of Catholic Scholars.

Dr. Byrne is past-President of the Catholic Medical Association (USA), formerly Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at St. Louis University in St. Louis, MO and Creighton University in Omaha, NE. He was Professor of Pediatrics and Chairman of the Pediatric Department at Oral Roberts University School of Medicine and Chairman of the Ethics Committee of the City of Faith Medical and Research Center in Tulsa, OK. He is author and producer of the film “Continuum of Life” and author of the books “Life, Life Support and Death,” “Beyond Brain Death,” and “Is ‘Brain Death’ True Death?”

Dr. Byrne has presented testimony on “life issues” to nine state legislatures beginning in 1967. He opposed Dr. Kevorkian on the television program “Cross-Fire.” He has been interviewed on Good Morning America, public television in Japan and participated in the British Broadcasting Corporation Documentary “Are the Donors Really Dead?” Dr. Byrne has authored articles against euthanasia, abortion, and “brain death” in medical journals, law literature and lay press.

Paul was married to Shirley for forty-eight years until she entered her eternal reward on Christmas 2005. They are the proud parents of twelve children, grandparents of thirty-one grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.

© Copyright 2015 by Paul A. Byrne, M.D.

http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/byrne/150706