Like most other people, I have heroes. The youngest, Jesse, is less than a year old. If you are curious about how a mere baby became one of my heroes, read the following:

Jesse had a heart attack at birth; his lungs didn't completely inflate; the arteries to his lungs did not completely open; he had hypertension in his lungs; a part of his heart died during the heart attack and this resulted in an aneurysm; he had a very large and a small hole in his heart; the blood vessel that was supposed to close off at birth in the top of his heart didn't close off; the right side of his heart was enlarged and had twice as much pressure as the left side.

The doctor nicked his heart during surgery in a place that interfered with his electrical signals, and they were almost positive he would have to have a permanent pace maker. If his heart rhythm hadn't kicked in by a week after surgery, they were going to install the pace maker (all babies who have heart surgery are put on a temporary pace maker just in case, but usually come off it in the first two or three days). The operating room was scheduled for the pace maker, but Jesse surprised them by his heart rhythm fully returning on the 6th day after surgery.
When they removed the ventilator a few days after surgery, he couldn't breathe without it, and they reinserted it. The next time they removed it, he could breathe on his own. Then he got pneumonia, and had to have the breathing tube reinserted. The third time it was removed his lungs collapsed, because they filled with blood within a day.  He had to have the tube reinserted, his lungs suctioned out, and a blood transfusion.  A bronchoscopy didn't reveal any bleeding in the trachea or bronchial tubes, so the bleeding had to be in the lungs. They increased the ventilator air pressure in hopes of compressing the unfound source of the bleeding and to seal it off. He was also given steroids and the bleeding finally stopped. Steroids also helped reduce the swelling in his heart from the surgery and, they think, helped his heart rhythm to return. Finally, he was on so many strong pain medicines, he had withdrawal symptoms after they were stopped and had to be on methadone for a while.

God has healed him and he is doing wonderfully now. He still may have to have surgery to fix the valve in his urinary tract that is causing reflux of urine into his kidneys and also to bring down one of his testicles if those problems don't fix themselves by the time he is a year old.


A little man in babyís skin,
Soft without, a fighter within,
Who with a smile as bright as day,
Can quickly steal your heart away;
He entered life with body ill,
But with a spirit naught could kill,
And endured the surgeonís knife
Often times in his fight for life;
Praise God! this little man so small,
At last, came smiling through it all;
And what a truth his healing shares:
God is faithful to answer prayers.

J. G. (Jerry) Braddock Sr.

August 2, 2010

August 5, 2010

August 12, 2010

August 17, 2010

August 23, 2010

September 3, 2010