Prayers for Barbara Curtis, UPDATED

Via Pundette, Barbara Curtis of has had a serious stroke. She is a writer, blogger, and Catholic mom of 12. I have many of her books on teaching littles and have directed many friends over the years in need of guidance and support for parenting. Please keep her and the family in prayer.

UPDATE: Please read this from Elizabeth Foss  and donate if you can to help the family, and daughter Maddie specifically. I am heartbroken. My mother suffered a stroke eight years ago, and thankfully–no, miraculously–saw the same doc in the ER who had given her a cardio stress test weeks before. He knew immediately it had to be a stroke and was able to administer drugs accordingly. According to Elizabeth, Barbara will not regain consciousness. Tears. I have read Barbara’s blog for five years and am awed by how much life she has lived and how many lives she has touched. Pray.


Seven months

That’s how long Baby Joseph lived with the tracheotomy performed in an American hospital after Canadian officials denied the family the simple operation that would allow the family to bring Joseph home. Via Wesley Smith:

“Baby Joseph” died with his mother Sana Nader, father Moe Maraachli at the home, CBC News reported. “It seemed like a relaxing breath, like he was OK. It didn’t seem like he struggled,” Nader said, according to the report. “It was God’s way of telling us his last breath was OK.”

Prayers Joseph and for the family he left behind.


“Our culture is over. There is nothing left to save.”

So says Patrick Archibold  of Creative Minority Report in response to this heartbreak:

After nearly nine hours of deliberation over two days, a jury of four men and two women agreed that a Palm Beach Gardens obstetrician and the clinic where she works were negligent for not detecting the boy’s horrific disabilities before he was born.

Had Dr. Marie Morel and an ultrasound technician properly administered a sonogram, they would have discovered the abnormalities, the jury found. Had Ana Mejia and Rodolfo Santana known, they said they would have terminated the pregnancy.

The jury awarded the parents $4.5 million to help “buy prostheses, wheelchairs and other medical services experts say he will need to live any semblance of a normal life” because their son was born sans arms and with only one leg.

At least Bryan Santa has a life, no?

What torment for a child at the age of three to know that mommy and daddy would have chosen to abort him because his life was too hard for them to bear.

Pray for this kid. Not because he has no arms and one leg. Pray for him because he knows he’s not wanted. And instead of teaching their child to focus on what he does have–a life, for the love of God!–they only look at his shortcomings.

I remember watching a documentary as a teenager about the thalidomide babies. Many were bitter. Some were ugly bitter, so twisted with hate because they were different, likely because the parents resented the intrusion from normalcy. But one–I still remember how his zest for life overcame everything, largely, I think, because he came from a big family where he was one of many. He played the drums with his feet. He painted. He could play frisbee. He had a wife–all limbs intact–and children. He was a happy man.

Bryan Santana, be that man. That’s my prayer for you. You have a heart and you have a mind. No one can take that away, not even your parents.

UPDATE: From a “thalidomide baby,” words of wisdom:

I’m a “Thalidomide baby”. Obviously, I’m not a baby anymore, but that’s how I’m referred to. I graduated from high school in 1976 and from college in 1980. I’ve got a degree in computer technology. (Binary code makes sense to me–I only have two fingers!) Anyway, I married in ‘81 and opened my own business in ‘85. My kids are 12, 10, and 9. I have a pretty normal life. Except…

My arms end just below what would normally be an elbow and my legs are malformed, too. I’ve never walked, run, or ridden a bike. I’ve never thrown a baseball, caught a football, or played a guitar. For years I struggled with prosthetic hands but they only frustrated me. I use a simple, old-fashioned hook, its what I grew up with, and I’m used to it. I live every day with the consequences of my mother’s actions. She didn’t mean to hurt me, and I’ve never known what it was to have legs, so I can’t really say I “miss” them. I wonder some times what my life would be like if Thalidomide had never been invented, but…


HINT: So was the institution of adoption! Everyone is dealt their own cards in life, their own unique situations, and we all must learn to live our own lives, find our own purpose, and make our own happiness without blaming others for our circumstances

Linked by Pundette as a “Recommended Read.” Thanks!

Celebrate life

In all forms.

Via CMR, meet Amanda. She is 34 weeks pregnant with cojoined twin girls, Faith and Hope, both of whom she was advised to abort. Since they would be so different and face so many challenges. She writes:

The doctor said the babies wont make it and termination is the best option. I never returned back to her office. When she told me the news I broke down, I wasn’t thinking about abortion. I was thinking will they survive, not I want them to die!

Amanda has made it through a difficult pregnancy and waits in the hospital to deliver the girls. Only 30 cojoined twins are born annually–worldwide. Drop by her blog to send her prayers or hit her tip jar. She’s received heaps of abuse from many. Shower her with love.

“There’s no preparing for it.”

Typing through tears.

Oh, Kimberly Vaughn, you are in my prayers forevermore. Vaughn just experienced every military wife’s nightmare:

Kimberly Vaughn saw TV reports about the downed helicopter Saturday morning, but the tragedy reached her home when her doorbell rang.

“I thought, ‘Oh, hopefully it’s just a neighbor,’ and as I rounded the stairs I saw the men in uniform and I just fell to my knees,” she said. “There’s no preparing for it. It’s something you see in the movies. It’s not something you’re supposed to live through.”

Her father was standing with her to hold her up as the Navy officers told her that her husband was killed in action.

Prayers for Kimberly, her two-year-old son Reagan, and two-month-old daughter Chamberlyn. And all the families who experienced the same devastating doorbell ring on Saturday.

From an interview this morning:

When asked what Vaughn’s children, 2-year-old Reagan and baby Chamberlyn, will remember about their father, Kimberly Vaughn replied, “They will take away his love for Christ. They will take away is strength and his love for this country.”

And in a heartbreaking moment of realization, an emotional Kimberly Vaughn concluded, “And they will know what an amazing man he is — was.”

Aaron Vaughn’s mother on the unique difficulties the families of special operations forces face:

“Everything he did was secret, and it just feels really strange right now that only in his death can we celebrate who he was in his life,” Karen Vaughn said. “It’s a very difficult concept to understand.”

It is for those who don’t live it. Pray, pray, pray for these families and for all families who fear a knock at the door for months on end while their loved ones are deployed. It is not an easy life.


That’s the estimated width of the tornado that ripped through Joplin, Missouri, yesterday: three-quarters of a mile.

The hospital took a direct hit, as did multiple schools.  A busy commercial corridor–a Wal-mart, Home Depot, Sonic–needs more body bags.

Pray for Joplin residents.  And consider donations to the Red Cross for the thousands who have lost their homes.

UPDATE: linked by Pundette & a “Recommended Read.” Thanks!

UPDATE: via Pundette, text donation info that wasn’t available late last night:

Financial donations to The Salvation Army disaster relief efforts may be made by texting the word ARMY to 90999 for an automatic $10 donation. To make a credit card donation, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or go to may be mailed to The Salvation Army, 3637 Broadway Ave., Kansas City, MO 64111.

The Red Cross has said they are in need of blood donations. Those interested can donate $10 by texting REDCROSS to 90999.

The death toll rises. More storms head for the area.

UPDATE: via The Other McCain, wicked video. It just … appears.

Oh, heartbreaking

I missed this story last week but can’t get it out of my head this morning.

In short, a mom became profoundly disabled as a result of medical mishaps during the delivery of her triplets. Dad divorces mom after a year realizing she’ll never recover. Mom now in care of her parents on opposite side of the country, and dad seemingly does what he can to prevent the kids from knowing their mother.

How low have we sunk as a whole in devaluing life that disability must be hidden away? That children cannot know their mother because she nearly died giving birth? Or, as Wesley Smith asks: Do profoundly disabled people have parental rights?

Abby Dorn is that mom. A court issued a temporary ruling last week that she does have the right to see her children, regardless of her disability.

Thank God.

More from Dr. Manny.

UPDATE: linked as a Recommended Read by Pundette. Thanks!

Much needed good news: Baby Joseph beats the Canadian death panel with the aid of Priests for Life

TmT and I have both written about Baby Joseph’s fight to have the tracheotomy which would allow him to die in peace at home.  

Via Fox News, Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life answered the prayers of many, a chance for this boy to fight for his life rather than bureaucratic doctors to predetermine its worth:

Under cover of darkness, Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, arrived in Ontario, Canada, Sunday night to rescue Baby Joseph Maraachli from the London Health Sciences Centre. For two weeks, doctors at the hospital in London, Ontario, have been delaying the baby’s transfer to a hospital where efforts to save his life will not be officially labeled “futile.”

“I knew, after this dragged on day after day, that I needed to be here myself to get Baby Joseph to safety,” said Father Pavone. “He needs to be in a hospital that cherishes life over the bottom line. After around-the-clock negotiations, this really became a race against time.” Father Pavone was accompanied by Priests for Life staff, who were there to assure the transfer proceeded smoothly.

Baby Joseph and his father, Moe Maraachli, were flown with Father Pavone to SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis, Mo., on a specially equipped air ambulance provided by Michigan-based Kalitta Charters, and sponsored and paid for by the New York City-based Priests for Life.

“If there is a chance this boy can live, we have to explore every option,” said Father Pavone, who was to arrive back home in New York earlier today after weekend speaking engagements in Cleveland. Instead, he flew to Detroit and then on to Canada, vowing not to leave the country until he had Baby Joseph and his father with him.

Fr. Pavone fought the Canadian system that tried to stall him at every turn and won. Clarity:

The medical board overseeing his case is apparently convinced that giving proper care to Baby Joseph is futile. They don’t mean that the medical care won’t help him. They mean his life in its current condition isn’t worth the trouble.

Or the expense. 

Pictures available here.

The next day: “Wasteland”

There are no words.

Tens of thousands of missing and 45,000 told to evacuate due to nuclear emergency.

Explosion at one nuclear power plant, five others in state of emergency.

Iodine distribution.

Quake moved earth’s axis by 4 inches and Japan’s coastline by 8 feet

Want to help? Text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. To give more, head here.

And pray.

“There is really nothing to say, but in this first Friday of Lent, a day of abstinence, let us offer up our prayers and sacrifices for the stricken nation of Japan and the people living in anxiety as the water moves…”

So says the Anchoress of the massive 8.9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated Japan. She’s right, though it feels woefully inadequate.

I’ve dashed off emails and prayers for friends whose entire families are in Japan and one to a very pregnant friend in Hawaii who is most likely still awake now, still crying, still nervous with the evaucation sirens blaring on the hour.

From the WSJ:

The inside of The Wall Street Journal newsroom wasn’t immune to the raw shock. Workers in the office, located on the 19th floor of an Otemachi district skyscraper, quickly moved from business-as-usual handling of typical quakes to a startled realization that the building across the way was moving from left to right. In a few seconds, the swaying became so violent that staff had to hold on to desk and chairs. Knuckles tightened, and faces grew pale.

Tokyo is over 200 miles from the epicenter. 

A passenger train missing? There are no words.


CMR: A Prayer Request from Japan 

Hot Air has amazing coverage with video and pics. The whirlpool horrifies me. And the second-order effects, namely the nuclear reactor problems, will continue to pose myriad dangers. Pray and donate if you’re able.