Already facing a challenging time in her life, Amber Allen learned her unborn son was not developing properly. Below, Amber shares her experience at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital.
Loma Linda University Health holds a very special place in my heart.
The caring atmosphere of Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital has blessed me for many years. As a child, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the hospital. My children were cared for at the Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and I was at my father’s bedside in the Loma Linda University Medical Center.
When my father passed away, the doctors and nurses at the Medical Center were gentle and caring, which meant a great deal to me during such a difficult season. In the months following my dad’s passing, my doctor began to tell me something was wrong with our unborn son, Joseph. I placed my faith in God and in his leading, but it was difficult to experience the loss of my father and then to hear something was not right with my baby boy.
The doctors told me Joseph’s eyes were not developing properly. I am a nursing student and an employee at the Loma Linda University Behavioral Medicine Center, but I had never heard of anything like this. The doctors also told me he had syndactyly, which meant his fingers were fused together. It was hard to understand, but I knew no matter what problems or challenges we might face with Joseph, we would love him unconditionally.
As the pregnancy grew closer to term, my blood sugar levels became erratic and I had a build-up of fluid. Around 33 weeks, they told me it was time to deliver Joseph.
I was still recovering and Joseph was three days old when I asked one of the student doctors if she knew anything about Joseph’s eyes. She told me his eyelids were sealed shut, and his eyes did not develop. I got up and went to see Joseph in the NICU. When I walked back to my room afterwards, I felt broken. I fell to my knees in my hospital room and cried out to God. “You give vision,” I prayed. “You restore sight to the blind. Please let my child see.”
It was so difficult. My husband and I loved Joseph and we wanted him to have what everyone else around him had: vision. I prayed asking God to bless Joseph and give him eyes so he could see.
A few hours later, some of my best friends came to visit me. As we walked into the NICU, the nurse said, “Your baby opened his eyes!” I looked at her and said, “What did you say? They told me he did not have eyes.” She shook her head. “No,” she smiled. “He has eyes.”
I rushed over to him and saw that his eyes were open. My friends were ecstatic. “Look, Amber, look! His eyes are open!” I called my mom and my husband and told them it was true, God gives sight to the blind.