Alfie Evans and Charlie Gard’s Deaths at the Hands of Doctors are Not Exceptions. It Happens in the US More Often Than You Know.
Blogger’s note: The following story was originally published in March 2016.
This is a true account that I experienced in 1981 at Frankford Hospital, now Aria Hospital in Philadelphia. Terry Noble, Voices for Life
It was 36 years ago, when my first grandson came into the world. He was born in the hospital where I worked as a billing clerk. A joyous celebration of his birth took place that day. Christopher Robert was a healthy 8lb, 3oz. baby. He was and still is the joy of our lives.
On the same day, a baby girl was born. Megan was a beautiful newborn, 6 lbs, 6 oz. Rumors were flying around the hospital about a “little angel” in the nursery who would not survive. As I later found out, Megan was that “little angel”. A friend in housekeeping told me that Megan was diagnosed by the pediatrician as “not having a brain”.
The doctor told the parents that Megan only had a brain stem. As it turned out, the pediatrician was wrong. He never ordered a CAT scan to confirm his diagnosis. It was later determined Megan had hydrocephalus. This condition causes fluid on the brain. A procedure is performed to drain the fluid within two to three days after birth. Today, this can be done in the womb. The procedure was never ordered by the physician.
Armed with his prognosis, the pediatrician withheld nutrition from Megan. The newborn was given fluids. The parents were young and naive. They believed the doctor’s report. They came to see Megan every day. He was starving her to death, as they continued to trust the one who took an oath to “do no harm” to their baby.
About one week later, Lois told me that Megan was moved to a private room. She was taken out of her isolate. In the meantime, the nurses began to sneak feedings to Megan. It was later reported that nurses had threatened the administration with notifying the media.
When I told my co-workers that a baby was being starved to death in our hospital, there was one of two responses: “It’s not true” or “It’s none of your business”. Even a pediatrician said he would not remove nutrition, but did not intervene. I was upset and confused. How could this be happening? How could we allow a baby to be starved to death? What would they record as the official cause of her death,”starvation”? I thought, we’re not only killing babies in the womb, now we’re killing them outside the womb.
I called my pastor for advice. He gave me the phone number of a pro-life attorney. I told him what Megan was suffering at the hands of the pediatrician. He was shocked. He said because she did not have a shunt to relieve the pressure on her brain, she was in tremendous pain.
Four weeks passed. Lois continued to keep me updated. It seemed there was no way we could do anything to save Megan.I cried out to the Lord to send someone, anyone to intervene and save her. Then the Lord began to lead Lois and me on different paths to help Megan.
The attorney called a pro-life group. They called the hospital and told them they would picket the building if they didn’t feed the baby. Since the parents were Catholic, they sent a priest to their home to speak with them. At the same time, Lois called the parents and told them to take their baby out of the hospital. Before Megan was discharged, I went to her room. Her little body was just skin and bones. I cried as I placed my hands over her and asked God to raise her up as a testimony to His power.
The parents rushed her to Philadelphia Children’s Hospital. When the physicians saw Megan, they were in tears. They could not believe a doctor could have done this to an infant. She received the procedure and began to recover from the first painful weeks after her birth.
Megan’s mother invited Lois and me to her home after her discharge from Children’s Hospital. We were so grateful to finally meet her. The baby I prayed over was transformed from the shell of an infant to a precious, thriving “little angel”. This was truly a miracle of God’s grace and love.
Megan was also diagnosed with spina bifida and learning disabilities. But Megan and her parents triumphed through the Lord’s Divine intervention over a system that wanted to take her life. He used a billing clerk and a hospital housekeeper to do what the administration refused to do to save Megan’s life.