Courage found in unlikely places

Early this morning, beautiful Lara went into surgery to correct her combination of heart defects. Coworker Junko and I arrived just a few minutes after the surgery started and found Lara’s mother waiting outside the operating room.

For the next three hours, we sat together and waited for news from the OR. Oftentimes, waiting during a surgery can be an anxious and tense few hours. Lara’s mum, however, was calm and relaxed the whole time. After such a whirlwind first two days here, I was glad to get to know her a bit better. We discovered that we share favorite movies–The Lord of the Rings–and we spent much of the waiting time discussing them. “It’s all about an adventure,” she said with a smile, “and now I’m on an adventure myself.”

After just three hours, the doctor came out with good news– the surgery went well and the doctors were able to repair everything in one operation! In fact, once the surgery began, they found that Lara’s pulmonary valve was in much better condition than expected and the surgery turned out relatively simple. The surgeon expects that this will be the only heart operation Lara needs for the rest of her life.

Lara’s mum was excited to see her after surgery, and the doctor in the ICU was happy to welcome her into the room and show her how well her daughter is doing. Just a couple of hours later, she texted me a video of Lara breathing on her own without the ventilator! Lara’s recovery is off to a great start; please pray that it continues smoothly.

As I sat with Lara’s mum for the morning and listened to her story, a line from The Lord of the Rings came to mind: “Courage is found in unlikely places.” Sometimes, courage is found in grand tales of epic adventures. And sometimes, it is found in a mother’s love, determination, and sacrifice to give her daughter a chance to grow up. Lara’s mother is the very picture of this quiet strength and courage.

Thank God for Lara’s successful surgery!