Creating Smiles, Improving Lives

Angels on Earth: Grandmothers

The story of Ian’s supportive grandmother

Special Guest Blogger: Jacquelin Sandoval


There are medical miracles that many times we can’t explain…hint, that’s why they are referred to as miracles. Yesterday as I walked out of the operating room, I walked past the dark empty waiting area when an anxious grandmother jumped out of a seat and flagged me down. She asked me if her grandson Ian had return from surgery. I told her that Ian was still in surgery and that he was under the best possible care and not to worry. I sat next to Grandma Emilia and began a lengthy discussion. She shared that Ian was a miracle child because years earlier, Rosa (her daughter) was pregnant with a little girl who died 5 minutes after birth from spina bifida. Rosa believed that she would never have another pregnancy.
When Rosa found out that she was pregnant with Ian she was super excited as she didn’t think it was possible. However, during one of Rosa’s monthly routine appointments, the physician instantly told her that something was wrong and admitted her to the hospital…her water had broken. Ian was born at 5 months and weighing in at 2 pounds. He was in the ICU for 3 months. During that period, Ian’s heart stopped beating twice for 4 minutes and he also suffered a burn on his foot from the lamp that was placed in the incubator.

Today after Ian’s recovery, I was fortunate enough to sit down with Rosa for a short conversation. She shared that during the 3 months that Ian was in the ICU it was extremely difficult to leave as he had highs and lows daily. At this point, Rosa’s mother Emilia stepped in and played a big role. Her mother prepared all of her meals and took the hour bus ride to the hospital for Rosa to eat. She was also there to console her each time Ian started slipping away. The official first victory was when Ian was able to go home to Rosa and his father. Rosa was over the moon excited that her family would have some normality. Days after having Ian home, Ian’s father dropped a bomb on the family (not a literal one but a figurative one)! He couldn’t handle the stress that came along with Ian’s care and he was leaving them. Rosa packed her bags and Ian’s oxygen and got on the first bus to her mother’s house. Emilia opened the door to a crying broken-hearted daughter and an 8 month old grandson.

Emilia strengthened and fueled Rosa’s emotional stability and cared for Ian’s fragile state. Ian is almost 3 years old and every day, Grandma Emilia is there to hug him, hold him, and wipe the tears away. And, last night in the dark empty waiting room, this was no exception. Rosa walked in and said, “Mom, he is still in with the doctors” as tears fell from her face. Emilia excused herself for a moment and wiped Rosa’s tears and said “she (referring to me) just said he is doing well and in good hands; please don’t cry and eat otherwise, you will get sick”. I got a bit emotional and turned away. A few minutes later Emilia returned and said, “you know Ian is a true miracle and God has a purpose for him”. I nodded my head and said “he absolutely does”. We then wrapped up our conversation and I excused myself.

I told Rosa this morning that her mother referred to Ian as a miracle baby. She said, “Ian is a miracle but my mother is an angel on earth. If it wasn’t for her I don’t know what I would do”.

All I can say is “wow”…grandparents are so cool. I’ve read on Pinterest or somewhere a quote that read “great mothers get promoted to grandmothers”. I always thought it was cute but the truth is that it’s not just cute. Grandmothers and grandfathers are the heart of the operation…they are straight wisdom and strength. Maybe because they have lived so much or maybe because they are angels on earth. I’m not really sure, but I do know if you are lucky enough to have your grandparents still alive, take a moment out of your busy schedule to tell them how much you love and appreciate them.
If you are wondering about Ian the miracle baby, he is doing well. His surgery was a success. He slept all night and will be released today. Yes, you guessed it…Grandma Emilia was in the waiting room first thing this morning.

Note about the Blogger:

I have been blessed to have amazing grandmothers. They were both very involved. My grandmothers taught me how to think like a businesswomen and to never take “no” for an answer. Your “no” is my opportunity….nothing is impossible and everything is possible.


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