Patrick Shugart: Fighting to Live
By Jewel Graham Taylor
The 700 Club
Maureen Shugart describes the birth of her son, Patrick. “When he came out I remember I saw him. He turned blue from the minute they cut the cord. The nurse noticed it first, and he’s having trouble breathing.”
Maureen Shugart had worried about her unborn baby for 9 months. She was 38 years old, pregnant, and sick all the time. Doctors tried to assure Maureen and her husband, Scott that all was well, but when Patrick entered the world on May 25th, 2004, he was struggling to breathe. He was quickly transported to nearby Children’s Hospital in Omaha.
Patrick’s father, Scott describes the efforts to help Patrick. “The cardiologist said that it was at that point they really could not give him any more medication without becoming toxic to him, lethal. So if he got any worse at all, there was nothing they could do for him.”
Patrick had a rare case of myocarditis - an inflammation of the heart muscle.
Maureen continues, “Scott and I were sitting in this little conference room with all these doctors and the chaplain who were telling us that we needed to make this decision pretty quickly. It was either the bypass or the heart transplant. Scott and I just knew without even speaking - He spoke to our hearts and said, ‘If you leave this with Me, it'll be alright.’ That’s what we basically will do, give it up to God.”
The Shugarts denied the heart transplant, telling doctors they were waiting on God. That night, Maureen called the 700 Club prayer line.
“I watch the 700 Club a lot and I have seen so many miracles on that show and it just occurred to me that I should call them. So I called and they prayed with me. A day or so later a doctor showed up with this research medication and he said I heard about your baby.”
Dr. Romero at Creighton University was conducting a blind study with an experimental drug and Patrick fit the requirements to participate. Patrick wasn’t guaranteed he’d receive the drug, and not a placebo, but to the Shugarts, the possibility was a ray of hope!
Maureen describes Patrick’s progress after becoming part of the study. “He got the first dose that night and within a day or so he started making a reversal. Even the doctors were shocked. Within a week he was off all the medications. That is really sort of unheard of. They woke him up and here was this strong, screaming baby who was really fighting to live. I was so happy that God had answered my prayers.”
Patrick remained in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for three weeks. At his six month checkup there were no signs of the illness that nearly took his life. Today, he is a happy, healthy and very active six year old boy!
Patrick knows God did something special for him. “I love God because he saves you when you are sick.”
Scott remembers, “Just to see him and when you think back of everything we went through to really remember where he was, how near death he was, and what a miracle he is.”
Maureen sees the message in her little boy’s healthy life. “He is proof that you can stare death in the face and the message of the cross, that God can conquer everything, even death itself!”
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