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Devastating Diagnosis No Match for Prayer

By Randy Rudder
The 700 Club

CBN.comOctober 17, 2008, was Ida Garabedian’s birthday. She and her husband John were expecting their second child and the couple had gone in for a routine ultrasound. Ida noted the doctors’ response to the test. “They looked a little bit concerned about one issue, and they wanted to find out more about that.”

As the Garabedians prepared to go to dinner that night to celebrate Ida’s birthday, they received a call from Ida’s doctor, who informed her that her son had hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Ida and John began to research the condition. Ida says, “We opened up the computer and we started reading all these details about what hypoplastic left heart syndrome is, and it was horrible. It was horrible news. We were devastated.” And John continues, “The doctors were speaking to us about all the different chromosomal issues that there might be, and types of retardation or Down’s Syndrome.”

The doctors even suggested to Ida that she consider terminating her pregnancy. She had an immediate response. “I just said, ‘You know, we’re not going to terminate this baby. I can’t imagine doing that.’ I said, ‘I’ll deal with whatever comes. God will take care of this.’ He (the Doctor) said, ‘You say that now, but you don’t know how hard it really is going to be.’”

That evening, Ida’s father, George Goglonian, who was out of town on business, turned on the 700 Club. “I happened to turn on the television and the end of the 700 Club was on, and Terry Meeuwsen was speaking at the end of the program.”

Terry had this word: “Somebody else, you’ve just gotten a diagnosis, you’re pregnant, and there’s something wrong with your baby. It’s even been suggested that you consider aborting it. But God is saying to you ‘Trust Me. Have faith. What they’re telling you is the problem with your child, is not the problem.’ Trust God.”

George called Ida. She and John went online to watch the word of knowledge and claimed it for their baby. Over the next five months, they enlisted other family members and prayer partners at CBN to stand with them in prayer.  Ida tells how God kept them focused on His promises. “Every time there was a doubt, God would place someone with encouraging words, or a Bible verse that would just—the words would jump out at me, and I knew God was speaking to me.”

As Ida’s pregnancy advanced, doctors warned her to prepare for a series of several surgeries after birth. Ida explains, “They were suggesting that we needed to do a three-stage surgery on him, to make all of his heart work only from his right side. So, every ultrasound we went to, they would pretty much say the same thing.”

But the Garabedians continued to believe God. John held tightly to God’s promises, “No matter what those tests were showing at the doctor’s offices, my God was bigger than these tests. And He gave us that promise, that He was going to take care of it, and that He was going to heal him.”

Ida had one particular prayer. “My prayer specifically was, ‘Lord, give this child a whole heart, so he can whole-heartedly serve You in the future.’”

Little John was born on March 10, 2009, and doctors prepared the Garabedians for what lay ahead. John knew God was at work. “The whole issue with John was his mitral valve. When he was born, they did the echo-gram on his heart and they saw that it was still a lot smaller than it was supposed to be. It measured about 5.6 millimeters and they were looking for about 10. And there was about a six-day waiting period before the surgery was going to happen, so I asked one of the pediatric cardiologists if they could do another echo-gram the night before and he was very hesitant. He said, ‘There is no need for it because, the mitral valve doesn’t grow.’”

The next day, John went into surgery and was taken off the heart bypass machine after just 29 minutes.  The doctor delivered news to John. “The doctor came in and he said, ‘Everything went well with the surgery and John is going to be fine. He’s not going to need any more surgeries.’ And I asked him, ‘What about the mitral valve?’ And he said, ‘Well, the mitral valve measured at least 9 millimeters so it was a little bit larger than what we expected it to be.’ We were just rejoicing, and saying, ‘There it is. The Lord said, ‘It’s not going to be what the doctors say it is.’”

Today little John is a perfectly healthy four-year-old. Ida and John say their whole experience has taught them to truly trust God. Ida says, “This whole process has just exploded our faith, to know that He is going to do it. We always knew He could do it, but know we know He is going to take care of us. We don’t look at our circumstances. We look at God, and we focus on Jesus and Him telling us His promises in the Word. ‘Nothing is impossible with Me. I’m with you always,’ and He’ll never leave us.”

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