SAINT ELIAS JOHN TURNER
PRAY FOR US
Over the past several years I have worked with Carmella Turner on Cult activity. In time she became a great friend and supporter. I began to know her quite well as a very loyal wife, mother, and Catholic. When she gave birth to her seventh child, she asked if I would be the godfather. Although I have been godfather to more than twelve children, I take this very serious as I become responsible for the upbringing of the child in the case the parents cannot do so, and I become responsible for the religious education of the child even over the parents. Godfather, I am to Elias John Turner.
However, Elias was born with problems. I think God pressed His Sacred Heart against Elias' heart and there were holes that should not be there. These problems continued no matter how much the parents fought and fought, prayed and prayed and loved and loved. Elias did not make it in this life, but his memory and his love will last forever. He is now in Heaven praying for me and all that knew him.
Although it was sad, his funeral was something to remember forever. Seven priests and monks concelebrated the mass, as a nun sang and cried in her singing. Three hundred people attended the funeral and the reception for our child. The Church, the pastor, the monks, the nuns, the family, all, were a great joy to my heart and something I will never forget. The pastor needs his own newsletter which will come about and the monks deserve a special article on their new movement.
On the day of his death, I felt he was already praying for me. His story is best explained in the emails I received from his mother and father before and after his death. For those who kill children in the womb because the child is inconvenient to their life style. I want you to meet a woman who is a real woman and mother, and a man who is a real man and father. Whatsoever I could write about being a true woman or a true man can be summed up in Carmella and John Turner.
I took Elias to the Cardiologist for his normal
visit. He is now 16 pounds. I am waiting for some new pictures so we
can finally send you some of our family. She said he is doing very well,
that his shunt that is more or less keeping him alive sounds excellent.
I would love to have a miracle, but just accepting God's will in our
life is enough for us. I have been praying to Blessed Andre in Canada
for a cure. Did you know that his heart is incorrupt? A group of
friends of mine went up to St. Joseph's Oratory in March, and prayed in
front of his reliquary where his heart is kept, and asked for a miracle
for Elias. I wish I had a relic so that I could place it on him. I
think that many miracles occur when a relic is touched to the person,
don't they. Well, if it is God's will, then St. Joseph, as well as
Blessed Andre will be there for Elias. ---- I have a picture finally of
me and Elias. Shall I send it to your business address? He is 41/2
months, and weighs about 18lbs. He is such a fatty. But healthy.
Thanks for your prayers and remember you are in ours. Let me know of
your newest endeavors.
Well, Elias John is now officially a member of the Catholic Church. I
know he was when I baptized, and even when the priest came to the
hospital, but it was so nice to be in our own parish church, St. Mary of
the Immaculate Conception, that it felt really real. We have a such a
special priest, Fr. Joseph Tito, who is my age (42), who is so holy. He
is like another Cure of Ars. Well he explained every part of the
ceremony, did the exorcism prayers, and all the wonderful parts of the
service. Our son Jake, stood in for you, and did such a great job. He
held the candle for you, as we accepted the light of Christ with it.
Margaret was the Godmother, and so proud to be it. She told me to tell
you that she paid the stipend for the priest, and feels that you should
cough up half of it. Of course, she was smiling when she said it. She
took us all out for brunch after the Baptism. My parents were also
there, as well as John's. But only mine came to eat with us, which is
just as well, as their is still some weird vibes around them. Now your
Godson was quite a handful at church. He fussed, whined and cried almost
the whole time. I took him in the back to nurse him, and when I noticed
Fr. Tito looking at me to bring him back to the front, I made Elias stop
nursing, and then he cried more, because then he had to burp. What a
trip. It was hot, and humid, and Fr. Tito says all the babies he
baptizes always cry. He is so funny. Maybe you will someday meet him.
God willing he will be marrying our daughter Rachel, next May 27. That
is Memorial Day, and you will be invited. Anyway, John and I both thank
you for accepting the job of Godfather for Elias. We didn't mean to drop
it so suddenly, but when the Spirit moves, we better go with him.
We will send you pictures of the Baptism this week, so you will finally
see this little (BIG) critter, as well as all of us. We feel God put us
all together for a reason, and now you are closer than ever with your new
Thank you again for your prayers and support.
Carmella, John, and Elias John
Forgot one thing. I assume your full name is Richard. Want to get it
right for the birth certificate. Let me know. Also, know that we will
do our very best to not be distracted by signs and wonders, as we lead
Elias on to the path of heaven. With you and Margaret helping, can't see
where he will get to far off the road.
It's been about 2 weeks since I mailed you the pictures of the family,
and no word from you as of yet. Did you get them? What did you think?
It is in the 90's again this past few days. Makes having a pool a gift
from God. How are things going for you? Elias went to the cardiologist
this past Friday, The feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, also my wedding
anniversary (22 years). Well he is doing good. He weighs 19 pounds, and
is looking like a little man. Well his iron level is a little low, so
now he has to start taking iron drops. So now that will be 4 times a day
that we have to give him something orally. The doctor wants to probably
do his catherization in September, with his open heart surgery scheduled
for probably November. They want to avoid cold and flu season, because
if he got a cold, it would delay his surgery a week at a time. So we
continue to pray for him, us, and of course his new Godparents.
Gotta go for now, but please let me know about the pictures.
Oh yea, his feast day is this week, July 20. So a little extra prayer
would be nice.
Your in ours.
Just a note to let you know that the package for Elias arrived on
Wednesday. Two days from the postmark. The statues are just beautiful. Is the
angel of Fatima from Portugal? The only problem is that the small angel
with baby had a couple of broken parts. The bed frame lost a couple of
small pieces which I found in the box, but the angel has a hand missing
and I looked in the box, as well as in my trash with the packing peanuts
and it was not there. It is up to you what you want to do. We fixed the
bed ourselves, and maybe a friend of mine who repairs statues can maybe
affix a new hand. Thanks for the bulletins of Unity Publ. John and I
found the predictions of St. Bernadette just incredible. Wouldn't that
be an incredible time for all of us and of course the church.
Know that Elias is growing like a weed, and believe me, here in CT. that
is about the only thing that is growing. We are in such a heat wave, that I go out very
rarely, mostly because it is to hot to take Elias and the girls out
because none of our cars have working air conditioning. Again thanks for
the statues, they are so beautiful. They will grace his bedroom for all
to see. Keep us in your prayers, as you are in ours.
MR. ELIAS JOHN TURNER
GREETINGS GODFATHER, MOM WENT TO THE LIBRARY AND WENT ON YOUR WEBSITE TO SAY HELLO TO YOU. I LOVE YOU
Sorry for not writing sooner. Life has been kinda hectic lately. Our
daughter Rachel left last week for Steubenville, our #2 son Jake leaves
Monday for Illinois, and the Navy, and school has started for the girls
this week. Besides the normal stress of raising children, all is well.
I took Elias to the Cardiologist last week for his normal visit. Well,
they scheduled him for a catherization on the 27th of September, which is
John's birthday and the feast day of one of my favorite saints, St.
Vincent de Paul, who happens to have an incorrupt heart!!!!! So we will
invoke his protection for this surgery as it carries risks, as does any
operation. Then within a month, they want Elias in the hospital for his
first open-heart operation. They said he will be in their probably 2
weeks so we are quite nervous about all these happenings. But faith can
move mountains, so why not make him come out okay. He is just getting so
cute. As soon as I have more pictures of him I will send them to you.
When Rachel moved out, he moved in her room, and now his statues watch
over him from his own bureau.
How are things with you. I haven't had a chance to check your web site,
so I know you are really busy with that now. How about Fr. Marx? Is the
article on him in the Wanderer true? He was supposed to speak at our
parish hall in May, but Fr. Welch I think came instead. I didn't go to
the conference, but about 200 people did. It is just to bad how all
these good organizations are going down. Greed and Pride if you ask me.
Well, I know you must have to read a lot of e-mails, so I won't go much
further. Please let us know how you are, and we will continue to seek
God's graces for Elias and his future.
Carmella and fam.
I sent you the email about Elias a little late. Sorry. We are home
right now, and everything went relatively well. The only thing is that
they weren't able to get into all of his heart, so they have to do it
again in a month. It isn't the easiest thing to do, to watch your little
one in a hospital bed. But God gave me and the family the grace, and it
showed. Elias was a perfect patient, and all the nurses and doctors
really loved him. Once he woke up, and he looked at them with his big
brown eyes, he just melted his heart. One thing is that the cardiologist
just can't understand how this little guys' heart works so well, in spite
of all the problems. I just tell her that he is loved by God, and has
many many people praying for him. I took some pictures of him, and hope
to send you some as soon as I get them developed. We are all okay, and
taking one day at a time. Hopefully, things are getting better for you.
I was reading a old copy of Envoy magazine and saw your letter in it. I
had to laugh. It was a nice response to their magazine. Hopefully, your
business will pick up, and you will be able to do what God is calling you
to. You are in our prayers, and thank you for all yours for us.
Will write later.
God Bless, and we love you
Carmella, Elias and fam.
It is Sunday, at appx 2pm CT time. Just wanted to remind you that Elias
is going in for his heart catherization tomorrow at 8amEST. I have to be
at the hospital at 7am, which means I leave the house at 6am. We are
trying to keep peaceful through this day, but it is not always easy.
Elias is growing and learning more things every day. He is just getting
to cute. I plan to take pictures today. Will send you an updated one
ASAP. You mentioned in your last email about putting his picture on the
web site. I think right now we better hold off on that, until we see how
things progress. I will let you know how the surgery goes, and then they
will tell me when he is scheduled for the open-heart. He has many people
praying for him, and all I can do is place him in the hearts of Jesus and
Mary, and leave it up to them. I gotta go for now, as there are many
things to do today. Please keep a young father named Nate who has
"gardeners syndrome", which is terminal cancer of the liver, stomach, and
colon. He needs a miracle for this one. So anyone you know for prayers
would be appreciated.
KEEP THE FAITH!
Sorry for the long delay in writing. John has been working on the
computer, and consequently it hasn't worked for about 2 weeks. And not
only that, but I also lost all the names in my address book. So I am
glad that you wrote.
Yes Elias is just great. He is scheduled for another heart cath. on
October 29. They are pretty confident that they will be able to get into
the section of the heart that eluded them the first try. The
cardiologist told me that she spoke with a neurosurgeon and will be
using some of their instruments for Elias as brain surgery uses smaller
catheters. So we will be praying for him again, and ask you to please
remember him and us at that time. We just got some new pictures of him
that I will be sending you this week. He is just so cute, and FAT. We
have yet to get a picture of the Godfather, any chance?
So how are things with you? Have you been working and doing Unity
Publishing at the same time again? It must be such a hectic pace for
you. Don't you just want to get off this crazy merry-go-round sometimes.
I know we do. We haven't had a quiet weekend since the summer. But we
are very active with the girls school, and we feel that is what God is
calling us to right now. Back on the 15th, one of my favorite Saints
day, (Teresa of Avila) our school had it's 125th anniversary. Being the
president of the Home/School Association, I was in charge of the runnings
of the day. So, I am still recuperating.
Rick, what do you know about Fr. Marx, and the article in the Wanderer
recently? We have heard conflicting reports, and I tend to want to
believe the Wanderer. But you know how the devil works, when an
organization does God's work, he tries hard to destroy it. If you have
any thoughts on this we would like to hear yours. You are in our
prayers, and know that all is okay in CT, and hope all in CA is the same.
Let me know when you get the pictures.
Love and Prayers
Carmella and John
Just a quick note to let you know that all went well on Friday with my
We got at the hospital at 7am, and stayed until 5pm. It was a long day,
but all I did most of the time was sleep.
The Doctor told Mom that all went well, and that they were able to get
into the section of my heart that she couldn't get last time. She said
all looks well, that the pressure was low, which is good, and now she
needs to talk to the surgeon about when the open-heart surgery will be
done. Looks like early to mid December. We will be sure to let you
know. Mom says thanks for the prayers, as it is just amazing how well we
all survive this procedure. My big brother Jake is giving Mom and Dad
quite a fit right now. He is 18 and in the Navy, and thinks he is in
love with a deceitful girl. It has been real stressful on them, so
please keep them and Jake in your prayers, especially for a conversion of
heart for him. I gotta go for now, but know that I love you and hope to
meet you someday soon.
Your Godson - Elias John
How are you. We have been busy lately, so I haven't emailed you much.
But know that you are in my prayers daily. We are well here in
Connecticut. God is certainly preparing us all for some battles to come.
We are being purified, and isn't that what he does to those he loves.
We just got news from the surgeon's office yesterday about Elias'
surgery. It is scheduled for November 29. I was kinda in shock. It is
only 10 days away. So we pray for God's will to be done, and that we
have the grace to handle all that comes our way. I will be seeing the
surgeon, Dr. Lee Ellison on Tuesday. So we will be praying for him and
the work that God has granted him, to bring our little one safely through
surgery. Only by the gift of grace can we go on. God is so good to give
that to us. We just must respond accordingly. So, if you put the word
out, we will all raise our prayers to God for Elias and all of us. '"ASK
AND YOU WILL RECEIVE".
So what have you been up to? I went on your web site last week at the
library. Quite a site. I don't have all the time to scan everything.
but send me your Legionnaire of Christ write up if possible. I agree
that the Mass is under the most attack, and we are being called to stand
up for it more than ever. But God told us this would happen. We, his
faithful flock need to defend our Holy Mother Church. So cover yourself
with his precious blood, and do God's will, not our own. Sometimes we
think it is God's but I find out it is really mine. Boy do we need
Bishop Sheen nowadays.
Well, your Godson is crying so need to go. His Godmother, Margaret and
me went shopping to the mall and she bought him some Irish Green coat and
clothes. She calls him her little leprechaun. She loves to rank on us
Italians. She told me that I should get a blood transfusion with Irish
blood!!!! She has been such an inspiration to me, to grow in holiness. I
hope you get the chance to meet her some day. Boy, what a combination
for Elias. Italian Godfather, Irish Godmother. He is one lucky boy. So
our prayers and love to you, and if I don't hear from you, have a Holy
and Blessed Thanksgiving.
It is about 6am, Tuesday, and just wanted to give you a quick update on
Elias. He is in ICU right now, and doing pretty poorly. His surgery was
long and arduous. They did their very best, and now all we can do is
wait and see if he makes it. The surgeon was honest with us and said he
is in grave danger with this surgery. But we told him we put it all in
God's hands and can only wait for his healing touch right now. It has
been so stressful for John especially, but God has granted me great peace
and strength. Thanks for all the prayers. I will be going to the
hospital this morning and will keep you informed of his progress. They
said last night that he had a fever, and his BP was going up and down.
He is being pumped with so much medicine right now. His chest is
considered still open because of all the swelling that occurred. He has
something covering it, but technically it is open. So, God is asking
something of us.and we must respond accordingly. The doctor said he is
such a toughy, and that he is.
God's will be done!
It is now Thursday, 6:30am and things are looking great. We called the
hospital this morning and were told he had a wonderful night. Everything
is going down as far as medicine and vital signs, and that is good.
Yesterday, Margaret(AKA Godmother) and I went to see him at 11am, and
there were 6 nurses and 3 doctors all around him. I was quite shaken by
all of them. He was not doing well, so I just stood outside. The
surgeon, came out and gave me a hug, and asked how I was doing. It took
a lot not to break down then, but he then said "Mom is here, talk to your
baby". So I gave Elias a kiss and blessed him, and told Margaret to
bless her godson, which she did. My friend called right then, and I told
her that Elias was doing poorly, so she called our pastor Fr. Tito, and
the school. Well, Margaret and I went out for lunch, and when we came
back, he was in tremendous shape. That is also the time when you get
around to seeing your emails and telling your friends for prayer support.
What a miracle. And then when we found out this morning how well he was
doing, all I can say is THANK YOU GOD!!!!! I don't know if I will see
him this morning because my girls are sick, and I'm not feeling to good.
What a suffering for me to not see him. But he is losing the fluids,
which is great because we want him closed up, and they can do it if the
swelling goes down, which it seems to be doing. So, you were right, John
is really emotional about this, he is always watery eyed. But God has
granted me great strength, and with my friends support, we will persevere
through this trial for Elias and all of us. Hang in the Godfather, he is
bringing us all to a new level of holiness, I can just feel it. Thank
you for your prayers and support, and for accepting the challenge of
being his spiritual father.
Keep you posted
Friday morning brings wonderful news of a good night for Elias. I went
last night to visit him with Margaret, and what an improvement we saw!!!
His swelling was down considerably and he is peeing like a champ. They
told us that he will be probably closed up this afternoon, so that means
going into the Operating room again. So he will come out with an
unstable body until our prayer warriors bring down God's mercy on Elias
again. This has been such an incredible time for all of us, and we can
only thank God for bringing us all through it. Are you okay? You were
quite right about John being pretty emotional about all of this. If you
could have seen how peaceful Elias was, it would make you feel so much
better. This advent is really preparing us all for the Jubilee year of
Christ's birth, and how marvelous an experience it has been. Please let
all know that he is doing incredible, and it shows on the faces of all
the medical team treating Elias. God is so good.
Keep you posted.
Love and prayers
Again it is 6am, Saturday, and the day begins. Yesterday, they closed
our little guy's chest finally. All went extremely well, and now it is
recovery time again. He is doing well as of 5am this morning. John went
down to see him last night, as I was fighting the same bug the girls had.
I will be seeing him this afternoon, so I will give him a kiss and
blessing from you. He still is on a ventilator, and probably won't be
off it for about 2-3 more days. Then he will be able to cry when they
wake him up. That is one of the hardest things about being in that stage
is watching your little one crying and not being able to hold him. I
will need the strength then, so I'll cross that bridge then. John is
doing better, as he just goes to work, and comes home, dresses, eats and
drives 30 miles one way to the hospital. This Connecticut Children's
Medical Center is one of the best in the country. They make it happen
for people of all means. So, some day if I ever come into money, I will
donate to that cause because they are always doing such wonderful things
for the kids and families involved. We are just grateful for Elias being
there, and with one of the best surgeons in the country. God is good.
So, as of this morning, all is going very well, and we need to just keep
praying for him to recover quickly, so he can come home and enjoy his
First Christmas. Praise God on High!!!
Love and Prayers
Today went okay. Elias is on a quiet mode for now. They started him on
some food per se, and then they gave him my milk for the first time this
afternoon. They are working to get him off the ventilator and breathing
tube. That will be the next big step, and it must be soon. They are
shooting for Thursday, so lets pray that our little guy can do this on
his own. The nurses just love him, and always mention what a cutie he
is. Also what a fighter he is. So, lets leave him in Our Lady of the
Immaculate Conception's hands as we all go to Mass tomorrow and give
glory to our heavenly queen. Will keep you posted. So far so good for
Your Godson is slowly making progress. Yes on Our Lady's day yesterday,
they took away his Nitric Oxide, so that made his room less intimidating.
God willing, tomorrow they will take his tube out of his mouth, so that
he will be breathing on his own, and we will just have to see if his body
can adjust to this new fangled heart function. There are still risks
that the surgeon was telling me about, but I can't be there yet, because
God wants us in this moment. Godmother was with me yesterday, and has
been such a rock for me, and your rock on the west coast has been the
other pillar for me and John and of course your Godson Elias. Will let
you know how today goes later. God is so good to give us the graces to
endure this, but he has his reasons. Thank you for your steadfast
Praise be Jesus Christ.
Sorry I didn't e-mail you yesterday, but things have been a little
hectic. John spent the whole day and the night at the hospital. Elias
is off of the ventilator, which was the big step they were waiting for.
They also did a cat scan of his head, and ruled out any problems with the
seizure. Also his O2 saturation is going up now that he is breathing on
his own. He looks like he is going to pull through this ordeal. Me and
John is another story. Actually, God has been so good to us, he has
given me the strength to carry on, as well as John. But, I am starting
to come down slowly, so I need to make sure I don't get sick from all
this. Margaret has been with me through all of this. I can't thank her
enough. I will be seeing him today, and will let you know of his
prognosis. The doctor that was with John last night was so happy about
Elias. He is such a special little guy, God has brought so much good out
of this situation, now if only my other boys will respond, I would be one
Us Italians are quite emotional people wouldn't' you say? Thanks for the
prayers and love and support.
I'll write later today if I can.
Boy, is this Godson going to keep us going or what? Friday was a real
good day, but Saturday was not. He was having seizures quite often, and
quite violent. John was with him through the night, boy is that hard to
do. When I got there Saturday morning, it was so hard for me to be with
him. His voice is so hoarse, and when he coughs, it makes me want to
cry. I called Margaret, and she came down to the hospital and spent the
rest of the day. She is a RN, so she is much more able to handle him at
times then me. They think the seizures are from when he was on the
heart/lung machine during the surgery. They are treating him with
medicine so we are still in a holding pattern. He is also experiencing
drug withdrawal from the narcotics that he has been on. God help him.
John will spend the day with him, and I will probably be there all day
tomorrow. There is only so much we can do, he is in very capable hands.
So, on the feast of Our Lady of Guadeloupe, we ask her to intercede with
her little son, Elias, to bring him to a healing as fast as possible.
Remember she told Juan Diego, 'AM I NOT YOUR MOTHER". Well Mothers know
best. So we wait and pray for him to be brought out of this new crisis,
and ask Mary to help us imitate her as she watched her son endure pain
that we will never understand.
Only by the grace of our good God, can John and I continue. And of
course, all the prayers that are being offered up not only for Elias, but
also his parents. We have just been overwhelmed by the prayer support
that we have received, seems like someone new everyday tells us that he
has been added to another prayer line. John has been at the hospital all
day, and he says Elias is doing okay, still having seizure activity, but
not as furious as yesterday. God help us find out what is happening with
our baby. The doctors aren't quite sure. Hopefully by tomorrow, life
for our little guy will be a lot better. John says he is more aware of
his surroundings, but not much. He almost sounds like a little bear
growling when he cries. Breaks your heart. I will be there tomorrow
morning and most of the day, so pray that I have the strength to endure
it. It is very taxing.
It is Tuesday morning, Feast of St. John of the Cross, great Carmelite
Doctor of the Church and saint of incredible suffering. Let's hope we
can beg him to bring Elias home soon. I spent the day yesterday at the
hospital. What a drain. Elias is just keeping these doctors guessing.
He is not making much progress, but at least he is not on deaths door.
They are just trying to keep him stable, and dealing with each step that
Elias walks. They want to reschedule him for another heart catherization
on Thursday, but I told the cardiologist that we will probably say no,
because even if they found out something not quite right, we will not
allow them to open him up again. I am getting a little miffed at God
right now, and have kinda vented on him. Hopefully he understands where
I am coming from. I know that this is all for a reason, but as you have
been in these situations, the slowness starts to break you down. Thank
God that he puts people in our paths that keep our focus on what God is
doing, and not on our selfish selves. Please continue storming heaven as
we are doing and as we ask everyone we can. God, your will be done.
Detachment is probably the hardest thing to do, but without it we can
never find Union with GOD!
Will keep you posted.
Yes God does test us. I don't know how much more I can take, but it has
to be the present moment and that only. Yesterday was a no go day again.
Everything they tried to do to him just didn't work. They did an MRI
with no results because he was breathing to hard, so the images were
shaky. They tried to put a line through the arm, but he is to chubby for
that. Nothing is working the way it should. So tomorrow, they will do
another heart catherization to find out why he is building up fluid
behind the left lung. We need to pray that it is not a obstructed vein,
because that is just to dangerous to do. God help me through all this.
But you better not let up on your son, we need your support now more than
ever. Margaret was with me all day again yesterday, and I was holding
Elias for the first time for 16 days, and I was crying like crazy. It
was so good to hold him, tubes and all. I just kissed him and sang to
him. I told him everyone is praying for him, and to just keep fighting.
Anyway, I told Margaret that it wouldn't surprise me to see you come
through the doors. I told her what I expect you to look like. Elias's
surgeon reminds me of probably how you would look. And he is very down
to earth, which is where we need to be right now, simple and childlike.
So, know that we need your Godfather skills, as Margaret if filling in
tremendously for you right now. Please pray for John, as he is really
having a tough time dealing with Elias and our 3 other boys. He has so
much anger in him from being rejected by them in their earlier years,
that it is making him cloud his love. Anger can destroy a person, no
matter who it is with. Got it. So we need to think with our hearts not
our heads, as love without suffering is not love. Will keep you posted.
Well one thing, my typing skills are being honed. Yesterday was probably
Elias's best day yet. The best news is that the postponed the heart cath
for now. He had a beautiful X-ray of his chest which made them rethink
the cath. That is great news. He was awake all day yesterday, and not
needing to be sedated, because his stats didn't bottom out. Thank you
God. I will be going to see him later this morning. We need to continue
praying that he makes progress. I held him for about 2 hours yesterday,
what a blessing. They are slowly taking needles out of his body. But he
continues to stifle them at every turn. All the people in ICU will never
forget this little guy for the challenges he has given them all. If this
is a glimpse into his future we better look out. But as of this morning
at 6am, things look a lot better. Will let you know of today's progress
Sorry for not getting to you sooner. It is Saturday, 5pm. I spent the
night with Elias last night at the hospital. They give parents in the
ICU a family room with two beds and a TV.
Anyway, he is slowly improving, but not without giving them challenge
after challenge. He is more awake, and moving all about. The trouble is
they don't know if he is moving nonstop because of neurological problems.
Only time will tell. He is slowly being weaned off a powerful narcotic,
and onto morphine. Great huh? My baby, a drug addict. They told me
that he will definitely be there for Christmas, and who knows how long
after that. He doesn't even remember how to suck, so another hurdle to
pray about. Please God how long? He looks good in spite of all of this.
We just have to be positive that God will bring him through all this.
Hard to say, "THY WILL BE DONE"!
Sorry for not getting to you sooner, but things have been quite hectic.
I spent Saturday and Sunday with him, and held him and watched his
movements become more normal. On Sunday night I left him about 8pm with
his levels okay. But he was so tired and having trouble falling asleep.
Well we got a call at 11:30 that night from the doctor, and they told us
that he started to go down in his levels, which prompted them to
reintubate him. What a shock to us. Especially since he was looking so
good. The surgeon called me at 2am and told me he was stable, and that
they had really saved his life. So now he is back to the beginning with
oxygen, nitric oxide, central lines, drugs, and powerful antibiotics.
The whole thing is they can't find out what is wrong with him. He spiked
a fever of 104 the other day, and can't find the source of the fever.
Everything comes out negative. Blood count, blood gas, cultures,
nothing. Where to from here. We are so weary, John was really breaking
down this morning, and getting just a little angry with God. He feels
that so many have prayed for Elias, and if God hasn't answered them yet,
he just won't. These time are probably the toughest for us all, but we
have to have incredible hope, with is one of the theological virtues.
Our pastor, Fr. Tito came down to bless him yesterday, and CONFIRM HIM.
What a blessing for us and Elias. I chose the name JOSEPH! Fits Elias
John don't you think? Anyway, it can be used in an emergency situation,
and we felt Elias is at that. Now he can be the soldier for Christ that
he needs to be. When John called the hospital this morning at 5am, they
said he is still running the fever, and now beginning to hold liquid
again, which is not a good sign. His kidneys might shut down, and well
let's not go there. We have to believe that God will make his will
known, and this is for his glory and no one else. Please pray that we
can deal with this, and be ready to make a decision if the time comes.
This surgery may just not work for him, and we have to be ready for that.
Elias John Joseph Turner will be referred to in medical books to come
one way or the other. PRAISE GOD ON HIGH.
Hang in there Godfather, Yes you are a source of faith and hope for us,
and God wouldn't of inspired us to chose you and Margaret if he didn't
have a plan for you and us. Elias is going to make us better people
through all of this, and for that I can only say thank you God.
---- That is ICU, and if I am there, they will transfer the
call. Again please keep John in prayer, as he feels that none of his
sons love him, and the one son that he loves more than life, may leave
us. Detachment is so hard. But without it we can never reach union with
I'll keep you posted ASAP.
Glad you were able to hook up and get some modern technology going again.
I spent the whole day at the hospital yesterday and it is quite
draining. I brought a religious sister with me, who is in an order in
traditional garb. It is quite a witness to our faith to have a Catholic
priest and Catholic Sister in Elias' room. It makes everyone start to
talk about God, and we had quite the discussions yesterday. I know God
is working on all of us, Doctors, nurses, and lay people. They all need
prayers because ICU is so intense, with life and death hanging in the
air. Elias peed yesterday, and that is what he needed more than
anything. I called our son Joseph and talked to him for the first time
in 4 weeks. He is the one who decided he didn't want to live at home
anymore, and I told him that Elias was doing poorly, and maybe needed his
big brother to pray for him to start recovery. I asked Joe to pray that
Elias would pee, and when I got back to his room, they said he just peed.
What a miracle. So, we wait, watch and pray, just like on Christmas
Eve. Lord make me a better person through all of this, and bring our son
home soon. We will be in touch. God is so good.
It is 7am, CT time, and Elias is resting and healing slowly. We are just
trying to figure what the heck this little guy is doing for us and all
involved. They keep telling us that they want to Cath his heart again,
but we are not in favor of it. There are so many complexities to his
situation, and we just don't want to put him through anymore stress. The
surgeon who did the heart work told John that the gallium they put into
his body Saturday, which is radio=active, can cause kidney problems. So,
wouldn't that make sense that is why he oxygen level started to decrease
while his kidneys started failing? We know they are doing the absolute
best job for Elias, but that doesn't mean that they do to much some
times. We are really praying and talking about what we as parents should
do. Margaret is also of the mind to wait. So Godfather, please take it
to prayer, and maybe you can give us your thoughts. We really need to be
a united front for Elias and his future. Believe me the devil is
prowling all around looking for that window, and I just have to keep
covering us all with the Precious Blood of Christ to keep him at bay. We
have been so blessed this week by so many wonderful acts of kindness from
our school family, our church family, and our friends. Santa came to our
house on Wednesday, with bags of presents for the family. What a
surprise. Everyone knew that I didn't even get out to shop. So that is
covered, and all we need is our miracle on Christmas Eve to bring our
babe to health. We are all in this for something, and only with God's
grace can John and I and our kids persevere. God Bless you and your
family as we rejoice with the angels, "Glory to the Newborn KING!!!"
Merry Christmas! I didn't forget to send you messages, just so much
stress that I just collapse when I get home. It is Monday morning and
John told me that you called the hospital yesterday. That was very nice
of you. So John filled you in on the happenings with your godson. It is
such a battle to want to scream,"isn't it enough God?" But, patience is
a virtue that I think we will all gain after this is all over. We have
seen some pretty remarkable things with this little guy, and how can we
not see it is God's hand in it. I do, but then I begin to feel real
sorry, and despair starts to creep in. That is when we must realize that
the door is open to Satan, and must shut it quickly. I will be going to
the hospital this morning, and spend the day. It is so hard because when
he starts to wake up, and hears us, he starts to fight the respirator,
which lowers his oxygen level, which makes them bring him under sedation
again. So the plan is to get the tube out of his throat, and let him
heal. We again need to be patient and wait this through. So many many
people are praying for this little boy, that it is a miracle in itself.
Thank you for spending your Christmas praying for our little son, and
know that words can't express enough how we feel about you and what you
are doing for Elias. God has so blessed us with wonderful people in our
lives. I am going to begin a novena for Elias tomorrow to Brother Andre
in Canada whose feast day is Jan. 6. So as we move into the Jubilee
year, the year of extraordinary grace, we must keep our focus on Christ
and what he is doing for Elias and all of us. Glory to God on High!!!!
Elias is staying stable. He is going in for a bone scan this afternoon.
They are hoping to find the source of his fever. Maybe an infection in
the bone or an area that has eluded them. Who knows. Also he is
scheduled for a heart cath tomorrow morning. We talked and talked and
figured it is best to know if the pressures are right, or if there is a
blockage somewhere so that we can discuss if there will be anything more
to do for this guy. He is so strong looking, and we know it is Almighty
God who is keeping him with us for now. His cardiologist is just amazed
at how he is surviving. That tells me that Elias is suffering for many,
and that God is sustaining him for a special purpose. IT is so hard, but
we continue to go forward. So we will be praying that they find nothing
wrong in the heart lab when they cath him. Margaret will be with me in
case they have to pick me up off the floor. Hope is what is needed, and
of course trust in God. Brother Andre, help us.
I don't know if you got my phone message last night, but we tried to get
a hold of you. Elias had a CAT scan yesterday and remember when I told
you that he had a clot in his artery, well, they did the CAT scan to
check for clots in the brain. Well, they found some, and with that the
diagnosis that he has had brain atrophy. Significant nonetheless. We
don't know exactly what that will mean for our baby, but we will just
have to wait and see. Mental retardation, maybe. Slow motor skills,
maybe. Vision problems, maybe. There are many things that are possible,
and of course God can heal Elias with just the thought. So, we must stay
in the moment, because God is only there. Margaret stayed at our house
until 12am last night talking with me and John, and staying up with me
and just reading the Bible and being so consoling to us. She mentioned
to me that
"ELIAS AND HIS GODMOTHER AND GODFATHER ARE GOING
TO GUADELOUPE TOGETHER SOME DAY!"
I started laughing, and she said what "don't you trust us". Well, I said
of course, it is just that the Mother needs to go along, because of all
the places that I would visit, it would be Guadeloupe. So, you have a
mission with his Godmother, and you better be ready. I didn't want to
write you this letter, but when you didn't call back, I figured it would
give us something to ask Br. Andre, and the communion of Saints for as we
walk forward into the Year 2000, with our heads held high as we realize
that God is in control, and all we can do is surrender to his will for
Elias and ourselves. I don't know about you, but my faith has never been
stronger, and we bring that to all we meet. That is true followers of
Christ. So be happy for Elias as he does his slow walk to Calvary, and
brings us with him for the journey. Thank your friend for his prayers,
and everyone else who has stormed heaven with us. It ain't over yet.
But John called me and said he is hanging in there. This little guy has
been on death's door 3 times, and still clings to life. Remember, he is
entertained by the angels, and vice-a-versa. So, we will continue to
relay messages as soon as we can to you, and thank you also for your
prayerful support and know that Margaret is filling in for you on this
end. God sure knew what he was doing when he inspired us to choose two
wonderful people to be his godparents. Who would of ever guessed it
would be like this? God Bless and Happy, Holy Jubilee and New Year.
Well, Y2K fizzled out, doesn't it figure. Sure lets us know who is in
control. I spent New Years Eve in Elias' hospital room, with many staff
as we counted down the year. We sipped sparkling cider, and applauded
the non power outage, that was predicted all over. Elias slept through
it all, but everyone said we need to tell him someday how we were all in
his room on Jan 1 2000. He had probably his best day yet yesterday. He
all of a sudden starting making big strides towards recovery. He still
has a long way to go, so we must never relax our prayers. One of the
doctors told me that she and Dr. Salazar, Elias' cardiologist have
stopped concentrating on medicine and are now thinking of only prayer.
What a blessing for all of them and us. We are bringing Christ into the
world in this hospital that has always been a field for medicine and
probably hardly ever mentions prayer as a cure all. Again, we don't know
the extent of the brain damage, but we will cross that bridge when it
comes. Dr. Ellison, the heart surgeon, called me and told me it has been
a privilege to know me and John, and that tells me that God's will is
being recognized more than ever. We can only respond to the grace that
God gives us, and it shows to all involved.
So, Look out Guadeloupe some day, Elias and his Godparents will take it
over. We will just have to see, but I think you are right. God's time
is never ours. So, as we begin the Jubilee time of grace and miracles,
let us bond together for Christ as we pray and sacrifice for his
creation, Elias John Joseph Turner.
Yes you are right that there is not much more to say. I was speaking
with Fr. Tito yesterday morning after Mass and filled him in on the brain
clots etc. All he said more or less is that we are all doing all that we
can. In God's time. So, if we all learn the great virtue of patience,
then God has accomplished a lot Today, Monday, God willing they will
take the breathing tube out of his mouth. That will be a great feat, and
we can only watch and pray, just like Our Lady did at Calvary. I spent
the whole day with him yesterday, and he is very sleepy. But then all of
a sudden he opens his eyes and looks right at you. I know he isn't
seeing me, but I treat him as if he is. He is back on my milk, which is
a great stride. So, again patience is what is needed, as well as trust.
Look out Guadeloupe, here you guys come.
Sorry for not emailing you sooner. I have been spending a lot of time at
the hospital, and when I get home, I just crash. Plus, we are all
fighting some kind of ailment. Stomach, head, body, you get it. Well,
on Monday, they finally extabated him from the breathing tube. Boy, was
I nervous. They watched him carefully all day, and he did well.
Yesterday he had a good day also. They are slowly taking his medicines
away IV wise so they can get him on oral stuff. I talked with his
doctor, and she went over what to expect with him. First they don't know
the extent of the brain damage, so we can't go there. She expects him to
probably go home with a feeding tube, which make me a little nervous.
But I am sure God will give me the grace then, because now is not the
time. Third, he will be on some kinda of drugs when he goes home. A
nurse will probably have to come to give him shots, because I don't know
if I can do that. He's my baby. Good thing the Godmother is a RN, but I
don't want Margaret being the one hurting him, because he will remember
her for that, and she is so much more to us. So, one step at a time, and
I will be speaking to them about all the goings on. I am so cautions to
get ahead, because of the fear factor, which you get after being in ICU
for so long. Last night a little 4 year old cardiac patient in ICU was
starting to take a turn for the worse, because all the family was there.
It is so hard being there with your own child, and watching people
preparing for death. God Help Me. So, we must remain strong, and
continue to relinquish control to our All Loving Father, and His Heavenly
Daughter and Queen. So, as we prepare for the feast day of Br. Andre
tomorrow, we need to remind him that Elias is in great need of a miracle,
and ST. Joseph please intervene on his humble servant Andre for God's
It is Saturday morning, Day 41 begins, and we are seeing our little guy
with so much medical apparatus finally gone from him. He has a feeding
tube in his nose, and only two lines in his body. That is something,
considering he used to have 6 parts of his body invaded before. He is
starting to wake up slowly, but he is still under the dependence of some
pretty heavy narcotics. So the slow wean is now taking place, and we are
trying to find some resemblance of the little boy we brought here on
Nov.29. John spent the night with him so he is really tired. We have
yet to talk to the neurologist about his brain shrinkage, but at this
point we can only watch and wait. So hard sometimes, as yesterdays
office response to the intercessions said, IN YOUR WILL, IS OUR PEACE
LORD" said, which was really hard for me to say. So pray that we can
find our peace in his will with Elias as we strive for holiness and
It is Monday morning, and the slow wait continues. 43 days today. Elias
is still sleeping quite a bit, don't know why. I hope and pray it is
because he is trying to heal but of course the doctors aren't of the same
mind set. I spoke with his cardiologist, who is the overseer of all the
others, and she said that she thinks that we have a grip of the
seriousness of Elias' condition. I told her that I can only take one day
at a time, and hope that Elias just tells us leave me alone and let me
out of here. She said she hopes so also. She expressed her biggest
fear, which is that Elias is blind. Can you believe it. The part of his
brain that took the biggest hit is the back where the cortex is. That is
what controls the vision I am told, so we can only wait. Everything is
possible with God, so what more is there to say. Believe me, that is
what I say to the medical people, and all they can do is look and wonder
where I'm coming from. So, it seems that Elias is especially chosen by
God for these times, to suffer like we can't imagine. And to think that
you are on this journey with us is very consoling. Remember ='"IN
Love you, and hugs and kisses from your Godson.
Yes, we sure need the prayers during this time to hold up. Yesterday was
another bad day for our baby. His oxygen started going down again, and
they are so confused. You know Rick, I think personally Elias is giving
up the fight. I keep asking his cardiologist if we are losing him, and
she says she can't say yet. They are doing another Cath on his heart
today at 2pm. They think he has reaccumulated the clot from before.
They are treating him with the big gun blood thinner. Please God help us
through this. We have been 44 days, and it seems he is closer to dying
now than ever. Please pray we have the strength to do what is right for
him in God's eyes. This is so painful, but as my pastor told me
yesterday, "God has a plan." We must stay in the moment. So, I will let
you know if today is successful. So hard, but we are at peace. Please
remember you need to be at peace also.
Well, when they came out of the Cath Lab, she smiled at me and said
"there was nothing there, the clot is gone." But, that still doesn't
tell us why he is struggling so. Margaret came down to be with me, and
she at least has the guts to ask the questions that I don't even think
of. I can tell they are intimidated by her which is good because doctors
sometimes think they can do it all. Many people acknowledge that what is
needed is hope, and that is all we can do now. I spoke with the
neurologist, and she said, yes his vision may be gone or not normal, but
she can't really tell. Yes, he may have motor skill problems, but she
can't tell. Yes, he may be unable to speak, but again, no telling what
this guy will do. John was there last night, and Elias is making lots of
sounds. John felt that he if really getting strong, and is voicing his
disapproval at all of this finally. So, again graces and miracles flood
us and him, and we keep on going. Must relinquish total control, which
is harder than I ever dreamed of. Saying and doing are two different
things. So, prayers must be touching the ever sweet heart of our master,
and we can just continue pleading with him to make his glory shine on
Elias and all of us involved.
Keep you posted
This is getting so tiring. We met with the doctors yesterday, me and
John, and we really just wanted to hear what they had to say and
vice-a-versa. We did say that we don't want them to revive him if he
goes "code". Also no more tests, surgeries, big drugs and no respirator.
But he continues to languish in that bed. John wants them to do
everything possible, and I don't. We can't seem to find common ground
yet, so I asked Fr. Tito what the church teaches on this issue. He is
calling Msgr Smith in NY to ask specifics. They told us that the
majority of kids with Elias' brain tissue damage go home and can't walk,
talk, eat, just about do nothing. Is that God's will for Elias, can't
say I know. But, have we gone to far already? Something we need to
assess because sometimes doctors will go to far, and have they done that
to our baby? We are searching and praying for God's will in this. My
feeling is to just keep him sedated and pain free, and wean away
everything so that we can bring him home. Still a long time before that
happens. There have been so many complications, and they still can't
find the cause for his newest oxygen decrease. So, we need to hear in
that silent of God's word where we go from here. It is so hard to let
go, but we can't play God. Years ago we never would of had him this
long, so for that I am grateful. I believe Elias is an instrument for
many souls salvation, because if you could see him, you would realize how
much God loves him. We love him so and can only wait and see what
happens tomorrow. I didn't get to see him today (Thur) because it snowed
and I stayed home with the girls, but John has been there all day, and it
is now almost 9pm. He needed to see and talk to the doctors like I do
daily and maybe we need to see if they are going to far. Don't know.
But will keep you posted of any major changes. God willing we will see
you some day. Thanks for your continued support and prayers. I feel
Elias wouldn't be this far if not for so many people interceding on his
behalf. Boy, God is good.
I don't think you told me about your grandson to the detail you said, but
it sure did help. It is 7am, and when John called this morning they told
him he is having a harder time breathing. I don't want him on the
respirator again, but John says maybe....... NO, it is time to let God
into this in totality. I believe Elias is just days from passing. This
is so difficult, and I will be speaking with my pastor this morning about
what to do. I just want to go there today and hold him as long as
possible. I feel he just has to many clots in his lungs and other parts
of the body ready to let go, that his lungs can't compensate. So, after
47 days, we have learned a lot about medicine, and will put a halt to
extraordinary care. I will let you know tonight about how today went. I
will call you and leave a message if need be. Trials are a sure sign
that God loves us. It just seems unfair that Elias has to suffer for it.
But as St. Teresa said, "if we had to pick our trials, it sure wouldn't
be like this one." So, today is a new day, cold, snow on the ground and
waiting for God's will to be done, without our interference.
Phone Call: "Elias has gone to be with His Lord and God."
Well Margaret told me she filled you in on the ordeal. Elias went out so
peacefully, that I was crying just watching him take his last breaths.
You cannot imagine what graces we felt in that room as Elias passed from
this life to the next. I won't go into so much detail, but know that we
are all blessed because of our baby. Margaret told me she continues to
get cut off from you, so I will give you some of the information you
First of all her telephone number is -------------------- - ----- , and now
for airline info. You can choose either Bradley International in CT or
TFGreen in RI. We can get you at either place. There is a brand new
Comfort Suites Inn in the next town that we can get for you. I wish I
had the room to put you up here but I don't. I was thinking of asking
Fr. Tito if he could put you up in the rectory if you want. Let me know.
So, we will see you as soon as you can come. The Mass is 11am on
Saturday with calling hours from 9:30 to 10:45 that morning. Closed
casket, but we have some really cute pictures we will put out. So,
finally we will meet, and again let me know when you can of your arrival.
[I flew to Connecticut from California to attend the funeral - in introduction]
Thanks for all the emails. I think we can put it all together in some
booklet form, and have a remembrance forever. We are just starting to
come down off the clouds with all of this, and can't thank you enough for
being here. We consider you part of the family which is closer than you
can ever get to us. Yesterday I felt like a truck hit me as I sat around
the house most of the day. Today is a little better, but we are getting
snow like crazy right now. I can't tell you how many people have came up
to me and said what a funeral it was for Elias. That is incredible. Two
of my friends told me that one of the priest that was at the funeral went
back to the Cathedral and spoke of Elias and the funeral Mass that he
concelebrated at. He has been a priest for 30 years and told the people
that he has never experienced anything like Saturday's funeral. He was
so touched by it all. He is the priest that Margaret was telling you
about as far as never having time to pray. So, lets hope that our little
saint son will move him to see God's will for him which if priest first
above all other things. I drove around the cemetery yesterday and found
what is called the "baby graves", the area is so cute. Little head
stones. So some day Margaret and me are going to look at stones because
she wants to pay for his. What a wonderful godmother she has been, and
with you as godfather, we can only wait for what God has in store for us.
Hope you can get back in the swing of life, but with our eyes always
cast towards heaven.
God bless you, and thanks again for coming to Cold Connecticut for the
most wonderful celebration of our son into heaven.
Don't forget about all the things you have to look for for us.
-----"Divine Office books", patens, and of course HIGH ALTAR!
Carmella and I really enjoyed your short stay at our home, and we were
also quite honored to have such an apostle as yourself as our son Elias's
Godfather and guest.
Thanks for the nice compliments about Carmella and myself, however we
were on our best behavior, and we usually fall short of praiseworthy!
I really enjoyed our conversations about God, science, and the
government. You are right about us being friends, as we are both on the
same page on everything. I just hope to have as much zeal as you do
someday, and become an apostle as knowledgeable and effective as you .
We hope to see you again soon. Keep in touch.
Your dear friend,
Carmella & family
[I asked Elias' father to write the story about his son,
but he had already wrote to his sister, a nun, who wanted
the details. This is his story.
Dear Sister Margaret Mary,
As you did not have the opportunity to know our son Elias, I am writing
you a detailed account of his life as you requested in our recent
In our 21 years of marriage, Carmella and I had gone through full term
pregnancy and natural childbirth six times previously. I was catching a
nap before the impending drive to the hospital. Suddenly, Carmella
tapped me and said "come on let's go, I'm at four minutes and the
contractions are getting stronger".
I awoke with a start, almost saying, "why did you wait so long to tell
me?" Instead, I decided not to chide her and quickly threw on my clothes
and out the door we went.
It was snowing with big flakes at one in the morning and I was having a
lot of trouble keeping the car from sliding off the road. I kept praying
that I would not end up delivering the baby myself in the car, and soon
the car seemed to handle better perhaps from some supernatural
The stressful ride through the snow was just the beginning of the faith
journey we would soon embark on when it became learned that our newborn
son had congenital heart disease.
His delivery was incredibly fast and relatively easy, and I was in ever
greater admiration of my wife of twenty-one years. She had become so
brave and strong in the face of childbirth. I have never seen courage in
myself or others that can match this mother bringing forth a child into
He was a perfectly formed child except for his funny undersized ears
with the earlobes curling upwards. This anomaly made us a little
bewildered as we did our customary assessment of his body. I marveled at
his muscle structure and thought he had a good athletic build.
As I looked at him in the infant warmer, I heard my wife groaning and
saw the doctor trying to remove the afterbirth which was stubbornly
refusing to come out of her. The pain appeared unbearable and I felt so
sorry for her that I resolved to redouble my efforts at N.F.P., so that
at forty-two years old, she would not have to suffer this again.
Our children made a visit the next day and we took some pictures and
received some friends who came to see the baby. It was just like the
same script as our other children. Everything was going so well that I
thought to myself, "this is too easy, something has to go wrong." That
night, it did.
The phone rang at one in the morning just twenty two hours since his
birth. I was dead in sleep and thought a fire alarm was sounding. As I
came to my senses, I grabbed the phone with a strange sense of worry.
Carmella was upset and I listened in disbelief to her words, "Elias has
something seriously wrong with his heart, and they are taking him by
ambulance to Hartford Hospital!" I tried to calm her down, although I
couldn't hide my own sorrow and fear. We both told each other to remain
prayerful and I told her to call me back before the ambulance left.
The lonely silence in my house closed in on me as I wrestled with the
knowledge that my newborn son may die soon, perhaps before daylight. I
begged God for his salvation as I was worried that he may never enter
heaven if he died unbaptized. I imagined that the devil was attempting
to ensnare his weak and fledgling soul, devoid of sanctifying grace.
After two hours of imploring God for his life, the phone rang again and
Carmella told me that they were packing him into a self contained unit
with oxygen in it. I then told her, "Carmella, baptize him". She said
she would try, however he was already zipped into the unit. I again told
her to request the opportunity to touch him and she said she would and
A half-hour later, she called and said that she had succeeded to baptize
him. A thrill of relief coursed through my being and I was now at ease
with anything that would happen to Elias.
I remember laying down on my living room sofa and feeling so happy that
Satan had been foiled in his attempt at my child, and that he was now
safe and prepared to enter heaven should he not live much longer.
The next morning, we both drove to Hartford Hospital. As we walked
through the halls to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, I began to feel
like I was about to lose my best friend. We entered a long room filled
with babies in life threatened condition. Carmella told me "be prepared
to see him intubated." I asked what that meant and she told me that he
was breathing through a tube. I still couldn't visualize that, and we
went ahead quickly to the little cubicle he was in.
I was so stunned to see a tube taped to his face with a horizontal
bracket over his mouth that is called a "bone". Carmella said to him
"hello Elias!" and he recognized her voice and his face wrinkled as he
attempted a newborn cry. Nothing came out. No sound, just his face
wrinkling at every futile attempt to produce a cry. I felt my heart
break. Tears came to my eyes, as I had never experienced anything more
heartrending in my entire life! My own baby had a tube extending through
his throat and into his lungs. I had no idea that the tube went down so
far until I asked about it.
Big brother Bob arrived right after that woeful encounter with our baby
and I started crying every time I told him about the situation. He was
very calm and allowed me to hold onto him when I needed too.
We all then had a meeting with a cardiologist who gave us the report on
Elias' condition. He was born with a backwards heart. A condition
termed "dextrocardia" and he was being kept alive with a wonder drug that
was keeping his heart in its prenatal condition of supplying blood to the
lung. The drug keeps a little hole that we are all born with from
closing. If his closed, he would immediately die for lack of blood flow
to the lungs.
We were given the option of an operation to install a shunt, or not do
so and let him die. We would not consider anything less than a full
attempt to save him, and so the operation was performed a.s.a.p.
The surgery went very well and the surgeon told me that the shunt would
carry him through until a future surgery could be done, which could
possibly extend his life into his twenties and beyond.
Six days after an uneventful recovery, we brought him home and carefully
set ourselves at helping him to heal from a very long incision under his
arm. He healed very well however, despite not having a spleen. The
spleen is often missing or malformed when the heart forms backwards and
consequently, we were required to give him antibiotics twice daily,
At home we had time to reflect on the events following his birth and
began to realize God's providence in all of the fortunate ways God's
hands manifested itself on our behalf. We felt very consoled and
wondered at what a greater purpose God had in store for Elias.
As he grew, we began to notice that he was very affectionate and I found
myself often kissing him, something I rarely did with my own children. I
never kissed my boys fearing that they may become effeminate later in
life. I finally realized that it was OK to give kisses to a son at so
young an age. I grew more and more fond of him mostly because of his
physical disadvantage, and also for the rough start he had in life. I
was also always mindful that he would need a big time surgery later on,
which he may not survive. I wanted to give him as much love as possible
should he not live, and will always be grateful that I poured out all of
my love on him, as a result we both took great complacence in each other.
As the months rolled on, we watched with concern when he would overexert
himself by crying too much. He would turn blue in the hands and feet for
awhile and then would return back to normal.
He also got really fat and with his abnormally low oxygen level, he
couldn't move around much because he had not the strength, and so he was
content to just lay on his back and laugh. After eight months of age he
could sit and that's all he wanted to do. His older sisters tried to
entice him to crawl by setting up paper cup towers for him to destroy.
He couldn't resist the urge to knock them down, however he would not
crawl but instead rolled and writhed his way to the cup conquest.
There were many occurrences which told us that God had designs on Elias
contrary to our own wishes. He would sometimes look upward and was
obviously interacting with unseen personages above him. We both saw and
understood that angels were playing with him because his joy and laughter
exceeded any level of natural baby joy that we had been accustomed to.
He sometimes was almost ecstatic at what he was seeing. He would also
become quite animated and joyful whenever we prayed the rosary with him.
We continued to ponder this phenomenon with greater curiosity each time,
without becoming too carried away with it all.
His cardiologist had determined that he would soon be ready for his big
operation, and so at seven and a half months old, he had a preoperative
diagnostic heart catheterization procedure to study his heart. However,
they were not able to enter into critical areas because of some unknown
obstruction and so they rescheduled another heart cath. a month down the
road. At the second cath., they had succeeded in finding all of the
information they needed to perform the operation which is called a
Weeks rolled by and then came the call; "Elias will have surgery in ten
days." That came as a great surprise to us and also to the cardiologist
because someone had failed to notify us a month in advance according to
hospital protocol. We later were glad that ten days was all the time we
were given because each day was filled with more dread as the moment was
nearing to hand him over to the doctors.
On November twenty ninth, the morning of his operation, we had to rise
very early to have him at the hospital by 7:30am. The lights were still
off in the house at 5:00am when Carmella got him out of his crib and put
him in our bed between us. I'll never forget how he looked at us in the
dark. I could see a fire of anticipation in his eyes. He seemed to know
we were going somewhere and was eager to get on with it. He looked at me
and then at his mom and back at me over and over until the lights went on
and we began dressing.
When we arrived at the hospital, we learned that a sprinkler had been
set off in pre-op., and that there would be a short delay. We both began
to worry about such a strange omen, but only a little. We spent an hour
in a pre-op side room with little cubicles for each family, in order to
organize for the surgeries planned that morning. I held him ever so
tenderly, and kept smelling his hair like I loved to do. I kept on
kissing him and savoring every second I had left with him just in case he
The surgeon came to me and said "this is a big risk you know", and I
said " I know" but I was committed, and we had no other alternative but
to go ahead because his life would be in jeopardy if we waited too much
I cried when the nurse who would take him introduced herself to me, and
she was very respectful of my plight. She walked off and gave us a
little more time with him. We meanwhile put him in a little plastic car
and I rolled him up and down the aisle very slowly, but fast enough for
him to sit there smiling at this new experience. He smiled at everyone
on his left and right and they in turn were all caught by his smiles and
The nurse from the O.R. came again and this time I had to give him up.
She got his trust and at the right moment, she and another nurse made
haste with him down the aisle. He began to cry and throw his arms up
over their heads. I watched them until the very last moment when they
disappeared around the corner. I felt so sorrowful that he was crying
and shall have that scene burned into my memory for all my life.
We stayed in a special parents waiting room from 8:30am until 7:00pm of
that day. We both tried to pass the time in our own way. Sometimes we
got tired of each other's company and would take mini walks around the
halls. Every now and then the cardiologist would give us updates on his
operation. At 3:00pm, the fire alarm sounded where we were, and a
complete fire fighting contingent entered the room adjacent to us. It
was a false alarm, and that made us more nervous about how the operation
was progressing. We were getting conflicting reports on his progress
until we finally were given the ok to see him. We wouldn't find out
until a month later that he almost died on the table, and that the
operation was anything but a success.
We walked into his room, the one in which he would live and die some
fifty days later, and I saw a baby who had just been cut wide open and
subjected to an incredible amount of physical trauma. He was pale as a
ghost, bruised, bloody and barely alive. I couldn't believe how bad he
looked. I had to walk out for a moment to keep myself composed. I
didn't like what I saw but supposed that this was normal for a person who
had a heart operation.
WE learned later that the surgeon had opened him up and then was taken
aback at what he saw. There were unknown arteries and veins
crisscrossing over his heart. Something he had never seen. He stopped
the operation for an hour and a half to just look and decide what to do.
He finally had it the way he thought it would work best. Unfortunately,
it didn't function properly so he had to undo some of it and reconfigure
it. They had to stop because poor Elias was open way to long and now it
was imperative to close and hope it would work.
The extra time on the operating table was devastating on Elias. He
would suffer days later from intense brain seizures, caused by severe
lack of oxygen and blood clots from the surgery. I'll never get over
watching him heaving and moaning with his eyes opening wide each time. I
looked at the doctors and nurses to see what their reaction was. They
never tipped me off however as to the severity of his condition. Brain
seizures are an indication of major problems. Elias' brain was damaged
and was affected in several areas. He would experience more extensive
damage three weeks later which was far more devastating.
His recovery process from such a traumatic surgery was an emotional
roller coaster for us and a challenge for the entire staff. Elias began
waking up two days after surgery which is not supposed to happen. His
poor chest was left open and covered with a plastic membrane to allow the
swelling to subside before final closure four days later. Before
closing, they opened him again and coiled off his shunt, wired up his
ribs back together and sewed him up. I was so happy when they closed him
as now I was hoping he would be going home with us soon. Of course, God
had other plans contrary to our own hopes and wishes.
He began to have fevers which always dogged him, and after they closed
him, his lung cavity began filling up with fluids, which had to be
removed by piercing his sides and installing a chest drain three separate
times. They also had difficulty keeping his intravenous lines open and
had to regularly search for new arteries. His poor arteries were
developing scar tissue which I believe was slowing his circulation.
His vital signs grew worse every day and finally one night I asked to
hold him and as I held his limp, unresponsive body, it felt really hot,
just in his back. He also had a terrible infected bedsore on the back of
his head as big as a half-dollar which was swelling. I complained about
it and they always kept him on his sides from then on.
When I went home at 8:30pm, I was uneasy about his fever and I awoke at
2:00am the next day and drove back to Hartford to see him. When I walked
in, they were cooling him down with wet cloths and I took the time as
always to pray over him, bless him with Lourdes holy water, and just let
him know that I was with him.
As he lay in bed with the fever, I noticed his breathing was labored and
his eyes showed that he was sad and very worn out. He continued to
struggle through the day and the next night, we got a call from an intern
around 11:30am. Carmella answered and was told that Elias almost died
and had to be reintubated to save him. We were both devastated. It was
a terrible moment. He was back to square one and because his oxygen
dropped so low after what was later determined that a clot had passed to
his brain, he was now fully blind and totally helpless. His body began
twitching constantly for days as nerves were reacting to the additional
The following morning, Carmella asked our pastor to visit Elias and
bless him. When he arrived at the bedside, Father asked to give Elias
emergency confirmation and much to our delight, Elias was now a soldier
for Christ. He was fortified with the gifts of the Holy Spirit who now
gave him the strength to follow his Lord upon the hill of saints, onto
The doctors ordered a CAT scan on him, and it was confirmed that
significant areas of his brain were irreparably damaged. One doctor told
me that it was really bad, and I refused to take him seriously while
attempting to remain optimistic, hoping that everyone's prayers and ours
would be answered. I didn't care how much his brain was damaged. I
just wanted him to live and I was prepared to spend all of my days taking
care of him, no matter what.
The persistent fevers were a mystery to all and they finally had to do a
spinal tap with my OK I hated to give in because I knew how painful it
could be. I hovered outside in the hall watching them with the glass
tube used to measure fluid pressure. I'll never forget that scene. His
fluid was fine however, although the source of his fevers was never
At week five, the cardiologist wanted to do a heart cath. On him to find
out why he was slipping away again. Carmella and I both wrestled with
the idea because we were worried that they would want to operate on him
again. We finally succumbed and they went in and found some collaterals
which were robbing blood from his main pulmonary artery. They plugged
them up and began plans for removing a clot they saw at one of the
surgically affected locations in the main pulmonary artery. The clot
dissolver was given to him for several hours, however they had to stop
because his head sore and chest tube incision were bleeding profusely.
A week later, they tired again to dissolve the clot with little effect.
By week seven they were running out of options. The last test they
performed on him was a GI series. They found that he had a malrotation
of the lower intestine which probably contributed to his inability to be
fed by feeding tube. Carmella and I realized later that at home, the
reason he needed to nurse so often, and his fits of crying were likely
due to this condition. I was reminded of the scripture passage "you are
partakers of Christ's sufferings." I was becoming incredulous at all of
the sufferings my son was given to endure.
Several days before he died, I thought he was actually improving. He
seemed to become communicative to me. He would make sweet little moans
in organized succession and I knew that he was telling me all about his
trials. Because of this breakthrough, I thought he was recovering from
his brain injury. He then became quieter in following days, and I was in
great turmoil with my Lord over the whole ordeal.
I had always prayed before the tabernacle for my son every chance I
could, imploring the Lord for mercy. However, the day before he died, I
left the church sobbing loudly as I had unabashedly poured myself out to
Jesus. I was now losing my composure and getting desperate for my son.
Several days before his death, I began to become angry with God for not
answering our prayers and I accused him of not living up to his promise
"ask and you shall receive". I was sorely tempted to walk away from God,
and at my lowest state of soul, I realized that if I lost God, I would
lose myself. I then decided to beg for His forgiveness and for strength
to accept His Holy Will. He did. I then recalled the sacrifice of
Abraham and decided to emulate him by offering to God my very own son
like he did.
It still wasn't easy to let go of Elias. Until the morning of his
death. That day, Carmella and I both awoke at twelve midnight. She was
at the hospital and I was at home. I cried in my bed sobbing loudly for
Elias and walked around the house in the dark, crying for three hours. I
then prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for him at 3:00am and received
peace in myself and slept a few hours before going to work.
I called Carmella in the morning and asked her to arrange a meeting with
all the involved hospital staff. I wanted to be absolutely certain that
Elias had no chance for recovery. I did not want to decide on his death
with my own limited medical knowledge. I only wanted Elias to have all
of the respect I could give him as a person.
I left work at 2:30 in the afternoon and on the way, prayed for light to
do what was right. It came to me that if the doctors agreed that he
could not recover (which they did) that I would tell them that the
strategy must be to allow him to die, not cause him to.
At the meeting, all of the primary staff was present, and it was decided
to allow him to die. I congratulated them all for their professionalism
throughout Elias' entire stay, and we all cried together.
We had a nurse who was a wonderful Catholic, a daily communicant and
mother of five. As she began removing his support drugs, I asked for him
to be as comfortable as possible so she kept him quietly sedated. I then
asked for his feeding tube in his nose to be removed and his oxygen nose
tube taken off. His face was now finally free for the first time in
I let him rub his face as much as he wanted because I always kept
restraining him before, so he wouldn't rip his tubes and lines out. I
said to him "free at last" in the words of Martin Luther King.
We always kept an oxygen hose near his face with a gentle rush of air
streaming from it, and as I looked at the hose, I realized it was just
another support which was preventing his natural death. I took it off
his bed and dropped it on the floor. Looking back at the nurse, I saw
her eyes welling up with tears, as she was probably imagining herself
helping one of her own children die, I supposed.
I then sat by his bed from five in the afternoon until nine thirty at
night holding his hand and watching his lips turn dark purple. I could
only imagine the damage the lack of oxygen was doing to him, and I felt
repulsed at my grisly task. I had previously done everything I could
until this day to keep him alive and well and now I was enabling his
death. I felt myself in Mary's unenviable position of her role in her
own son's death and with her, continued on with my terrible purpose.
I had fallen asleep for awhile next to him, and Carmella woke me at
9"30pm and said "go get a nap" so I walked down the hall to the parents
room and nodded off. Suddenly there was a knock on the door "Mr. Turner,
come quickly!" I walked fast to his room and saw Carmella holding him in
the rocking chair. She was just talking to the nurse when his heart rate
dropped suddenly. By the time I walked in, it was at 26 beats per minute
instead of 176 which it was an hour ago. She said "he's dying John, come
here!" I rushed to him and held him from my side of the chair. We both
were left alone and the curtain to our room was then drawn shut. He took
several tiny sweet breaths, each one farther apart than the last. His
heart rate went 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, then none. HE took one more after we
thought he had died, and that was it. "Elias, Elias" his momma cried,
"it's okay to let go baby, it's OK to die!" I just cried and kissed his
sweet head over and over saying goodbye to him.
I had now realized the answer to my persistent question through all of
this: "Why God, why?" I was suddenly aware that Elias would never suffer
again, and that all of his former misery would now be transformed into a
glorious crown. He had entered eternity sinless and full of merit, not
just for himself but for many others, myself included.
Two days after the first snow storm of the year, eleven months and one
week after his birth, Elias Turner left this world for his eternal
My sister, I would never trade with anyone the opportunity I was given
to be the father of so special a child. He provided for us both an
opportunity to love God and serve our neighbor in such a deep and
profound manner, such that we can hardly contemplate without heavy and
deep emotion overcoming us.
What more could we both ask for in this life? We are the parents of a
Love, your little brother,
Rick, sorry we got cut off in our phone call, as I wanted to tell you how
I got around to writing about Elias. My older sister who is a nun living
in Minnesota was in Germany when Elias died, and didn't find out about
him until about a week ago. She asked me to write her about the test of
faith I endured between God and myself. Upon her request, I recalled your
own request to me to write something about him. I then realized that I
should write his life story, from my perspective. As I began to write, I
realized that it would personalize it and raise the level of interest if
I wrote it in letter form. I believe that it is written exactly the way
God wants it, and I feel that it has tremendous possibilities as an
evangelistic tool. My sister is a big player in the pro-life arena, and
is connected to many other big players in the church. I told her about
you, Elia's Godfather, and I am hoping to introduce the both of you. Oh
by the way, there are two typo's in the text I e-mailed you. I will point
them out when you can get back to me. I hope to hear from you soon. Your
Long time no hear. How are you doing? Things are okay here, but very
slow in the process of grieving. We never expected to go through such
sorrow, but I now know that time is the great healer. John and I both go
through immense struggling with our loss of our baby. We can only be
reminded of Job who exclaimed " We must be thankful for the joys as well
as the sorrows." So, we must remember that Elias was a gift and be
thankful for that, and then we need to also be thankful for his
deliverance into heaven. But, it is still hard.
How have you been holding up through all this. I know that you are such
a part of us and God's scheme of things I have a package to send you that
I have been so lazy in doing. It will go out this week I promise.
Hey, have you been able to locate any pattens for the Church. I want to
donate them in Elias's honor, and didn't know if you had any luck. If
not, I am going to find out where to order two and do it. Let me know if
you can soon.