Stories from a Stranger

Yesterday, I walked into a mattress firm with the intent of borrowing a mattress bag and buying a foundation (not important for this story). Instead I met a wonderful man named Bob.

I will finish this story tomorrow, stay tuned for the abbreviated life story from the widowed son of a dairy farmer who has five extremely successful daughters, a mechanical engineering degree, and the most riveting life story you’ve ever heard.

The Stories

The manager at Mattress Firm didn’t have a queen sized bag we could have but he did have a lifetime full of stories to share. When we mentioned that we were students, he inquired about our lives. We told him we were students at OCU Law, and he told us he had five daughters who walked similar paths. None of his daughters have gone through law school (yet), but they are extremely successful. We were only there for a little bit, so I want to share with you the bits and pieces that I remember, and I will likely not do them justice.

Stephanie, his oldest daughter, is a pediatric surgeon. She is married to another extraordinary surgeon from Thailand. When she was an infant she had an issue with her (clavicle-maybe collarbone, which prevented her from ingesting liquids?). Prior to discovering this issue, one day while feeding her a bottle of milk, she died in his arms. Luckily for him, there was a pediatric surgeon in the store, who said “if you let me, I can save her.” Bob watched as the surgeon opened up his daughter, poured the milk out of her body, massaged her heart, and life came back into her body. After the surgeon saved her life, he turned to Bob and said “I know what is wrong, if you let me, I can fix her.” Sixteen surgeries later, Stephanie was out of the woods. When the surgeon asked her what she wanted to be, she said I want to be a pediatric surgeon, like you. The surgeon invited her into a mentoring program at a young age, and today says she is 500x better than he was at her age. Even though she helps dying children every day, her drive comes from being saved by the same type of person, and knows that she must keep saving others. Bob says that there are rough days, she comes over, crawls into his lap, and says she can’t take another day. He tells her that God gave her a gift, and she must use it, reminds her of all of the children her gift has saved, and holds his grown child until she decides she has the strength to go on. Stephanie is one of few surgeons who has the ability to operate an un-invasive robot that can sow up premature infant heart valves.

More to come!

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