Are You Inspired to Get Well? How the Will to Live Can Heal You

You must believe you can survive and prosper. Your faith in yourself and your body’s ability to heal is the most important ingredient.

Sometimes when you’re sick, you don’t have the energy or desire to get well. You don’t feel up to finding the passion or energy needed to turn your body around and point it in the direction of better health.

I want to share with you a few amazing stories of inspiring patients who survived against all odds.

They inspire me to fulfill my greatest potential, not only in terms of my health, but in fulfilling my desires to be all that I can be.

I trust that they will do the same for you.

When I was a resident, one of the first things I learned, is that the patients who were listless, who had no fight in them, were the ones who died. And I’m even talking about babies, and children. It was a death sentence. The will to live is so important. Are you giving up or are you willing to fight?

Do you have the will to get well? Are you facing a terminal disease and just want to give up?

Listen to me—you don’t have to!! You can get well!

Do you have a fighting spirit or not? If you don’t, let these amazing patients inspire you, and if you do, let them give you even more inspiration and passion to continue.

Over the course of my career, I’ve had the privilege of treating thousands of patients. There are a few that have inspired me deeply, and I hope they will inspire you, too.

One patient, perhaps more than any other touched my life in a very profound way. One that still brilliantly stands out in my mind after almost 30 years.

I was a medical student, on assignment in the Intensive Care Nursery. One day, for an unknown reason, I asked my resident about one baby in particular.

“What’s her story?” I asked?

“You don’t know?”

Her mother went into premature labor, after only seven and a half months of pregnancy. There was nothing at the time to stop the labor, so when the tiny little baby girl was born, she had very few signs of life and weighed 750 grams, which was about one and a half pounds.

The obstetrician looked at her and decided she was too small to survive. There’d never been a baby that tiny survive. So the parents were told that she was born dead, and this tiny, severely premature baby was left alone in the cold, dark delivery room.

A few hours later the Pathology Department sent someone up to pick up her body, but she was still alive and breathing! The resident on call in the intensive care nursery was notified that this baby was still alive. She was taken down to the nursery, but was not given the full life support premature babies receive, because the resident thought she would not make it through that night. So she was given an IV and a hood of oxygen, instead of being placed on a respirator and monitors. The next morning she was still alive.

So the attending physicians did something I’d never heard of. They told the parents that a miracle had happened, and by an “act of God,” their baby was still alive. But they cautioned the parents not to get excited because they’d never had a baby that small survive. They did finally place her on full life support.

For many weeks, this tiny little baby girl was never more than a breath away from death. She had numerous complications, each one alone could have caused her death, but she simply refused to die.

She was literally a textbook of the complications of prematurity, and had a heart defect, bleeding in her brain, jaundice (which can cause brain damage), severe respiratory distress, infections, and obstructed intestines. Yet she simply refused to die.

Very gradually, over the course of the next few weeks, she began to improve, and to gain weight. She was over several months old when she was slowly weaned off the respirator.

And I was blessed, so very, very blessed to be on call one Sunday in October, 1977 when she went home. I will never forget her as long as I breathe. She has been my inspiration for all of these years. Many times during my residency when I had moments of great frustration, her little spirit came to me and said, “If I can live, you can do this.”

She is my greatest example of the indomitable human spirit.