I shared recently that I like to know the backgrounds of the authors that I read. Here is my first contribution toward sharing my background.
Life Starts with a Miracle
Hi, My name is Ben Ezard, but it almost wasn’t.
The first my parents knew of the pregnancy was when the doctor told them they had suffered an incomplete miscarriage (at 2 months). My mum had an ultrasound (prior to the dilation and curettage being scheduled) which proved I was very much alive.
At 15 weeks there was a major membrane rupture, leaving only about one cup of amniotic fluid. As my mum later wrote:
The doctor gave us the choice of returning home, which inevitably meant we would lose the baby, or stay in hospital to wait for it to abort anyway. It was implied there was a very, very slim chance of survival if I stayed.
The doctor informed my parents that even if I managed to live I would most likely be physically and cognitively disabled.
Just five days later:
By Friday my condition was so bad that the doctor could only shake his head when he examined me. He expected the end to come within 24 hours, and I was prepared for it if it was to be.
The church rallied around my parents and prayed for me to be born healthy and alive; in direct contrast to the doctor’s 23 years of experience. My mum received an assurance from God, and clung to Psalm 139 that illustrates that God is intimately involved in the life of all.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:13-15)
From that Sunday, 15 weeks into pregnancy, my mum remained in hospital for the duration of the pregnancy. In a beautiful display of love my dad visited her each day before and after work (about 160 visits), and my maternal grandmother cared for my older sisters during the week.
At 28 weeks I was done with the cramped conditions in mum’s uterus and made an early appearance. I was admitted to intensive care, and had five complete blood transfusions because both my red and white blood cells weren’t right. After six weeks I was allowed to go home.
Benjamin’s development showed he was not only slow because of prematurity, but he was also somewhat lazy.
Just after I turned one my parents were informed that I would need two minor and two major operations, which would be the first of 11.
At 15 months I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy (technically spastic quadraplegia because all four limbs are affected to a degree). My parents were informed that they would need to give me intensive long term physio.
I believe one of the main reasons Benjamin was healed this time was because the Lord hear the prayer of a little boy. “…help the doctor get it right this time because I’m tired of going to hospital.”
Whenever we saw the negative side of things Benjamin’s comment would always be… “we’ll have to ask God to make it right…”
I consider myself incredibly blessed to have been born into a loving family. It is unlikely that without such dedicated parents I would have been so healthy and lived the life that I have. (Not to mention the excellent Australian public health care system).
Another key aspect of my early life was seeing my parent’s faith expressed in every day living. Both of them served in our local church and our house was one of regular hospitality. For decades I was accustomed to seeing both parents spend time in the morning reading the Bible; prayer was common.
And so, based on the demonstration of their faith I accepted Jesus at the age of 9 (I think) and was baptised by my Dad in a half-rainwater tank outside of the church.
“God made me so I can make people happy.” Me, just before my 5th birthday.
I remember myself as a happy-go-lucky child, with a quick smile and sharing my Dad’s finely tuned (and somewhat unorthodox) sense of humour. If I was told I physically couldn’t do something, then I would make it my mission to prove them wrong. As my mum recorded:
HIS CONFIDENCE is very high and he tries to persuade his Physio to play with him rather than work. He is currently practising walking with sticks only, and doing extremely well, although somewhat slower.
Fast-forward a number of years and school challenged my positive outlook. As I grew older I began to realise that there were more activities that I couldn’t participate in. I longed to play football or basketball, and began to notice that the gap between my social standing and the ‘popular kids’ was growing into a chasm.
I remember struggling a lot emotionally and wanting to be ‘normal’. This was something that I would continue to work through for years…
(The end of this installment).