Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Mal and Dawson had their 3 year check ups with their Neuro-Surgeon, Dr. Walker. We LOVE this man! He is BRILLIANT, KIND, SPIRITUAL, and AMAZING!

I want to tell you about an experience that I had with Dr. Walker. It will take a minute, bear with me, if you can.

When Mal was just 2 months old they took her to get a CT Scan because her head was growing quite quickly because of the fluid building up in her ventricles. They called me the next morning and said that her surgery for a shunt was scheduled for the next day. I panicked. I didn't know anything about shunts and what was involved. I could not get peace about it. My stomach was in knots. I prayed and prayed, but I felt totally helpless. I knew it wasn't supposed to happen then, I don't know why, but I KNEW it couldn't happen. I expressed that to the nurses, the other Neuro-Surgeon and anyone who would listen. They all said that she really needed it and that this should be considered a step forward. Everything they said made sense, except for this feeling that was twisting my stomach in knots. I told them no, but they all continued to move forward. I prayed and told the Lord that I felt so helpless and like no one was listening. I needed help.

The walk across the bridge to Primary Childrens (from the U) was a long one. I told the Life Flight nurses my feelings. They tried to re-assure me.

We checked in for surgery. They took us back to the surgery waiting room. I thought I might puke! Then Dr. Walker came walking down the hall. He walked up and gave me his cheery smile that I have really come to love. He looked down at Mallory, put his hand on her head, and said, "Is this Mallory?" I said yes, still sick to my stomach. Then he just sat there. Feeling her head, deep in thought. He didn't say anything for a minute or two. This is also something about him that I have come to love, I will explain in a moment.

After a couple of minutes he looked at me and said, "I am not putting a shunt in this baby. Not now." I felt the relief, the giddyness and the peace wash over me. The Lord had answered my prayer. He knew that I had done all I could to stop this and so He put it in the hands of the man that He trusted would listen to Him and the man that, when he spoke, everyone listened.

The nurses walked me & Mal back to The U. Dr. Walker promised to come over at least a couple of times a day to check up on her. The nurses were stunned and the Doctors that received us back at the U, shunt-less, were even more stunned. I was grateful!

Over the next month Dr. Walker, faithful to his word, came to the U, twice a day to check on Mal. Every other day he would put a needle into her head and pull off some of the fluid so that she wasn't too uncomfortable. He was trying desperately to give her little blood clot the time it needed to dissolve.

Mallory was scheduled to go home. We would keep this up. Coming back in to have the fluid pulled off when needed. Then the day that I was supposed to go in to get her Dr. Walker called me at home. He said, "Amy, I thought about this all night last night, I think it is time to put her shunt in, and I would like to do Dawson's also." My heart sank, but there was the peace again. I trusted him. I knew that he had prayed about this and he was calling to give me the answer he had received. Mallory received her shunt, as did Dawson, and Mal was SENT HOME 2 days later.

Things I found out about Dr. Walker that I didn't know then....
*He invented the programmable shunt, which both of my kids depend on.
*He is considered the "Father of Neuro-Surgery" world-wide and interns fight for the chance to come and train with him.
*He has performed brain surgeries, including a separation of con-joined twins over the phone.
*I am so grateful that he is possessive of my little boy. All 26 brain surgeries he has had have been done by Dr. Walker. With almost every one of them being emergency surgeries, this is really something! If Dr. Walker was not the doctor on call he would arrange to trade another surgery he had to do with the doctor on call so he could take care of Dawson. He has also come in from his day off, or called from the 8th hole in his golfing game to get updates.

There are so many more things, but seriously, this is getting too long! :)

As far as the way Dr. Walker takes a moment for thought before making a decision. Well, one day Dr. Starly, another Neuro-Surgeon, came by to see us when we were in the hospital with Spinal Menengitis. We were talking about how amazing Dr. Walker is. He said, "there is something that he has, that no one else does. He never goes by the book. Someone asks a question, and I would answer immediately by what I know. He pauses, and then answers by how he feels, and it is always right."

There is no question, from anyone that has met or has had him as their childs doctor, that will disagree. He is a man that rely's heavily on his faith in the Lord to be able to help his patients. It is a blessing that we have him, and I never miss an opportunity to threaten him if he considers retiring! :)

Primary Children's is such a fun hospital for kids to run around in! Mal LOVED all of the displays and fun things they have to look at!
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Ronnie & KaLee said...

What an awesome story and an amazing man! I totally cried--and at work that can get a little embarrassing!

Baldwincrew-blog said...

It's fun to hear the stories of your babies because I knew you had them early but I didn't fully know what you went through. Thanks for that sweet post.

Kate said...

I needed a good story like this today. Thanks!

Robyn said...

So cute! Your kids are so precious! And what a great man!

~Tiffany~ said...

Amy, you have been truely blessed! You have an amazing family, and a wonderful docter to help you take care of all their needs. By the way did you have fun in Utah?

Dirk & Dae said...

Wow! That about sums it up... As I was reading, I could really feel the spirit. You & your incredible family are such an inspiration to so many. Thank you for your example!!! Love you!