That’s When I Knew You Were The One


Anderson is only 9 months old. And though he is tiny, God is using him for very big things. He has taught his mama, Jillian, so much already. And in turn, this former news anchor turned stay-at-home mom is sharing her family’s journey on her blog News Anchor to Homemaker in order to help inspire and encourage others.


Credit: News Anchor To Homemaker Blog


While still pregnant, Jillian learned that her son would be born with Down Syndrome. It was difficult news that at first seemed crushing. But after meeting her precious boy, that quickly changed. She says in one of her blog posts meant to encourage other moms dealing with this diagnosis,


“Your child is not ill because of Down syndrome. All is not lost because of Down syndrome. In fact, Down syndrome can help heal. Down syndrome can help you find yourself. Down syndrome can add layers of meaning to your life you never imagined."



But Down Syndrome was not the only thing little Anderson faced. He was also born with a serious heart defect called VSD, meaning he essentially had a hole in his heart. It would require open heart surgery -- a terrifying prospect for the family.


Credit: News Anchor To Homemaker Blog


But in the face of this fear, the family turned to prayer. Not only did God bless them with a successful surgery, but he also blessed them with a wonderful pediatric cardiac surgeon -- Dr. John Nigro. After all was said and done, Jillian felt compelled to express her gratitude. And so, she wrote a letter of thanks to the doctor on her blog. And her beautiful words have since gone viral.


Read on to hear what she had to say. . .



Dear Dr. Nigro,

I didn’t want to meet you. In fact, I was angry on the two-and-a-half hour drive to your office. See, I was told that my son’s heart defect would most likely not require open heart surgery.

Then, all of a sudden, it felt like a bomb went off and the explosion sent my husband and I to your office a few days later.


Credit: News Anchor To Homemaker Blog


I came prepared. The journalist in me researched articles, stalked heart groups on Facebook; I was armed with a pen and notebook. I was not going to let you cut open my son’s chest just because you were the closest pediatric heart surgeon.

I asked you this, “Have you ever lost a baby from this heart surgery?” You looked down and said, “Yes.” There was one little girl, one among thousands, who also had Down syndrome, who went home and died in her sleep. Even though the loss was more than a decade ago, I could tell it still pained your heart. That’s when I knew you were the one.

On the day of surgery, you saw I was emotional, you gave me a tissue and assured me it would be okay. You were more than confident. This is what you do. Day in and day out you save our children’s lives.


Credit: News Anchor To Homemaker Blog


If my son were born in the 80’s, his life expectancy would have been around 25 years old. Now, it is in the 60’s. This is in large part because of people like you.

I know you went to four years of undergrad, four years of medical school, multiple internships, residencies and a fellowship. You spent about two decades of your life sacrificing and learning so that you would know how to perform near miracles.


I saw you come in both Saturday and Sunday with your khaki pants and your wind-blown hair. I know you were trying to have a piece of normalcy but that you had to check on all of your patients before you could try to enjoy yourself outside of the hospital’s 5th floor. I know your wife sees very little of you. I know that you have dedicated your life to save others.

For however broken our medical system seems to be, you are the bright spot. You spend the majority of your life surrounded by either the walls of the OR or the CICU’s because of a calling, a calling to change lives and enhance futures.

When we are kids, we are taught that super heroes come with big muscles and capes. As an adult I’ve realized they often times come in surgical caps and scrubs.


Credit: Jillian Benfield via Today


Thank you for your enormous dedication. Thank you for all of those years you sacrificed perfecting your craft. Thank you for making my son’s broken heart whole. Thank you for making your life about making his better.


“God’s primary instrument in caring for his planet and the people on it is other people…”- Adam Hamilton, Making Sense of the Bible



Praise God for the the talents he bestows upon the wonderful doctors and nurses who dedicate their lives to helping others. The surgery was a success and Anderson is doing great!


Credit: News Anchor To Homemaker Blog


And we’re so proud of the wonderful example Jillian is setting by praising God in both the good times, and through the storms of life. Her journey of faith is truly inspiring, and is all thanks to Anderson. He’s helping her grow closer to God in a very important way.


She says in a post about Anderson,


“So, did God give Anderson a heart defect?...No. No, I do not believe so…
Here’s what I do believe about God’s role in Anderson’s heart defect and her child’s diagnosis. I believe that He makes all things for our good (Romans 8:28.) He can use our struggles to inspire others. He can use our heartache to build a better us. He can use the worst the world has to offer to accomplish so many great things.”


We’ll continue to pray for little Anderson and the incredible purpose God has given to him!


For another incredible story of faith, read about the miracle God sent to the parents of a sweet, baby girl born with a brain tumor.



Romans 8:28


h/t: GodUpdates


This mother gave her baby boy life...TWICE!