Friday, October 3, 2008

A Modern Day Fairy Tale

As you probably know by now, I work for Love Stories. (I love my job!) We photographed a wedding on August 9th that I have been meaning to tell you about.

I will start with that which was printed on the wedding programs.

Once upon a time, not so long ago, in the land of Texas, lived two young girls, Bonnie and Shay. Both beautiful and bright and full of life and promise. Growing up miles apart and unknown to each other, they both developed as strong, determined young women with big plans for their futures and the occasional imaginings of their own 'prince charming'.

Then, tragedy struck them both. First, when she was still in high school, Bonnie contracted an evil virus that almost destroyed her heart and by the time she reached her 21st birthday, she knew that only a transplant would save her life.

Meanwhile, Shay, in perfect health, was living her life to the fullest until one evening she went for a walk and was struck by an automobile. She survived for only 5 days, but fortunately, she made the ultimate gift on August 9, 1992--she was an organ donor.

Miles away, Bonnie learned that she would receive Shay's heart, and with it, a new chance to live. Grateful for Shay's gift, Bonnie committed to 'live for two'. With determination and a strong will, she built a successful career helping children and their families through the organ transplant process. And she extended her own gift of friendship and love to her donor family, the Ledbetters.

Now, of course, no fairy tale would be complete without a handsome prince, preferably one who saves the damsel in distress. So, enter Dr. Michael, albeit in hospital scrubs instead of shining armor. It seems our damsel's new heart requires annual checkups involving routine heart caths. During one of these procedures, all seems to be going well, when suddenly her heart stops! All the bells and whistles rang throughout the hospital and Dr. Mike came to the rescue. The first time he saw his princess, she was not just sleeping (like that other fairy tale princess), she was dead! The first time he touched her, sparks flew (with the help of a defibrillator)! Next, he opened her gown to give her chest compressions and brought her back to life.

After that dramatic rescue, he became her doctor. They soon realized they had a lot in common - he repairs bodies and saves lives; she lifts patients' and their families' falling spirits. When she challenged him not to 'wuss out' on a bike ride declaring, 'If I can come back from the dead and do 600 miles in 6 days, you can get over your cold and do a measly 150 miles in 2 days!' he knew he was in love.

Today, on her 16th heart anniversary, the princess will marry her prince charming and the Ledbetter family will join in the celebration as she embarks on this new chapter of an enchanted and special life.

Great story, huh?

What that passage does not tell you is that both her father and Shay's (the donor) father walked her down the aisle. Her donor's mother and her groom's mother lit the unity candles.

I later learned in the SA Woman publication, that after Bonnie's transplant, she gave up on the thought of being married, believing her health was too precarious. When she met Dr. Mike, she felt he know what he was getting himself into!

Bonnie was also instrumental in helping Kaylee get her bracelet. Dr. Mike was the doctor who said she should have one and Bonnie's organization made it happen!

I hope this story is as inspiring to you, as it is to me. I have come back to this story many times in the last month and a half. It helps me to count my blessings, to put things into perspective, to praise God for the work he has done! Amazing!


1 comment:

lana said...

great story! I'm all weepy!

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