Jaimee is 23 years old. I remember the Sunday morning so many years ago when Tim and Pam Baker dedicated their baby daughter to the Lord. Tim’s dad is a pastor, and he lead the congregation in praying the blessing over Jaimee, and her family—which included older brother, Jason.
Less than a month later (it might even have been the next Sunday), our church's pastor asked the congregation to pray for baby Jaimee. The baby girl hadn’t been able to shake a chronic cough, and the doctors diagnosed the three-month-old with CF.
Modern medicine and the ever-growing body of science have kept Jaimee surprisingly healthy for the past two decades. On July 19, 2008 Miss Baker married Rony Renfrow. What a joyous day! I remember sitting at her bridal shower a few weeks before the wedding and marveling at the miracle sitting before me in the form of a blond-haired blue-eyed beauty. So many friends in one room—they’d shared the rollercoaster ride of Jaimee’s chronic illness with the entire Baker family and they came together to share the love.
It’s now been over a week since the doctors told Jaimee’s family that she would need new lungs within seven days because she was so ill. The doctors said she was too sick to last much longer without the new organs. The bad news is…no new lungs. The good news is…she’s still on the transplant waiting list. The spunky young woman barely stands five-feet-four-inches, but she is getting stronger. That’s huge!
A couple of weeks ago—just before being admitted to the hospital, Jaimee posted a note on her Facebook page called, “A prayer and praise written to my God in song lyrics”. She used lines from well-loved and well-worn hymns and worship tunes and she expressed her faith, strength, reliance on God, love for her family, and so much more. I believe she had a sense of what was coming, and she was girding herself for the journey.
My life has been a wild ride and because it’s what I know, it’s what I write. I do not, however, assume for one moment that I am better than, stronger than, braver than, or more spiritual than anyone else on the road of Life.
For the Baker/Renfrow family it’s been a wild ride. They’ve seen heartache, fear, joy, and miracles galore! Today they’re waitin’ on a brand new day and a brand new miracle.
Somewhere there’s a family who is facing the agonizing decision to let their loved one go so that his or her healthy lungs can breath life into a sick young woman in southern California. Their wild ride might just be beginning and I pray they will be surrounded by love and support as they make the choice to donate the organs of someone they love so much.
I love you Pam. I love you Miss Jaimee. Rise and be whole. Rise and be whole!