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Ruby Didn’t Need the Surgery After All....

October 2005

Last month, Toni and her husband, Steve, adopted their second baby girl from China. Ruby is 10 months old. At her first doctor visit in the US, Toni and Steve learned that Ruby has a dislocated hip that requires surgery. The doctor’s suspected that it probably happened during delivery and then she was likely carried in a front pack with her legs extended straight out (typical in rural China where women might work in the fields) which caused the dislocated leg to be growing incorrectly.

Upon further study (Xrays, etc.) Toni and Steve learned that Ruby’s hip socket was unusually shallow and surgery should include scraping out scar tissue that had formed there, placing the bone in the correct position, and then putting Ruby in a body cast from her chest to her ankles. She would have to wear this cast for three months, and each month she would have to repeat the surgery and be re-casted. They would have to rotate her every three hours day and night. The body cast would prevent her from riding in a car seat, stroller, back pack etc.

After three months, Runy would then be placed in a metal brace for eight months. There was no certainty that the operation would be successful and she might have to have another operation at age 4 which would include cutting into her bone. And as if that wasn’t enough, the doctor said she would likely require hip replacement surgery when around 20 years old. Sigh!

After they absorbed this news, Toni and Steve were thankful they adopted Ruby. They knew if her condition was discovered in China she would have been labeled "unadoptable" and stayed in an orphanage her entire life.

The day I left for New Mexico, I learned about Ruby’s surgery and what her recovery would entail (in fact, my sister Lisa was driving me to the airport and she told me the details). I called Toni from the airport to offer encouragement and support and mentioned El Santuario de Chimayo. I told her I’d Fed Ex her some holy dirt so it would get there in time. It was Friday and Ruby’s surgery was scheduled for the upcoming Thursday.

When I visited El Santuario de Chimayo, I filled a zip lock baggie with the holy dirt, went into the chapel to pray and then sat in the side chapel and looked at the many crutches, casts, statues and notes placed there. Looking closer, hanging on the wall I saw a child’s body cast exactly like the one Ruby would be wearing! I couldn’t believe it. I asked a volunteer there if the casts were brought back after a healing and she said no, that all of the crutches/casts were left right then and there after a miraculous healing.

She also noted that they have hundreds more crutches stored in their attic because there’s simply was no room for all of them in the small chapel. Needless to say my faith and hope were strengthened. I called Toni that day and told her what I saw and that I would Fed Ex the holy dirt to her from Santa Fe.

The night before Ruby’s scheduled surgery, Tony and Steve took the dirt and rubbed it on Ruby’s body and prayed. Toni said they both had peace about whatever the outcome was and accepted God’s will in the matter.

The next morning they packed their bags and took Ruby to the hospital expecting to spend the night with their tiny baby after the surgery. But to their surprise, the doctor came to them in the waiting room and said Ruby didn’t need the surgery after all! He couldn’t explain it. Apparently he was instructing a group of interns about the surgery and demonstrating the feel of the leg/socket. When he rotated her leg around he said it felt different and then heard a "click" which he assumed was the leg popping back into the socket (which was amazing because 5 doctors -including 4 pediatric specialists- were unable to pop the leg back into the socket previously which was the reason for the surgery).

He then looked at her hip under x-ray and noted that the socket was not as swallow as it was in the previous x-ray. Again, he could not explain it. They still put a cast on Ruby to stabilize the hip, but she didn’t require surgery and will not need any future surgery.

Basically she was knocked out and had a cast put on! (And I personally knew it was the holy dirt from Chimayo).

Toni called me on the way home from the hospital and said "the miracle happened" and we’ve been crying and praying in thanksgiving ever since. In my son Otis’ words "Now I know God can do ANYTHING!!"

God is good.

Annie Allen

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