Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord
I am writing this because I promised the Lord that if He would spare our newborn son, Justice Noah Cross Turner, I would tell everyone I could and give Him all the glory. He has done His part, bless His Holy Name, and I will try now and, by His grace, for the rest of my time on earth to tell what He has done for our son.
My wife, Dara, delivered Noah on the morning of Mon. May 21st. It was not an easy delivery but it appeared both Dara and Noah had come through it alright. Although his color could have been better, more pink, there was no reason to suspect anything was wrong. He was nursing, sleeping, and behaving normally. On Wednesday we noticed he started breathing with more and more difficulty and he seem to be getting weaker. Within a very short time, we could see he was fading very quickly. Before Dara could run upstairs and grab what she needed to take to the hospital, he had already stopped breathing once while in my arms. I put my mouth over his and blew once and his shallow breathing started again. We were in a state of panic as we drove him to the emergency room. All we could do was repeat over and over, "God, please help him".
At the hospital he was taken and 5 or 6 doctors
and nurses surrounded him on the table working feverishly to keep him alive. We
found out later he was brought back 2 times from death before he was stabilized.
We spent about 24 hours waiting while tests were done, ultrasounds made,
specialists consulted. It was then we found out he had a congenital heart defect
that was keeping oxygen from circulating throughout his body.
Many of our friends and family had started to pray
during this time. I am grateful for that because I was in such a state of shock
and fear that I was hardly able to pray myself.
The doctors told us that if he did not have a
surgical intervention by the next day, he would not survive. They also told us
that the procedure he needed was only done in a couple of places in Romania,
both almost on the far side of the country. However, neither of these places
seemed willing to take on this case that seemed to have so little chance of
success, considering his extremely critical condition.
At this point, Sandy Cheatwood, Dara's mother,
contacted the American Embassy in Bucharest. She was told they had no authority
to insist that a Romanian hospital take our case. She asked to speak to the
Consul General of the Embassy but was told he would call her back. It seemed all
our options were exhausted and time would soon run out. We never gave up
believing that, because the Lord was in control, there was still hope.
Sandy gave me the number of the officer she had
talked to and also the embassy's emergency number. I decided to try to get
through to the Consul General myself and began calling. Both of these numbers
went to voice mail....can you believe it? Even the emergency number for American
citizens would not answer. We were desperate. I saw both of the numbers were
similar with only the last few numbers differing. I decided to try the number,
randomly changing the last two numbers, in hope that it would ring at someone's
desk in the embassy. On the first ring it was picked up by Stephen A. Vann,
Consul General to Romania. I know that God did that for us. When I explained our
situation, he immediately responded calling the hospitals across the country.
Within an hour, we had a hospital who had agreed to take Noah, provided we could
get him across the country by morning. This was another impossible hurdle. The
Romanian emergency services had told us there could be no helicopter airlift
because of bad weather all across the country. Once again, when it seemed we had
come to the end of the road, the Consul called and said he had spoken with the
head of Romanian emergency services and they had agreed to send a helicopter.
Both the Consul General, Steve Vann, and his Chief of American Citizen Services,
Rob Doughten, were amazing in what they did to ensure Noah was able to make it
to his surgery. Both men showed kindness, compassion and concern such as I have
never seen and I am proud to have them represent our country in Romania. I told
them I was glad that God had used them as He opened the doors for us to get help
for Noah. They told us they are praying for him and have checked several times
on Noah's progress.
The helicopter came about 7 o’clock on Wednesday
evening. We were not able to go in the helicopter because there were several
medical personnel, the baby in a portable incubator, several monitors and the
ventilator that was breathing for Noah. The Romanian emergency doctor who
attended during the flight was another extremely nice man who I know put his
whole heart into caring for our son. He personally called me when they landed
and told me he had made it and was still critical but stable.
Every doctor, nurse or other medical person we
spoke with, told us his chances were extremely small. The helicopter doctor had
us hand-write an acknowledgement that Noah might not survive the flight. Every
step has been a hurdle that seemed impossible to cross and unlikely that Noah
could survive. But at every step we saw God holding back death with one hand as
He cleared the obstacles with the other.
After the helicopter left, Dara and I went home,
praying about what to do next. We decided that Dara, having given birth 3 days
before, shouldn't make the 10 hour drive across the country. I would go alone
and Dara would come later. We were so exhausted after over 30 hours at the
hospital, that I had to sleep a few hours before leaving at 6 am on Friday
At around 10 am, the doctor in Turgu Mures, the
city where the cardiology hospital is located, called to tell me that they were
preparing to enter surgery and get my consent with the understanding that Noah's
chance of not surviving the operation was very high. I told her I was praying
that God would direct her hands and she said that was a very good thing to do.
I was still several hours away and knew I would
not be there before the surgery was over. I couldn't keep driving because all I
could think of was that I needed to pray. I pulled over at the first place I
could. There was a huge open field alongside the highway. When I got out of the
car, I saw a low mound of concrete about 10 or 12 feet across a little way out
in the field. I sat on this mound and began to pray. All I could do was say over
and over, "God, please help Noah. Please let him live". As I prayed, Abraham
taking Isaac up Mt. Moriah came to mind. I realized the mound of concrete I was
on was my Mt. Moriah. I said "Lord, I want to put my son Noah in your hands. I
want to give him to You. But Lord, I don't have Abraham's strength and faith. I
can't do this without begging you to let us keep him. Lord, you spared Isaac and
I beg you to spare Noah. Please don't look at me and my lack of faith. Please do
this for Noah and I promise you will get the glory for it. If you will let him
live I promise to tell everyone I can about how You had mercy on us and let our
son live." I paced on that mound of concrete for more than an hour while I
waited for news from the doctor. I was praying almost constantly. When, due to
my own weakness, my mind would stray, I would think of having to call Dara and
tell her that Noah hadn't made it. I cried "Lord, please don't make me do that.
Please let him live".
After more than an hour waiting for news, Dara
called to see if I had heard anything. I was telling her that I had stopped to
pray when another call came in. I told her to wait while I got this call. It was
the doctor telling me that the surgery was over, successful and Noah was stable.
I shouted "Praise God!" When I got Dara back on the phone, I can't explain the
feeling of being able to tell her that Noah had made it. We cried and thanked
the Lord for quite a few minutes before we were able to really talk. My heart
was bursting with thankfulness and I hope I never lose that. Our God is so good!
I really can't tell you all the things I have felt since that time I spent on
Mt. Moriah, but I can say I will never be the same again.
When I got to the hospital about 5pm, I talked to the surgeon and was again warned that he is still in grave danger. He must improve enough within 2 weeks to have open heart surgery to correct the defect. The surgeon said this particular surgery is the most difficult procedure he will ever do as a heart surgeon....much more difficult than a heart transplant.
Each time I have been back to check on Noah, his
condition is improved. They said these 48 hours after the first surgery were
critical to him being able to have the next surgery to correct the defect. We
appreciate all of you who have been praying during this crisis. I am convinced
as I never have been in the power of prayer. I have seen God take us through
each trial and believe that He has been moved with compassion due to the prayers
of the saints. I don't believe Dara, Noah or I could have held up without the
support of all of you. You have our undying gratitude.
I give my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ all the glory for what He has done. Regardless of what trials we may go through in the days to come, He is worthy of all glory, honor and praise and
I give Him all the thanks that I possess.
In His Service, Dave Turner
Sun, May 27, 2012 at 1:40 PM
Dara Shae Turner wrote Sunday evening update:
Dave just came from seeing noah cross. his liver function is not improving. now his kidneys are not functioning well, he's retaining water, even after given a diuretic. tomorrow (that part of the lab is not open today) they will prepare and give him red blood cells and platlets to try to help his liver. his blood oxygen levels are back up to 94 again, but right now that is not the problem. his heart and lungs are still good. please continue praying. we have no doubt that God is still in control. we just ask Him to spare our son. TO HIM BE ALL OF THE GLORY.
Tue, May 29, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Dara Shae Turner
thank you all for all of the continued prayers. please pray especially for dave as he is trying to get all of the paperwork arranged to bring noah cross back home for burial. Dave is alone there, worrying about us here, but i know God will give him a special grace, as He has us. the hospital is sending a social worker with him tomorrow to see about the necessary documents, this is a great blessing. they will release noah's body to dave thursday morning and dave will drive back here with our son. we are at peace. GOD IS GOOD.
There is a tiny cemetery in our little village. Tomorrow, we will see if Noah can be laid to rest there. It is very near our home.
My Journey with Noah
Cross...written by his Daddy, David Palmer Turner III
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 9:56pm •
My Journey with Noah Cross
Tomorrow I'll take the body of our baby boy, Justice Noah Cross Turner, put him in his tiny casket in my car, and drive across Romania. I will be home with my family as we lay his body in the little cemetery on the hill in our village. I am not looking forward to that drive. I am glad that Noah Cross won't have to make that long, hard journey with me. He has gone on ahead. He left this world yesterday in Jesus' arms and, I believe, was escorted by a band of angels to his new heavenly home to wait for us. Dara, our other children, Ralph and Sandy and all of the Children's Home kids will be glad to see me when I arrive, having been gone almost a week. Noah, however, was greeted with all of Heaven rejoicing as friends and family, the angels, Jesus Christ and Noah's heavenly Father welcomed him into his new home.
I was blessed to be able to visit Noah two or three times a day during the days the hospital staff was fighting to hang on to his life. I was even more blessed to be allowed to scrub and sanitize my hands, open the incubator, and place my hands on him while I prayed for him and with him. My last visit before he passed away, I told the Lord that Dara and I couldn't be with Noah for a little while and would He please put His hands around Noah so that he could feel the Lord's comforting touch and would not be afraid. I told Noah that I had to leave but would be back in a little while. I said "Don't be scared because Jesus will be right here and He will never leave you." I am glad when Noah let go of this old world and awoke in Jesus' arms, he never had even a moment of fear. He found instead peace and rest as he looked up into the face of the Good Shepherd who was carrying our little lamb home.
I bless the Name of my Lord Jesus Christ! He was so good to give us Noah Cross for the time He did. Many have told us throughout this journey that we may never know this side of Heaven why God chose for us to go through what we have this last week. It is not for us to know. Only to know that God is good and His goodness is everlasting. God gave His own Son to die so I know that He didn’t take lightly what He was putting us through. Even so, He chose us and I can only thank Him and praise Him.
So many people have been touched as they followed Noah Cross' short life and the brave battle he fought. People who are friends of other people we don't even know have written and told us they were blessed in some way. We saw first-hand how God was able to move mountains, not once, but many, many times. We felt the outpouring of His grace when we were overwhelmed. Most off all, we felt His presence with us - closer and stronger than I have ever felt. He did something for me that I hope I never get over. Like the song says, "Oh, what a change in my life, when Jesus passed by."
I am humbled that God counted Dara and me worthy to suffer the loss of a child that He might be glorified. I am eternally thankful that He saw fit to let us share in this testimony of His grace and lovingkindness. I want to praise Him and thank Him for how good He has been to us. I have a wonderful wife that loves the Lord and is grateful to be in His service, beautiful children who make my heart swell with pride, and a place in a work where we see God's hand touching so many. I told the Lord a couple of days ago I am sorry it took all this to make me see just how blessed I am and how good He really is.
I thank all of you who have prayed especially for us during this week. I know God has been listening and has surely done even more than the wonderful things we have witnessed. Each day between my visits with Noah, I read all the messages coming in and was strengthened and encouraged by them. God inclined His ear and bathed us in the warmth of His love and continues to give us peace and strength.
More than anything, I want to give God the glory for Noah Cross' beautiful little life and the wonderful way it touched so many others. I thank the Lord that He let me go on this journey with Noah and I long for the day our whole family will be reunited.
In His Service, David Palmer Turner
Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 3:27 AM
Dara Shae Turner wrote
Thursday night at midnight:
it's a little after midnight here in romania. dave made it back safely with noah cross. we had a special time with him before going to the graveyard to bury him. our whole missionary family, the children's home workers and kids and the price's joined us here for the funeral and then for a church service afterwards. my dad had just the right words from God for us to hear. it was a beautiful time. God made the sun to come out after a rainy day and everything was bright and glistening. i am sad, but not despairing. we are so thankful for the time God gave us with our son. we believe that God will continue to work through this and bring about many wonderful things. thank you all for your prayers. God has given us peace and comfort in our sorrow.
Thank you all for your prayers and support.
by Dave Turner on Saturday, June 2, 2012 at 3:38pm
Thursday afternoon, while driving back to bring Noah Cross to his burial, I began to think about his funeral. I knew Bro. Ralph would take care of the service and that I wouldn't be expected to say anything. The Lord, however, did bring some things to my mind and, although it was difficult to speak, I was able to share these things with those gathered at the graveside.
Most times at a funeral we gather to honor the person who has passed away. Their accomplishments are recalled. Memorable words they had spoken are quoted. But what had Noah done in his few days on this earth that could be honored? He had never spoken a word; he had never raised a hand to help someone else. Why should he be honored? I just know that God chose to honor Noah. He used Noah as a vessel to pour out His grace and His love on all the rest of us. Like the alabaster box of ointment that had to be broken before Christ could be anointed for burial, through Noah's body being broken, God was able to anoint our hearts with His sweet and precious grace. Jesus said of Mary, "She hath done what she could.." and, "...this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her."
Noah Cross did what he could and God used that to glorify Himself by showing His marvelous love toward us and the comfort, healing, and sweet peace that only He can give.
I was thinking how we are all members of the body of Christ and that "those members of the body," like Noah Cross, "which seem to be more feeble, are necessary." Paul said "And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice." I know each of us has a different place in the church, in the body of Christ. I am grateful that, in the eight days he lived, Noah Cross, with his little malformed heart, was honored to be the heart of our body in Jesus Christ. Using our little son, God spread his love and grace throughout the entire body.
The doctors said no one knows what causes the condition Noah was born with.....it just happens by chance. I do not believe it was chance at all. I know Noah Cross was "fearfully and wonderfully made" and even the hairs on his little head were numbered by the Father. God made Noah's body just perfect. The Father knew He would be taking our son to heaven, but not before His own Son was glorified.
In our bodies, there is no extremity so far, no organ so deeply buried that it is not touched by our blood. I don't believe anyone who has known about Noah Cross' short time on this earth has not been touched in some way. I know Dara and I and those close to us have been touched in a way that will keep our hearts lifted until we are able to be reunited with him once again.
I praise the Lord and thank Him for honoring our son, Justice Noah Cross, in this way. As Bro. Ralph said at the graveside service, "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord". I am thankful that through the precious time we shared with him, we, too, found grace.