Just a "zebra" trying my best to live life to the fullest with EDS and POTS...and loving the ride.


Written by Katie. Posted in Favorites, Memorable Experiences

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So I just have to tell this story because it gets me teary-eyed every time. 

Last week when Brad and I were on the road to Cleveland to go for my autonomic nervous system testing, my Mom called to see how my day was going.  She and my Dad had been in Philly visiting Kristen, Jake, and the beautiful Cecilia Jane.  They were headed to BWI airport and we both still had a couple hours left to be in the car. At the moment she called I was struggling.  My back and head hurt, I was nervous, and I was experiencing the anxiety that a trip to Cleveland Clinic usually brings.  I was trying like heck to hold it together.  Sensing that I was near a meltdown, my Mom went into her pep talk, pick my spirits up, cheerleader mode. 
She reminded me of how when Allie was in the hospital for 46 days in Maryland, there were days they honestly did not know if the doctors would ever figure out what was wrong with her.  But she went on to tell me how there were certain doctors who were obviously not going to give up for anything.  She specifically talked about Dr. Ferentz and the care and determination he brought to Allie’s medical team.  One day when Allie was in the hospital, Dr. Ferentz ordered a kidney biopsy.  He insisted they needed it to see if it showed anything.  However, the other doctors on her team pretty much laughed at him and said a kidney biopsy was unnecessary.  But Dr. Ferentz INSISTED.  So they went ahead and did the biopsy voicing that it would not show anything.  Well, sure enough when the results came in, the doctors reported that they FINALLY had answers.  Because of that biopsy that most of the doctors saw as useless, Allie was diagnosed with Polyarteritis Nodosa Vasculitis.  Basically Dr. Ferentz was the doctor who saved Allie’s life. 

My Mom reminded me that because of Dr. Ferentz (and other wonderful doctors who are treating Allie now) Allie has her life back.  She is working, getting ready to apply to Grad schools, and living life like a 22 year old.  My Mom told me that this too would happen for me.  I just needed to keep moving forward, and I needed to continue seeing great doctors and having tests until I get there.  She said I will have my “Dr. Ferentz(s)” too.  We hung up the phone and I felt calmer. 

After we arrived to Cleveland Clinic Guest House, we checked in, got settled in the room, Brad worked on report cards while I watched Oprah.  Right before we were about to head down for dinner, my phone rang.  It was my Mom and I thought she was calling to tell me that they landed safely in Detroit.  However, I could tell in her voice she had more to say.  She said, “I have to tell you something.” 

She said, “Remember how three hours ago I told you about Dr. Ferentz as Allie’s life saver and everything he did to make sure Allie was taken care of?  Well, we were sitting on the plane and a man was putting his bag in the overhead.  I happened to look up and I did a double take.  I said, “Dr. Ferentz?”  He said, “Mary?” 

It turns out he was headed to Michigan for one day to speak at a conference. They got to talking and my Mom told him she had just talked about him a few hours earlier to help me know that there will be doctors like him who will  help me get my life back, like he did for Allie.  As they caught up he wanted to know how my Dad was doing since he had Prostate cancer when Allie was in the hospital.  He wanted to know if Allie graduated, and was so proud when my Mom told him she had, and was now working. They talked about me and he reassured my Mom that I was on the right track.  They parted ways in the Detroit airport, with him telling my Mom that he wants to get Allie in touch with his wife who is a psychotherapist to help her with Psych grad school decisions.  He said, “Mary, there is a reason I was put on this plane.”

I believe this too.   How do you explain that of all the flights, on all the days, and all the times, that Dr. Ferentz found himself on the same flight as my parents that day?   My Mom had just talked to me about Dr. Ferentz THAT DAY at length about how he had saved my sister’s life because he was not willing to give up or leave any stone unturned.  And then there he was, in the flesh, 3 hours later on that airplane. 

Honestly, I believe that God put Dr. Ferentz on that plane for my Mother and Father.  They have been through so much with two of their daughters being sick in the last three years.  I think Dr. Ferentz’s presence on that plane was to let my parents know that everything will be alright. He is after all a symbol of life in their eyes because of where Allie is today.

You may disagree and that is okay.  You may just see it as a mere coincidence.  But I don’t. I believe that this story illustrates that the Big Guy upstairs really knows what he is doing.

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