Renee Hendrix: She Gave Hope to Countless Babies and Their Moms

Health Secrets

What is your purpose in life?

I bet you don’t know because nobody else does. I practically spent an entire evening surfing for viable answers and found none (and all these time I thought the Internet has an answer to everything).

Since the dawn of Man, he has been looking for his life’s purpose. Except for a very few, none succeeded.

Do you know why? Because you don’t go out to find the purpose of your life. It finds you.

I had a friend and associate who was tops in refrigeration and air conditioning. But in the five years that we had occasional contacts, he hopped from no less than five jobs related to his expertise. When asked why, all he could do was smile and shrug his shoulders.

Oh, he loved refrigeration and air conditioning but his soul was somewhere else.

On the contrary consider these:

o  Shim’on bar Yona, was one of the hundreds of fishermen in the Sea of Galilee when Jesus found him. That led to his becoming St. Peter

o  Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis was walking along the seashore trying to find wisdom. Wisdom found him in the form of a child. That epiphany led to his becoming St. Augustine.

o  Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, was an Albanian Roman Catholic nun and missionary. Then she was transferred to India in 1929 where she stayed until she died in 1997. She became the Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.

o  Renee Hendrix joined the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) of WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, Georgia, U.S.A., more than 30 years ago. It made her the Hero of Babies.

This is her story…

Renee was born in Atlanta, Georgia to a devout Baptist family. All her life revolved around the Baptist Church that she was even a member of their church’s choir.

After college, she joined the WellStar Kennerstone Hospital in Marietta, Georgia as a surgical nurse. Two years later she was transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), where her purpose in life found her.

Every year, 10 to 15% (roughly around 40,000 according to the CDC), of babies in the U.S. are either premature, have congenital heart problems, or other birth defects. They all end up in the NICU.

I learned from my daughter (an OB-Gyne) that premature babies have very slim chance of survival. If they do, most likely, they will have a lifetime of health problems.

This is confirmed by Renee who said, “Our babies are very critical, and we don’t know if they’re even going to make it through the shift. These parents, they don’t even get to take their babies home. [So] I feel like, if I treat their babies like I would want somebody to treat my baby when I’m not there, that’s the most important thing.”

Her selfless devotion to her job didn’t go unnoticed. A well-known brand of facial care paper product, as its contribution to the annual celebration of Neonatal Nurses Day (Sept 15), made a video of the NICU with Renee as the centerpiece.

To add icing to the cake, the company arranged a reunion between Renee and some of the families whose babies she helped nurse back to health.

Heartwarming reunion with some of the babies she cared for.

Heartwarming reunion with some of the babies she cared for.

The twin gestures totally caught Renee by surprise and overwhelmed her with emotion.

When she saw them, she gasped, “My babies!” “All my favorite people in one room!” Then the children held up photos of themselves as tiny babies in Renee’s intensive care unit and ran up to her to give her a hug.

One parent said, “She loved my child as her own.” And another, “There are not enough words to thank you for all you have done.” A father said, “Renee saved my son’s life, multiple times,” and another, “You are our hero.”

In between sobs, all Renee could say was, “I love taking care of these babies.” Then adds, “I don’t do what I do for any kind of thank you, but it’s a wonderful thing to be appreciated.”

Nurses in neonatal intensive care units, like Renee, have some of the hardest jobs in the world. Every day, they care for the most vulnerable patients in any hospital: newborn babies hanging by the thread. But the reward of seeing a child leave the unit and grow up happy and healthy can be worth all the stress.

Renee sums it all up by saying, “To work with babies you thought would never make it out of here and just knowing that you had a part of [helping them survive], it is just a wonderful feeling”

On a sad note: Renee has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

What is your purpose in life?

It is not something that lies out there, but something that resides within you. It is not an object to be held in the palm of your hand but a desire that wells up from the depths of your soul. And like a seed from the bowels of the earth that blossoms and grows into a majestic tree, it manifests itself through the things that you do.

A tree is not impressive by its girth and height but of the relief it gives to those who shelter under its shade. Your purpose is not for self-satisfaction but for the satisfaction of those who fall under your shadow.

Your purpose is not something you define, but defined by others through your effect on them. .

Please feel free to make comments. I would appreciate it much.

Image: www.szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu

~oOo~