Babies in the News: A Story of Hope at Christmas

Every day there are stories in the news about the deaths in Iraq, about the suicide bombings, the attacks and more. It’s enough to make your heart heavy even if you have no one serving overseas. I’ve known several who have gone and returned and only one who went and did not come back. But today I want to share a story with you that I read in the newspaper this morning and it’s a story that made me smile for a bittersweet victory and a message of hope in the middle of a situation that cannot be described as good.

Marine Patrol Saves Iraqi Baby

A little over six months ago while on a routine patrol, the 1st Battalion of the 25th Marines along with their Navy medic Chris Walsh were patrolling the streets of Fallujah when they came under attack. The unit pursued their assailants when an Iraqi woman stepped out of her house and called for help. Her infant was ill and the marines were faced with a choice – continue pursuit or give aid to the woman asking for their help.

They chose to halt pursuit and their medic, went in with the woman to check on the baby. A little girl named Mariam and only 2 months of age was very ill. It didn’t take Walsh long to recognize that the baby desperately needed access to medicine and health care. It seems that the baby was suffering from a rare intestinal abnormality.

As a unit, they made the decision to return nightly over the next two months, varying their arrival times and more in order to check on the baby, take pictures, gather information and sending all of that back to the doctors in the states in order to get the medical assistance the baby needed. It was dangerous for the unit to repeatedly visit the home and aware of the danger, they did what they could to keep the times of their arrival varied.

They worked diligently to try and get the family papers so they could send the baby and her parents to the states for the lifesaving medical procedure she would need. Tragedy struck the unit on September 4th when one of the humvees the unit used was struck by an IED. Three men in the unit were killed, including the medic Chris Walsh who was working so diligently to save baby Mariam.

His unit continued his work, in his name and to honor their fellow fallen comrades Lance Cpl. Eric Valdepenas and Cpl Jared Shoemaker. In October, the marines won their battle and Mariam was granted permission to leave Iraq. She was taken to Boston General Hospital and she received the lifesaving surgery she so desperately needed.

Captain Sean Donovan sent a letter to Walsh’s mother to detail the story of the baby Mariam and the life Chris Walsh gave his own to save. Maureen Walsh recently met the baby Mariam and see the young life that her son saved.

Christmas Angels

We’re told there are angels in the world and for the most part, I believe in those angels and I believe we can make a difference in the lives of those around us – for the Marine unit and Medic Chris Walsh – the life they changed was that of Baby Mariam. So tonight and every night, remember the presence of these angels in our lives and honor them for the honor they do us and here is to Baby Mariam and the hope that she will have a long and wonderful life in the memory of the men who gave theirs so she could receive the medical care she needed.

Related Articles:

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In the News: Moms Spend As Much Time With Kids Today As They Did 40 Years Ago

Happy Ending to the Newborn Baby Kidnapping

Babies in the News: A Toddler Was Trapped in a Vending Machine

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About Heather Long

Heather Long is 35 years old and currently lives in Wylie, Texas. She has been a freelance writer for six years. Her husband and she met while working together at America Online over ten years ago. They have a beautiful daughter who just turned five years old. She is learning to read and preparing for kindergarten in the fall. An author of more than 300 articles and 500+ web copy pieces, Heather has also written three books as a ghostwriter. Empty Canoe Publishing accepted a novel of her own. A former horse breeder, Heather used to get most of her exercise outside. In late 2004, early 2005 Heather started studying fitness full time in order to get herself back into shape. Heather worked with a personal trainer for six months and works out regularly. She enjoys shaking up her routine and checking out new exercises. Her current favorites are the treadmill (she walks up to 90 minutes daily) and doing yoga for stretching. She also performs strength training two to three times a week. Her goals include performing in a marathon such as the Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness or Team in Training for Lymphoma research. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience through the fitness and marriage blogs.

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