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Infinite Resignation: The Art of an Infant Heart Transplant cover

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heart transplant, organ donation, gift of life, faith, special needs children, Abraham, medical ethics.

Infinite Resignation: The Art of an Infant Heart Transplant
by Ernest Kroeker

When the surgeons informed us that our unborn child had a fatal heart condition I was devastated. The only hope they offered was an infant transplant which was not only experimental but it was also unlikely that a donor organ would be found in time.

Five years earlier Dr. Leonard Bailey had rocked the world when he transplanted the heart of a baboon into a human baby. He went on to pioneer an infant transplant program but it was still very much in its infancy. The medical community was deeply divided on questions related to the ethics and efficacy of this approach. I came to the conclusion that a decision for or against a transplant would need to be based entirely on faith.

I was ill-equipped to perform an act of faith but I remembered studying Kierkegaard in my first year at university. In his book, Fear and Trembling, he asserts that the first movement of faith is Infinite Resignation.

Starting with my own very tentative movements of Infinite Resignation and progressing toward Moriah - this is a very personal story of an odyssey to save the life of our son.

Ernest Kroeker recently retired from the University of the Fraser Valley where he taught genetics and general Biology for more than 20 years. He now lives in Williams Lake, British Columbia and works with the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation as the manager of their treaty department.


Ernest Kroeker

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