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Donna Flood
Finding Heart
Mark, December 25, 1966

Mark, December 25, 1966My son, Mark, was born March 25, 1966. He was nine months old here in this snapshot and as can be seen he was actually running, not just walking. It was hard to believe he actually walked when he was six months old. By the time he was nine months old he was a challenge.

If the prairie Indian hospital where Rhonda was born hopelessly botched her delivery in contrast Baylor Hospital in Dallas where our doctor practice did more than right by us. He had the same problems as to a difficult delivery. The difference was he had a staff, back up counselors, quick decision making training going back not just to the medical but to the general military background from which all the early day settlers of Texas came. The doctor's quick thinking as to having an x-ray at the first sign of trouble which showed the baby caught on the pelvic bone helped him make a decision as to delivering Mark Caesarian.

One could not hold Rhonda's resident doctor at fault, really. The licensed doctor was suddenly on vacation and this threw everything into the hands of the youthful resident. He did the best he could with the help of only two brave nurses who were themselves young with no possible way of making the decisions necessary. One of the nurses had to keep calling to try to get someone to the hospital, there was just no one. I remember well her pleading over the phone, and even using more stern language as to saying, "I will not be held responsible for what is happening here."

Looking back now I understand, even though I still can't accept, all the variables to go into the situation. I had been a worker all my short life up until that time. Good grades, working two jobs to get into college, conscientious about my faith and study of the Bible and decisions to accept what I believed to be for the good of mankind.

Probably, it was something like someone going swimming in a 1920 swimsuit while everyone else was skinny dipping.

The year 1959 when Rhonda was born was not that far away from the world wars. Doctors did know to wash their hands, which was a hurdle conquered in their history. However, there was no laser surgery, certainly not. The old crutches of leaning on outdated methods for supporting veins and arteries was still a throw back to the triage methods of war time, and that was written in my blood all over the floor, the doctor, and the nurses, all partially because I took a stand against what was known even then as blood tainted with disease, not A.I.D.'s but certainly, syphilis.

Doctors were still limping along with the indecision as to racial standards. In explanation; where do you fit a fair skinned half breed, who is in an Indian hospital. The doctors serving in this place did so out of their feelings for the American Indian. Something there in that complicated make up called a mind couldn't be set aside, and as a result the ugly thing now called reverse prejudiced was in force. The doctor who came forth in the emergency by the grace of God did not have this on his shoulders. If he had not been there free from it probably, I wouldn't be sitting her sharing this information at this time. His only downfall was as before mentioned, no staff, no counselors, and limited experience due to his youth. Certainly this was covered over by his great courage and bravery. He worked all night with Rhonda to keep her alive, holding her in his arms rubbing her feet and legs when she became blue.

Two days after Rhonda was born a girl who was exactly the same amount of Native American as I am, but looking to be totally Indian came into the hospital. She was not legally married as I was. The girl had slipped through school quiet easily. The difference between us was that she accepted what society believed she had to be, a lesser person because of her race. Her baby was born, delivered by the head doctor, who had his staff ready for a caesarian. Although, at the time I was deeply grieved over the brain injuries to my own child I never felt anger toward the girl. Truthfully, I was happy another life had not been ruined and that her baby was beautiful without being beaten black and blue, with swollen shut eyes and misshapen head.

These were the issues up until this period and time of our lives. We had no idea of more hidden, actually still not addressed problems, the sibling would have in dealing with all the emotions involved with being a well brother or sister to someone who lives in a daily danger as to simply being able to live. There was no counsel for that and society is not as kind to the well child. Some weird quirk in justice to be meted out gives otherwise kind people a need to punish the well child for being okay when their sister or brother is not. This is the difficult, tiger one has to work around, which is not easy, when even learning has not gone there yet. I have observed many people working around it, some do better than others. It would be interesting to see what their solutions are, mine weren't that good. We made it through but not without a lot of pain and suffering.

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