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“THIRD OPINION” ::: © The Rev. David R. Ketchen (JTK.CA’s Dad)

Tad’s Note: This is written by my dad. Enjoy!

The Rev. David R. Ketchen
(JTK.CA’s Dad)

“THIRD OPINION” ::: © The Rev. David R. Ketchen (JTK.CA’s Dad)

Some seventy-plus years ago, in the little village of Drayton, Ontario, Canada, long before there was a summer festival, and the Festival Theatre was still the Town Hall – a young woman, recently married, got up early, fixed breakfast for her husband and saw him off to work. She hurried through her household chores, put on her winter coat, and trudged through the snow to visit the family doctor. She was pretty sure she knew what he would tell her, so she was not surprised when, after a lengthy examination, he sat her down and said, “You’re pregnant.” However, she was surprised at the worried look on his face as he said, sadly, “Because of the peculiar anomalies of your pelvic structure, you can never bear children, and if you try to have this baby, both you and the baby will die. The only option for us is to operate and take the baby now. (This was long before the days of easy abortions). She said, “I’d like a second opinion.” He said, “Who would you like to see?” She asked, “Who would you recommend?” He responded, “I think you should go to K-W Hospital (now Grand River Hospital in Kitchener).” So, later that week, her husband borrowed a car, and they drove the thirty miles to Kitchener where she was examined by a team of specialists who unanimously concurred with the first doctor’s opinion. It was a quiet drive home. What was there to say?

The next morning, she walked across the park by the cenotaph to visit her husband’s mother. She was a cheery and chubby woman. “Well Jeanie,” she asked, “What did they tell you in Kitchener?” When she told her the sad news, her mother-in-law said, “Nonsense! Go on up to Moorfield and see Dr. Jim McQuibban.” Well known and loved throughout the area, he had established his medical practice years before, in Alma, Ontario, with his brother George. After George left medicine to become the Liberal MPP (Member of Provincial Parliament), Dr. Jim soldiered on alone. Patients came from as far away as Elmira. Dr. George died suddenly of a massive heart attack in his Toronto hotel room at the age of 50. Both were active elders in the Presbyterian Church. George was widely known as a lover of birds, and he had an extensive collection of rare birds. (Presumably, they were all Presbyterians too).

Jeanie got a friend to drive her to Moorfield, and Dr. Jim McQuibban examined her at length. She told him what the other doctors had said, and he smiled gently and said, “Don’t worry, Dear. I’ll get your baby for you,” and he did. Mind you, it was touch and go, and Jeanie almost died. Afterwards, Dr. Jim said, “Don’t ever try to have any more!”

There are a lot of people that I want to meet when I get to Heaven. One of the first has to be Dr. Jim McQuibban, because I owe him – big time, I owe him! You see, that woman was my mother, and I was that baby, and I almost didn’t get to be here.

– Copyright © 2009 The Rev. David R. Ketchen

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Tad’s Note: Like Dad, I wouldn't be here without Dr. Jim McQuibban either, or my brothers, or my nephews and nieces. A lot of people owe him "big time"!

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