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06 Nov 2014 Articles Comments (1)

The Authority of the Pope: Part II

In another Catholic Answers tract, The Authority of the Pope: Part I, we looked at the views of the popes and the other Church Fathers up to the year A.D. 341 a…

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02 Nov 2014 Articles Comments (1)

The Church Militant or the Church Belligerent?

How Fighting for the Faith Can Destroy Charity Every nation needs to defend itself. Yet many nations (including our own at its founding) have been wary of stan…

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06 Aug 2016 Q&A No comments

Why do some communicants approach the priest with a rosary in their hands?

Full Question I have seen older communicants approach the priest for reception of the Eucharist with a rosary wrapped around the right hand. Do you know wh…

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14 Mar 2016 Europe News No comments

Pope's schedule for the 31st World Youth Day in Auschwitz, Poland

According to the draft itinerary released by the Vatican Radio on Saturday, the Pontiff is set to make a five-day trip to Poland in July for the 31st World Yout…

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03 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (5)

What is the Catholic view of women?

Full Question I am a Muslim woman considering becoming a Christian. Can you tell me what is the Catholic view about women? In Islam "they" say that women a…

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25 May 2015 Uncategorized No comments

California's soon-to-be saint hailed as a man ahead of his time

Experts in California history, archeology and the life of Bl. Junipero Serra have praised him as a passionate missionary with a vision that extended far beyond …

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17 Jul 2015 Articles Q&A Comments (26)

Do we know what happens in Purgatory? Is there really a fire?

The Catechism clearly affirms the Church’s belief in Purgatory and the purification of the soul after death: “All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but sti…

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13 Oct 2015 News Vatican No comments

Cardinal Dolan reportedly among concerned bishops who wrote Pope about synod

New York's archbishop is listed among the signatories in a letter last week to Pope Francis over whether this year's Synod on the Family lacked the “openness an…

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31 Aug 2016 Europe News USA Vatican Comments (4)

Nuns oppressed at French beach

Rudy Salles, the Deputy Mayor of Nice, released a statement on Sunday regarding the use of religious clothing at public beaches. While many stand by France's…

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Baby’s heart stops for 15 HOURS – Unbelievable story of survival

‘The scariest thing was putting him to bed because we didn’t know if was happening in his sleep.’

Nathan Byrne was less than four-months-old when a massive hole was discovered in his tiny heart.

The Mirror reported Nathan was born lifeless but his mother, Lesley, was rushed to the Glasgow’s Princess Royal Infirmary, where medics resuscitated him.

His parents were told he suffered a rare condition called tetralogy of fallot, which combines several medical issues stemming from a large hole in his heart and narrowing of the pulmonary artery.

Unfortunately, the infant was too small for surgery and doctors told his parents they would have to wait for the life-saving procedure.

“We were devastated but we were told it would be six months before he would need his surgery, to give him time to grow,” Lesley recalled. “But Nathan was only three-and-a-half  months when he had it.”

At only two-months-old, Nathan suffered two respiratory infections and never recovered, which left the boy suffering constant bouts of turning blue and going limp.

His terrified parents could only wait as their son’s health deteriorated before their eyes.

“The scariest thing was putting him to bed because we didn’t know if [it] was happening in his sleep.”

When Lesley and her husband David were finally allowed to take Nathan into surgery, he was unable to function normally.

Doctors scrambled to save the infant.

The Daily Record reported Nathan’s chest was cut open and he was connected to an ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machine, which worked to pump blood through his body for three days, allowing his organs sufficient time to recover.

His parents were concerned but Lesley admitted she never doubted he would come out okay.

“It never crossed my mind that he wouldn’t come out of surgery. It probably should have but I just thought, ‘They can fix his heart.'”

The surgery was successful but doctors ran out of room for tubes on his tiny body. Still, Nathan never stopped fighting for his life.

Nathan's family was shocked to see the boy could still smile after surgery (Michael Trail).

Nathan’s family was shocked to see the boy could still smile after surgery (Michael Trail).

Nathan’s chest was left open for seven days, as his heart was too swollen to safely close his chest cavity.

Nathan fought for survival during the following three months, when he suffered a serious bowel infection that left the organ “on the verge of bursting.”

To combat the infection, the tiny boy was starved for ten days but in his drugged state of inactivity, he developed blood clots, which traveled to his brain.

He suffered seizures from the clots that lasted anywhere from 45 minutes to four hours.

Nathan suffered withdrawals from the morphine used to keep him from pain and when doctors attempted to take him off the ventilator, he would stop breathing.

It took the hospital staff four tries before Nathan was able to breathe without it.

Lesley explained: “For six or seven weeks, we couldn’t see an end to it. Then one morning we came in and he just looked different.

“He still had the ventilator taped to his mouth but he tried to smile and I knew he was going to come off it.

“…To look at him, you would never know what he’s been through. He has so much energy and never stops smiling. It is amazing he still does that, considering all that he has been through.

“It was just one thing after another. I remember saying to the doctors, ‘What’s happening, is he ever going to get better?”

When it was obvious Nathan would make it, Daniel made a video of his son’s ordeal.

The couple plans to show him the film when he is older to show how far he came from that experience.

The family is currently preparing for Nathan’s first birthday and continues to raise money for the Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, which paid for Nathan’s medical bills and the Byrne’s stay at the hospital.

“The charity even funded the beds that allowed us to stay in the ward with Nathan,” Lesley explained. “If they hadn’t, we would have had to leave him and that would have made it even harder.”


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