Monday, December 12, 2005

Person of the Year: Ira Hays


2005 Person of the Year



Every December Time magazine reveals their selection for Person of the Year. Time's criteria for its selection is as follows, " TIME's Person of the Year is the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or for ill, and embodied what was important about the year..." It seems a little egotistical for one magazine to pick one person out of six billion. Some years Time has gotten it right, but for the majority Time gets it wrong. This year is no different. Below is a list of names that are on Time's radar for 2005 Person of the Year:

Steve Jobs, Pope Benedict XVI, Bill and Melinda Gates, The Google Guys, J.K. Rowling, Rick Warren, Condoleezza Rice, Valerie Plame, Bono, Mother Nature,George W. Bush, Lance Armstrong (http://www.time.com/time/personoftheyear/2005/walkup/)


No matter what their decision, I believe Time will once again get it wrong. This morning I would like to make my own nomination for 2005 Person of the Year. Upon some deliberation I would like to nominate Ira Hays for Person of the Year. Who is Ira Hays? I regret to say that in the midst of my other ramblings this is first time I have mentioned Ira on this blog. Ira's remarkable story began a year ago this past Friday and for not mentioning him sooner I apologize. So what makes Ira so special as to be Person of the Year? Great question.

I've actually never met Ira, but I hope to shake his hand one day. During my year in NYC I had the pleasure to know Ira's parents, Joe and Laura Hays. They were extremely gracious towards me even when I didn't want to dogsit for them because I felt picking up dog poop was beneath me. They tolerated me still even after my ridiculous rants such as trying to argue for the special bond between father and son playing catch. Today I realize I probably deserved a quick jab to the stomach from them for the sake of their daughter Sophia, but like I said before Joe and Laura are two of the most gracious people I've ever met.

I left NYC in September 2004. In December, Joe and Laura went to have their first sonogram for their 2nd pregnancy. Joe describes their visit, "...We just returned home from our mid-wife appointment and our first sonogram. The mid-wife appointment went good. Things looked good and sounded good. We went down the hall to a separate office for the sono. After waiting for some time, we were finally called in. The sonographer did all the usual measurements and then said, "I'm going to go call a doctor." The doctor came in and did some checking around. He finally told us what he was seeing: our baby's stomach is not where it should be. It's up in the chest cavity where the left lung should be developing. "Left" is important because it is not as severe as if this were occurring on the right side. The problem is called Congential Diaphragmatic Hernia.

This is not good news. At best the baby will only need surgery after the baby is born. The long-term effects are all across the board. At worst, there is more associated with this Hernia such as Downs or other kind of retardation that could mean immediate loss of life upon birth..."

- from Joe's blog at http://www.brooklynchurchplant.blogspot.com)



Well Ira did survive after numerous evasive surgeries and being put on numerous medications. He spent a total of 6 months in the NICU to regain his strength. Ira is now at home, but his struggle continues. Many factors went into Ira's survival ranging from his amazing doctors, incredible parents and a gracious God.

But the factor I keep coming back to is Ira's will to live. A grown man or woman might have surrendered under such pain and distress. Personally, I can see myself saying thanks, but no thanks in the face of such painful obstacles. Ira, however, has decided to meet these challenges head on. Even when others wanted to give up, Ira kept fighting for his life. Despite the hurdles, Ira's will cannot be denied. Many might wonder what is the source of Ira's will to preserver, but after knowing Joe and Laura it seems to be genetic.

I keep asking myself, why does Ira continue to fight and not give up? Does he not know how broken this world is? Why does he want to live in a world already filled with sorrow and suffering? I've come to believe that Ira sees something in this world that my adult eyes can't see. Though only an infant, I believe Ira has faith in the future. I think Ira fights to live because he believes someday he can help change the world for the better. Why else would he endure the pains and struggles if not for a belief of something better on the horizon? If Ira hasn't given up on the world, how can I? It's Ira's will and faith that inspires me to stay the course in my work with Shiloh. It's Ira's will and faith that can mend the broken. It's Ira's will and faith that can transform the world into something better than we were before. It's because of his will and faith that I nominate Ira Hays for 2005 Person of Year.


All else in favor of Ira for Person of the Year, say I !



CJE


Coming Next Week: The History of Christ

24 comments:

Anonymous,  11:22 AM  

I'm in favor of Ira!

Thank you for the inspiration and hope from those of us who need to learn from Ira.

Jana 3:03 PM  

Aye, aye! What sweet, sweet thoughts on the young life of Ira Hays. Can I submit your commentary to Time somewhere?!?

The Fants 5:34 PM  

I!!! I am from Joe's home town. Many of us have followed Ira in prayer and tears. He is truely an amazing little fighter. We all can learn a lot from him and his family. Thank you for this tribute and I hope Time or someone higher up sees this blog and spreads the news of the biggest "little" fighter to hit NYC.

Ellen Fant

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