good life by karla rauch
Part of cultivating a good life for me has been becoming an activist!
Four and a half years ago, if someone were to tell me I was to stand in front of a crowd of strangers consisting of parents, teachers, nurses, physicians, CEOs, and politicians sharing my family’s story, I would have fainted from a panic attack.
What happened 4 1/2 years ago was not a forced speech or a political campaign. It was a traumatic incident of almost losing my 1 year-old son that brought me to writing this message today.
My son nearly lost his life when he accidentally swallowed a tiny button battery he managed to dislodge from a remote control to our DVD player. While our son was in the hospital, my husband and I earnestly searched online for information to help us endure this nightmare. We found but very little information about this injury.
I pleaded with my Father in Heaven, “God, why is this happening to our son and family?” I had moments of peace, direction, and understanding that all this suffering was not in vain.
Another young child was admitted to the hospital right next door to my son in the Pediatric ICU. He was suffering from the same injury and was also fighting for his life. Arrangements were made for the mother and me to meet and talk about our similar situations. The moment I left the young child’s room, I knew I had to do something to stop this injury from harming another child!
I knelt again in prayer and I was immediately overcome with a prompting to share my son’s story in an effort to save another child’s life. I felt overwhelmed, anxious, determined, and scared at the thought of what this might entail. Me… I can’t speak out… my face would turn bright tomato red, I surely would get dizzy and fall helplessly to the ground, my heart would pound so loudly that everyone listening was sure to hear its beating. How, God, am I going to be able to do this???
I looked up to see my son laying helplessly in a medical coma. After staring at his monitors for a while, I understood then that I couldn’t be afraid; I had to do this for my son, Emmett.
The next thing I knew, I was being hooked up to a microphone for my first ever interview with the nightly news. I remember speaking so calmly to the reporter. Inside I thought okay, there is obviously some divine intervention going on here.
The story hit home for many people.
My husband and I started a non-for-profit foundation, website, and Facebook page sharing Emmett’s story and also facts, information, and safety tips to encourage parents, caregivers, and grandparents to safeguard their homes.
Today our campaign has become an international effort. We have received emails and messages as far as Florida, South Africa, Europe, and even parts of Asia — all sharing their story or sending their love for Emmett.
We have been able to join up with a national safety coalition and large corporations in an effort to save another child’s life. Our effort continues as we strive to bring to light this preventable injury of button battery ingestion.
I found my voice for Emmett and my family. I am grateful that God has faith in us and knows us and our potential better than we know ourselves. I encourage all to not allow fear to stop you from doing something good or something you are passionate about. Find yourself and you will be amazed at what you will discover and even overcome!
Note from Becky
Karla Rauch lives in our community and a few of my friends are very close to her, which is how I learned about Karla and her family as everything happened with Emmett. The whole journey they’ve experienced (and are still experiencing) is just remarkable and Karla is most definitely a force for good through it all. To read more about their journey, check out this recent article on Today.com.