Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.
Construction on the Cologne Cathedral (German: Kölner Dom) a Roman Catholic cathedral in Cologne, Germany began in 1248 and took over took 600 years to build. I marvel in amazement each and every time I see this monument–also declared a World Heritage Site in 1999.
This Gothic Cathedral, Germany’s most visited landmark, is a masterpiece–a powerful testimony to the strength and persistence of Christian belief in medieval and today’s modern Europe.
Directly across the square from the Cathedral is the radio station, DOM RADIO. It is the channel of the archdiocese of Cologne and the first church broadcaster to be officially sponsored by a diocese. DOMRADIO broadcasts the Holy Mass live from the Cathedral as well as reports on Christian, ethical and social topics.
And last Sunday, I had the good fortune of being invited to give an interviewer about my book, Einen Herzschlag entfernt!
Journalist Renardo Schlegelmich warmly welcomed me and introduced my book saying, “It’s a moving, dramatic story with a happy ending.” For my non German speaking friends, here are some highlights of our interview:
RS: This is probably the worst thing that someone can experience. What did you think when you heard the diagnosis?
TFM: This is difficult to describe with just words. I had the feeling as if my heart, my spirit and my soul were bleeding. It was more than “just” a feeling of being in a state of shock.
RS: So how did you fight for your son’s life?
TFM: The doctors at the University Clinic of Cologne Hospital said that he didn’t have any chance for survival, but day after day went by and Marc lived. And I thought that I had to give God a hand in this miracle. With the help of my family, I found a hospital in Düsseldorf, Germany where the surgeons carried out Marc’s first surgery–a Black Taussig shunt–when he was 2 months and 7 days old. He then had the second shunt at 9 months. Things went along relatively well for our situation, considering Marc’s health problems until he was nine years old. It was then that I noticed that he appeared to be more cyanic and out of breath. At a check up, the cardiologist confirmed my fears that we should prepare ourselves for Marc’s third surgery. I asked him what kind of surgery they intended to do and he said that they would’t know . . . until they opened him up. I had to find Plan B and I did, but it wasn’t easy to bring my plan to fruition, but I could’t give up.
RS: How does one not give up in situations like this?
TFM: Dead is forever. This was my son’s life. I wouldn’t get a second chance to do all I could to save my child’s life again.
RS: Why did you write this book?
TFM: I didn’t plan to write this story. Everything began when I started taking notes when Marc was first admitted to the hospital. Because I didn’t understand the language or the circumstances anyway, my notes helped me to keep track of and remember what was happening with him. One day it dawned on me that what I was going through demanded so much strength and diligence on my part that I thought I must share this story in the hopes that I could support someone else facing a mountain of adversity.
RS: How is Marc doing today?
TFM: He’s great! We just celebrated his thirty-third birthday and he is working in the IT field, loves sports, travel and works out at the gym several times a week. He is so thankful for his life. We both are. We’ve been blessed.
RS: How did your faith keep you going?
TFM: Raised in Catholic schools and attending a Catholic University, my belief in God has always been an integral part of my life. And praying helped me tremendously. It helped me in the sense that I knew I wasn’t carrying this burden alone.
RS: What can we take from your inspiring story?
TFM: My message in three words is: never give up! No matter if it’s a health issue, work issue–whatever! The absolute worst thing to happen is to give up at the start and have to live out our lives under the unbearable weight of always wondering if we could have done more. Life is too precious to be nonchalant!
We can face adversity, develop resilience–everything is possible! And that is the heart of the matter!
You can listen to the interview here: https://www.domradio.de/audio/einen-herzschlag-entfernt-ein-interview-mit-tracie-frank-mayer