By

Angel Unaware-Mike Hamby

P1030005

On May 21st 1962 the 4th Hamby child was born into our Family, her name was Bonnie Caroline Hamby. I was 7 when Bonnie was born. It didnt take long for the Doctors to figure out that Bonnie was not going to be a normal child. The medical term for her and, mom forgive me if i get this wrong, was Microchaplas, (im sure i botched it). She was terribly mentally retarded. Our Pediatrician, Dr Frank Schley, gave mom and dad some options. One of the first was to institutionalize her, which was no option at all for my mom. So with 3 other small children, 9,7, and 6, my mom and grandmother set about taking care of this child, which was no small task and would prove to  be a life changer for our entire family. As an infant, as best as i can remember, the care for Bonnie was not much different than any other infant, but as she grew, so did the challenges. Well when Dr Schley saw that mom insisted on taking care of Bonnie at home, he also took on the challenge to help her. One of the things i remember most, as a child, was his weekly visits to the house, a knock on the door, and his deep baratone voice, as he cracked the door, “here to see my Bonnie girl”. Bonnie was as a newborn infant, except she would have no visual response, in other words, lights were on but nobody home. However, there were times when you would hear her ohing and cooing, and you could walk into her room and she would be focused on something or someone.

Everyone knows who Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were, they had a baby. Her name was Robin, she had downs syndrome and lived to be 2. She was born in 1950. Back then the common thing to do was institutionalize babies like that. Dale bucked conventional thinking and took care of Robin at home until her death. In her book , “Angel Unaware”, she paraphrases Hebrews 13:2

Be not forgetful to entertain a stranger,

for thereby some have entertained

an Angel Unaware.

So at the age of 7 Bonnie’s kidneys started to shut down, her frail body just couldn’t take anymore and in the early summer of 1969 she died. Thinking of our Angelic visitor still brings me to tears. The purpose for her breif visit? Only God knows, but i will tell you this, she made our family stronger. Us kids had to be more independant and do for ourselves, and my Mother and grandmother were/are true “steel magnolias”. And Dr Schley and Mrs Lloyd his Nurse are/were true to their callings.

When I see a sick or hurting child being cared for by hospital staff with the parents involvement, i am taken back to that time in my life when there was no CMN or NICU. There were just Babies and parents and doctors and nurses, doing what God called them to do. Today it’s different we have dedicated Doctors and Nurses, who are the real Heros in Scott’s Ride. The technology is far superior to what was available back then, and hurting Mommies and Daddies who only want one thing, can you make them better? Are treated with compassion and their involvement is encouraged.

But it takes money and that’s where you come in. Put your money where the Miracles are. Childrens Miracle Network !

Oh, one more amazing thing about Dr Schley, after Bonnie’s death, at some point, my Dad asked about the bill. There was no bill. Dr Frank Schley, His compassion was heart felt, his dedication evident. And his Nurse, Ms Lloyd, we took Sophie to Pediatrics afterhours a few years back. When we walked in who to my surprise was there after all these years. Ms Lloyd, her voice is unmistakable. And one more thing, she knew from the Hamby name who i was. Amazing!

6 Responses to Angel Unaware-Mike Hamby

  1. Sandra Langford says:

    Thanks, Mike for sharing the story. You told me Friday that you had never shared this and I thought, Why? Many people have lived events they choose to share at one time or the other and I a glad you choose to share this one. Whether private or in the public eye, there are stories to be told and we are so glad you let us share yours. You are a great man, Mike.

  2. JONI says:

    Oh Mike…..thanks for sharing…a beautiful story. I think of all the time we’ve talked and you have never said anything. Dr Schley has said it all in her note…THANKS THANKS

  3. Rochelle Ressmeyer says:

    Thank you, is all I can say over and over again. This time thank you for sharing your life experiences so others don’t feel alone. It is so incredible how families like the Thieles have lived their life in the public eye. Not knowing how sharing their lives did they teach us how to live and love. Not knowing they were showing us the important things in life. Every time I think of them I say that’s how I want to be. And, Mike you just gave us a small glimpse into why you are who you are. That’s how I want to be. Thank you.

  4. Mrs. Frank B. Schley, Jr. (Mary) says:

    Mike, Your story says so much about the amazing development of care and acceptance of the premies and “angel” babies during your life-time. You and your fellow Scott’s- Riders give so much of yourselves, thought, time, health, energy, skills to support the Children’s Miracle Network and these babies and their families. The community is overwhelmed with gratitude. Thank you. Mary

  5. Eke Brown says:

    Thanks for sharing this very personal story. I never knew this about you but it makes it clearer things I have thought of you since we met in high school. You are a good man, passionate about what you believe in, and willing to do something about things you see that need change or improvement. I’m proud to say I know you and have shared part of my life with you. God bless you my friend.

  6. Meg says:

    Mike,
    I am going to find you tonight and give you an extra big hug. You brought me to tears today. Ask Tim about the connection.

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