The Kramers, a family in the Saint John Paul the Great Catholic
High School community in Dumfries, weren’t expecting their new baby until April
27, but God had different plans. Baby Timothy was born Jan. 28, almost three
months premature, weighing a mere 2 pounds 2 ounces.
Elizabeth Kramer, a senior at John Paul the Great, is the oldest
of 10 children, which she describes as being “a little bit crazy” but there is
no doubt that she feels boundlessly grateful and blessed for this new, early
addition to her family. From the help of close friends to the prayers of
unknown classmates, the Kramers have been well supported by the John Paul the
Great community during this difficult time. When Teresa Kramer’s water broke
Jan. 23, it came as a shock to the entire family, as she was just over 26 weeks
pregnant. Up to that point, it was a completely normal pregnancy. After moving
from one hospital to another and various attempts to delay labor, “Tiny Tim”
came into the world crying. The “flood of doctors that came in,” as Elizabeth
put it, tried to intubate him but it became clear he was crying too hard for
that to be necessary.
Timothy and his mother are doing just fine. His eldest sister
said, “He’s got it made, basically.” He even likes to sleep with his hands
behind his head as if he’s lounging by a pool. The Kramers are confident that
he is a miracle baby and that is due, in large part, to the sheer number of
people praying for him. “(His birth) was the day after the March for Life,
which is kind of crazy if you think about it,” Elizabeth said. His doctors were
amazed. As Elizabeth tells it, “we nicknamed him Tiny Tim as soon as we knew
what his name was, but then the doctors were like, ‘No, you need to call him
‘Tough Tiny Tim,’ because this kid is not gonna give up.’”
Nevertheless, the last month has not been easy for the family.
Elizabeth said, “You never really realize how much (your mom) does for you
until she’s gone”; however, she also mentioned, “we didn’t realize how many
friends we had until that happened.” One friend set up a sign-up form on
Facebook to bring the Kramer family meals and within minutes it was completely
filled through March. Another day Elizabeth walked into class to find an
envelope on her desk filled with Panera gift cards that provided lunch for the
family for a couple of days. On the desk in the main office at John Paul the
Great sits a photo of Timothy with a description of his story, for all to see
and a reminder to keep him and the family in prayer.
Teresa Kramer and her husband, Eddie, have worked out a system so
that there’s always someone at the hospital with the new baby and Saturdays have
become “visit Timothy” days for the whole family. They’re hopeful that Timothy
will be home with them by Easter.