A Most Precious Gift
A Devastating Diagnosis
The Determination to Persevere
He was the much-anticipated baby, with a loving family waiting excitedly to welcome him.
Yet his complicated arrival, and the ensuing "Besurot tovot" wishes from the hospital staff, did not bode well...
With their baby diagnosed, soon after birth, with Trisomy 13 - a rare, chromosomal abnormality that is medically incompatible with life - Evan and Devorah Schendler found themselves living on the edge, vacillating between faith and despair, acceptance and denial.
In Compatible with Life, Devorah chronicles the roller coaster of events and emotions that was her family’s life during the fifty-one days that their baby, Netanel Yakir, lived in This World. But though their excruciating nisayon often had them gasping in pain, Devorah and her husband made the decision to grow, and not break, from it. There were difficult halachic questions that had to be asked, a slew of medical terms and apparatuses that needed to be learned, and a whole lot of emotional support that needed to be garnered for each affected family member - and the Schendlers did not shy away from any of it. With faith and determination, they gave their all to the nisayon, and found themselves being changed and lifted in the process.
This book will make you cry, but it will make you stretch and grow, too. For although Netanel Yakir Schendler's time in This World was all too brief, the ripples of bolstered emunah that he left behind were significant, infectious, and everlasting.
...[This] is a story filled with sadness and loss, but it is primarily a story of faith, resilience, hope, and a deep belief in both the goodness of Hashem and the opportunities we have to find meaning even in our suffering. Devorah's sensitive words will surely bring comfort to those who struggle with pain and loss.
Rabbi Yitzchak A. Breitowitz
This is not just a book - it is a beautifully-written mussar sefer and manual for anyone dealing with the hardest kinds of challenges that life can throw at a person...
Rabbi Nachman Seltzer
...Devorah Schendler draws us into the world of dreams, compelling us to read a story whose ending we hope will change as the pages pass...
Mrs. Chumi Friedman
Director, ATIME Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Program
By Devorah Schendler