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TitleThink Big - Unleashing Your Potential
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Table of Contents
                            Title Page
Part 1
Giving Their Best and Thinking Big
1. Do It Better!
2. My Mother, Sonya Carson
3. Mentors, Inspirers, and Influencers
4. Medical Mentors
5. Other Significant People
6. Builders for Eternity
7. Parents and Patients
8. Taking Risks
9. Not Enough
Part 2
You Can Give Your Best and Think Big
10. Thinking Big
11. Honesty Shows
12. Insightful Thoughts
13. Nice Guys Finish
14. Knowledge Counts
15. Books Are for Reading
16. In-depth Learning
17. Caution: God at Work
18. Reaching for Success
	About the Publisher
Document Text Contents
Page 112

Months later, when it became clear that both babies were doing extremely
well, the critics were mature enough to reverse themselves. “Under those
circumstances,” they said, “it was the right thing to do.” One of the critics even
said, “Certainly, under those circumstances I think I would have done the same

Of course I am pleased that the critics vindicated us. But, frankly, their
censure did not matter very much. We knew we had done the right thing.

That’s the important part of this story. We not only gave our best — Phil,
Bob, and I, as well as all those who worked with us — but we did what we
believed was right. Doing the right thing when it is not popular or when it is not
going to get everyone’s approval is not always easy, but I am convinced that if
we truly care about other people, we will go ahead and take the risk anyway.

An epilogue: Both girls have continued to do extremely well. We did have to
do subsequent surgery on Amber (two shunt revi-sions). She had a very large
head, so we actually did a reduction (cranioplasty) to reduce the size of her head
and to contour the shape. Amber is now a beautiful little four-year-old girl —
and a healthy one — although she does have occasional seizures.

* One way to explain a brain stem tumor is to think of mixing red sand with
blue. When the two mix, the color diffuses or spreads throughout the brain stem
in this case. Our scans indicated that the red and blue sands had not diffused. We
could see distinct “margins” or areas. When we can see the distinctiveness, to
my thinking, it is sometimes worth trying surgery.

Page 113


Not Enough
If I shoot at the sun, I may hit a star.

P. T. Barnum

Despite the difficulty involved and the lengthy ten hours in the operating room,
the surgery had gone well. That night I went home drained. About two o’clock,
the phone rang.

“Pressman sneezed,” said one of the residents.

“Oh, no,” I groaned as I hung up and got dressed.

Working with Robert Pressman,* an oncology nurse at Johns Hopkins, turned
out to be an invaluable experience to me — but in a way quite different from
what I would have imagined.

Robert learned that he had a malignant tumor of the para-nasal sinuses that
extended up to the base of the brain. A talented surgeon and an ENT (Ear, Nose,
and Throat) specialist at Hopkins, John Price, worked with me to perform a
cranial facial resection. This operation usually takes eight to twelve hours
because we have to go in through the front of the head and the nose.

We had to open the face and the head to get one of the tumors, situated deep
in the head along the base. It might help to understand what we did if I use the
image of a chandelier. (In fact, I call it the chandelier operation.)

It works this way. If I went into an old house to remove a big chandelier, first
I’d be sure I had people on the first floor ready to receive it. Above the fixture I
would make cuts to disconnect.

I’d then have someone on the second floor with me to cut a hole around the
chandelier fixture. Once done, I could drop the whole thing to the people below.

Page 223

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Page 224


Founded in 1931, Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Zondervan, a division of
HarperCollinsPublishers, is the leading international Christian communications
company, producing best-selling Bibles, books, new media products, a growing
line of gift products and award-winning children’s products. The world’s largest
Bible publisher, Zondervan ( holds exclusive publishing
rights to the New International Version of the Bible and has distributed more
than 150 million copies worldwide. It is also one of the top Christian publishers
in the world, selling its award-winning books through Christian retailers, general
market bookstores, mass merchandisers, specialty retailers, and the Internet.
Zondervan has received a total of 68 Gold Medallion awards for its books, more
than any other publisher.

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