NRL News

What’s airing on Pro-Life Perspective Today? “Olivia’s Triumph Over Adversity”

by | Aug 27, 2012





By Dave Andrusko

What a wonderful way to start this week’s editions of Pro-Life Perspective. NRLC President and PLP Host Carol Tobias tells her audience of an email NRLC received not long ago.

It came from Hugh & Kaye Martin and it was an update—18 years later—of a letter they had sent us about their baby who survived a harrowing birth after five months’ gestation.  They wrote, “Now, please join us in celebrating Olivia’s emergence into young womanhood.”

The email included the text of the original 1994 letter. (We’ve also included three black and white photos they sent NRLC on this page.)

In that letter Hugh Martin explains that while celebrating Christmas 1993 in Yosemite, Kaye’s water broke and she was rushed to the hospital. After losing two babies at birth and six from miscarriages, the Martins were sure this young baby was, as Hugh put it, “a goner.”

Rather than paraphrase what Mr. Martin wrote in that original letter, let me reproduce a portion of this wonderful missive below.

Since the baby was only five months along, the doctors first encouraged us to abort.  Then, despite the fact that the baby was breach, they recommended a vaginal delivery — knowing that the baby most likely would not survive anything but a Cesarean.  (Before the birth, we had attempted to transfer Kaye to a major medical facility closer to home.  However, they had refused to intervene on the baby’s behalf in any way — no C-section, no life support, nothing.)  We could see the baby’s heartbeat on the monitor, so we decided to go for the Cesarean.

When little Olivia first emerged, she was no larger than my hand and weighed no more than a pint of milk.  Her spread fingers were no wider than my thumbnail.  Her own fingernails were the size of grains of sand.  Her eyelids were still fused shut.  Yet Olivia was clearly a living baby, not a fetus.  She stretched and kicked fiercely.  Her translucent skin was blood-red.  Every feature was perfectly formed. Although barely a pound, Olivia was indeed “fearfully and wonderfully made.”

For three months, Kaye sat at Olivia’s side by the incubator — cooing to her, caressing her, giving her that “will to live” which is at least as important as all the marvels of modern technology.  …

Kaye brought Olivia home to Sonoma five weeks earlier than her original due date.  In the first three months since birth, Olivia has increased her weight five-fold.  She has no apparent abnormalities.  She breathes without canned oxygen and sucks voraciously on her doll-sized bottle …Last Sunday, at a little church we visited up the North Coast, I sobbed deeply and wrenchingly during worship.  We were finally, I realized, home free.

Just the other night, Olivia slept through for the first time — no putzing, no colic, no oxygen, no heart monitors.  ….  About 4:00 a.m. Olivia started burbling, so I got up and swabbed her nostrils with the syringe.  She protested at first, but once clear, she sighed, smiled quietly, and drifted into her deepest sleep of the night.

Under Bill Clinton’s health care plan, babies like Olivia would be denied life support.  If the child doesn’t fit the guidelines, the “preemie” doctor would be prohibited from intervening to save her.  Too premature, too uncertain, too costly — all part of health rationing, you know.  Our country is in deep trouble when we let the government decide who lives and who dies.

God bless you and your wonderful work.  It is on the front lines of education, entertainment, legislation, science, medicine, economics, evangelism, and family values that children like Olivia will be saved and this battle will be won.

Be sure to listen to Mrs. Tobias talk about the letter at You can also read the entire letter there and share it with friends using your social networks.

Categories: NRLC