Christine Dhanagom

Kala’s hope: a family remembers a baby that defied the odds

Christine Dhanagom
Christine Dhanagom
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August 10, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) -  “Why do you even want to bother?”

Elizabeth and Hugh Poza were stunned by the question. Coming from the doctor whose help they had hoped to enlist in curing their daughter’s deafness, it seemed a rejection of the very worth of her life.
 
At ten months, their little girl, Kala Marie, had a huge medical file. She had begun life with profound deafness, severe congenital heart defects, a cleft lip and palate, seizures, and lung problems that made her dependent on a tracheostomy (a tube inserted into her throat) to breathe. 
 
A surgery at birth had corrected her cleft lip and palate, and her parents hoped that her ears were developed enough to benefit from cochlea implants. They had to fight just to obtain the exam that would determine whether she could receive the implants.
 
It was not the first time, nor would it be the last, that the couple found themselves defending the dignity of Kala’s life.
 
When doctors told the Pozas at five months’ gestation about Kala’s condition, they delivered a grim prognosis: the baby would most likely die in utero, or shortly after birth. If she survived, her quality of life, the couple was told, would be “nothing.”  They were encouraged to consider an abortion.
 
Instead, the family went shopping for baby clothes and began preparing a nursery to welcome their second child. 
 
“I don’t care what kind of life it is that comes into this world or how long it is. Every life is precious,” said Elizabeth, in an interview with LifeSiteNews.com.
 
While it turned out that Kala’s ears were not developed enough for the implants, the little girl who was supposed to have “no quality of life,” went on to attend a school for the deaf and became fluent in sign language.
 
She overcame all the odds merely by surviving. But she didn’t just survive. For the five-and-a-half years that God gave her on earth, Kala lived her life to the fullest and touched countless other lives with her infectious joy and hope, says Elizabeth.
 
From the moment of her birth, it was clear that Kala was determined to live. Just drawing her first breath was a struggle, but she conquered it. After one brief, peaceful moment in her mother’s arms, her heart-rate plummeted and she was whisked away for treatment. She spent the next nine-and-a-half months in the hospital and had to be put into a medically induced coma.
 
Gradually, she recovered and gained strength. Doctors warned the family that she may never even be able to sit erect, but she doggedly passed each benchmark: she sat, crawled, stood, walked, learned to communicate, and, just before her death, learned to breathe without her tracheostomy.
 
“I was so impressed with her fighting spirit, because she defied all odds, and it was almost like, ‘Ha-ha, look at me,’” Elizabeth said, with a laugh.

And her family members say through it all, she just never stopped smiling. “She could send God’s joy through a room in seconds,” says Kala’s paternal grandmother Karen Poza.

According to one of Kala’s aunts, Marie Hennessy, the entire extended family quickly realized that it was not Kala who needed them, but they who needed Kala.  

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She was “a beacon,” Marie says, remembering how Kala’s warm, loving nature had helped her husband, Jon, to feel at ease when he first met her extended family.

“She reached out to Jon,” added Marie. “She would always take the person who seemed to need her most.”

Kala’s love reached far beyond the family circle, to people she barely even knew, noted her mom.

“It didn’t matter if you knew her for her entire life, or if you had just met her, she made you smile. She would connect with people,” says Elizabeth “She just knew that she had to give as much joy as possible in that short period of time, and she did.”

It wasn’t until Kala’s death, in May 2008, that the family fully realized the number of people whose lives she had touched.

When Kala’s fragile heart finally gave out one night, the family was floored by how many came to the funeral to share in their grief and celebrate the life of their little girl. The church was packed with family and friends decked out in bright, cheerful clothing. The organ rang out the vibrant, upbeat music that Kala had always loved in the happy thought that the vibrations from the floor may still reach Kala’s lifeless body. 

Her death and her funeral were “a true testament to her life,” says Elizabeth, who likened Kala’s death to her birth.

“Her birth was beautiful. I was laughing through it, I got to hold her. We had at least 50 people in this tiny room awaiting her presence,” Elizabeth said. “And her death was so much the same, because, I know as odd as that sounds, so many people I think are afraid of death, and she was completely peaceful.”

She adds, “Had I ever said that I wanted to terminate my pregnancy I would never have had that opportunity to share with the world the joy and the love of that one life.”

Kala’s presence can still be felt, and family members say they know that she is a powerful intercessor in Heaven.  After discovering that she had lost a tooth the night of her death, they began praying to her to recover lost objects. “Within no time, we usually find whatever we lost,” says Vanessa Mosher, Kala’s godmother.

The family plans to establish a foundation in her memory called “Kala’s Hope,” which will raise funds to help children and their families through the anguish of long-term hospitalization.

The name of the foundation expresses the special gift that Kala left behind. 

“Anybody who knew her and knew the struggles that she went through got hope from it, because there is a child who is in so much pain,” Elizabeth says, “and yet she would smile and give you a hug and she would love you.”

 

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A protester rallies against Hobby Lobby, protesting against the Supreme Court decision Dan Holm/Shutterstock
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

DNC chairwoman exhorts constituents to boycott local Hobby Lobby store

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

The Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision was nearly two months ago, but the issue as hot as ever, as was demonstrated yesterday when Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schulz, D-FL, urged constituents to boycott a Hobby Lobby store in her district.

In a press conference one lot away from the Hobby Lobby location in Davie, which opened in April, Wasserman-Schultz said that she wanted “people to know that this Hobby Lobby is here and they should vote with their purses and their pocketbooks, and women should not shop here."

"If you didn’t know this Hobby Lobby was here before, know it now and don’t shop here. They don’t deserve women’s business because they are the ones that all across the country have made it harder for women to get access to birth control,” she said.

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Wasserman-Schultz said that Hobby Lobby's corporate ownership "doesn’t support its employees” and “wants to be able to get in the personal business of their employees and make health care decisions and replace their own values, replace their employees’ health care decisions, with their values…."

She also criticized the Supreme Court's late June decision in favor of Hobby Lobby, which had sued the federal government over the Obama administration's HHS Mandate.

The Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby, say it violates their conscience to pay for coverage for the four abortifacients and potential abortifacients that the mandate required them to cover.

"The Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case was not only disappointing, it was dangerous," said the Democrat. "No boss should have the right to dictate and employee’s health decisions because [they] don’t belong in the bedrooms, doctor’s offices or pharmacies of their employees.

“A woman and her doctor know what’s best for their body. Not an insurance company. Not a politician. And certainly not a manager at a Hobby Lobby."

The Supreme Court's decision allowed closely held corporations to not fund coverage of contraception or abortion drugs and devices.

Wasserman-Schultz's office did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Through a spokesperson, the Green family declined to comment about the Congresswoman's statements. 

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Kirsten Andersen Kirsten Andersen Follow Kirsten

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America is rejecting abortion because pro-lifers are having more children: study

Kirsten Andersen Kirsten Andersen Follow Kirsten
By Kirsten Anderson

According to a new Northwestern University study, American attitudes about abortion are trending more conservatively than other contentious social issues, a phenomenon the authors credit to the simple fact that pro-lifers have more kids.

“We find evidence that the abortion attitudes have lagged behind a liberalizing trend of other correlated attitudes,” the authors wrote. Using GSS data collected between 1977 and 2010, “We test[ed] the hypothesis that the comparatively high fertility of pro-life individuals has led to a more pro-life population.”

The authors wrote: “Support for abortion rights has turned flat after a period of increase following Roe v. Wade, and in recent years there are even indications of a reversal toward more restrictive attitudes. This U-turn is evinced particularly among younger cohorts, and is happening despite liberalizing trends in several ostensibly related issue domains.”

The authors speculated that the reason for the increase in pro-life attitudes among young people is that their parents had more children than their pro-abortion counterparts. When they examined the data, they found that pro-life individuals had, on average, 27 percent more children than those who considered themselves “pro-choice.”

Not only that, but pro-life parents appear to be much more likely to pass their views on to their children. The researchers found that the younger generation’s pro-life shift was too strong to be blamed solely on differences in fertility – meaning children of pro-abortion parents are rejecting their parents’ views.

“[E]ither pro-life beliefs are always more faithfully transmitted than pro-choice ones; or, there has been a cultural shift towards more pro-life beliefs that is being reflected in the parent-child correlations,” the authors wrote.

The study concluded that it wasn’t for the higher fertility rate among pro-life people, the nation as a whole would favor abortion by about five percentage points more than it does currently – and researchers predict the pro-life trend will continue.

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“Taken together, these findings suggest that fertility has had at least some part in leading the population in a more pro-life direction over time,” the authors wrote. “Further investigation into this pattern indicates that not only are abortion attitudes associated with fertility, but in proportional terms—which is what matters for cultural change—the gap is widening.”

“Fertility has declined for both pro-choice and pro-life groups over the past 30 years, but fertility has declined far less markedly for pro-life individuals,” they added. “Whereas pro-[life] individuals born before 1940 were only having about 1.2 children per one child born to a pro-choice parent, this ratio has grown to over 1.5 for those born in the mid to late 1970s. This pattern suggests that future cohorts may place an even stronger demographic drag on the liberalization of abortion attitudes.”

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A declaration that PP is an 'enemy of the Church' would mean that Catholics who work with, advocate for, or support Planned Parenthood, incur automatic excommunication. American Life League
Lisa Bourne

New campaign asks Pope Francis to declare Planned Parenthood an ‘enemy of the Church’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

The Catholic pro-life organization American Life League (ALL) is launching a campaign calling for the Catholic Church to declare Planned Parenthood an “enemy of the Church.”

Using prayer and education, ALL’s Defend the Family campaign seeks to expose the nation’s largest abortion provider for contribution to the destruction of human lives, as well as the family. 

The campaign, said Jim Sedlack, vice-president of ALL, is quite simply “a way of calling attention to the fact that this is a very bad organization.”

“Planned Parenthood is attacking the family, either by killing preborn children or by robbing the souls of the older children,” he said. 

A declaration that PP is an "enemy of the Church" would mean that Catholics who work with, advocate for, or support Planned Parenthood, incur automatic excommunication.

Such a declaration would not be unprecedented. Popes in the past have identified and condemned organizations that posed a grave threat to the Church, most recently Pope Pius XII in 1949 with Communism and Pope Clement XII in 1738 with Freemasonry.

While specifics would depend on the wording of the Papal pronouncement, Sedlak told LifeSiteNews if the Holy Father makes the declaration there would be no mistaking its intent.

“When the pope makes the declaration it becomes crystal clear,” Sedlak said. “There’ll be no shades of gray, it’ll be black and white, it’ll be clear to the world.”

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'Now is the time'

There are still people who are not fully aware of the extent of the societal damage inflicted by Planned Parenthood, said Sedlak, including members of the Church hierarchy. He said it’s important to emphasize the truth of what the abortion giant does.

“That’s why we’re focusing on the enemy,” said Sedlak. “When people really stop and focus on Planned Parenthood, they realize it’s the enemy.”

ALL cites Planned Parenthood’s targeting of children to sexualize them as a major cause of the destruction of the family and a fundamental reason for the Defend the Family campaign.

“They really push for getting young people into lives of sexual sin,” Sedlak said. “Young people who aren’t pulled into sexual activity do not provide a cent of income to Planned Parenthood, but young people who are pulled in provide millions of dollars to the Planned Parenthood empire.”

ALL compiled a comprehensive report on Planned Parenthood titled, “The Vatican can help save souls from Planned Parenthood,” as part of the Defend the Family campaign.

“The document builds the case,” said Sedlak. “Why Planned Parenthood, why now is the time.”

Sedlak told LifeSiteNews that for its part Planned Parenthood has always recognized that its greatest enemy is the Catholic Church, even working to have the Church lose its status at the UN.

“They fight anybody who wants to take sex away from the kids in any way possible,” Sedlak said. “That’s one reason why Planned Parenthood is the sex mafia.”

And when Sedlak uses the term "mafia," he means it literally, pointing out that the Holy Father condemned the mafia in his June 21, 2014, homily in Calabria, Italy, denouncing its, “Adoration of evil and contempt for the common good.”

“Planned Parenthood kills far more people than the mafia,” Sedlak said.

Also underscoring the need for the Vatican to act on declaring Planned Parenthood an enemy of the Church, is the convening of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family this October in Rome, which will lead into the general synod in 2015.

Sedlak told LifeSiteNews that these, along with the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, are events that ALL will rally around to raise awareness of the Defend the Family campaign.

Preliminary response to the campaign has been very positive, he said.

Sedlak told LifeSiteNews that the “Vatican can help save souls from Planned Parenthood” report was so well received upon initial presentation to Vatican officials, that ALL was asked to translate it into three more languages.

“The support we’ve gotten from talking to bishops has been overwhelming,” Sedlak said.

Prayer is priority #1

The Defend the Family campaign consists first and foremost of prayer, Sedlak told LifeSiteNews.

“Our approach is that we need prayer support,” he said. “The only way that we’re going to succeed is through prayer to the Blessed Mother; the only way it will succeed is if God wants it to succeed.”

Participants are asked to say regular prayers after Mass, to offer prayers for the pope and to initiate communication with local bishops about the dangers that Planned Parenthood poses to the faithful.

Sedlak also added that The Defend the Family campaign is for everyone, not just Catholics.

He said pro-life supporters of all faith traditions are invited to contact ALL for assistance in encouraging their religious denomination or church leader to declare Planned Parenthood an enemy.

In addition to prayers for the campaign, ALL is asking people to sign and submit ALL’s Declaration of Encouragement to the Holy Father, enroll in the Spiritual Bouquet for the Holy Father and to share ALL resources on Planned Parenthood.

Information, links and resources are available on the campaign website, defendthefamily.org.

Sedlak told LifeSiteNews that ALL is giving the success of the Defend the Family campaign up to God.

“This is all happening in God’s time, and so far he’s been blessing us mightily,” Sedlak said. “And we’re going to go wherever God takes us.”

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