My Story (through my mother's eyes)...

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Behind the Theme, A Mother's Love

I had three miscarriages before I had Louann. During my third month of pregnancy, I almost lost her, too. It was God’s will, and Chinese herb medicine that saved her. She was born in Taiwan, a very tiny 4 pound bundle of joy.

As she grew, I had a live-in nanny to help care for her. One day when Louann was 11 months old, the nanny held her in her arms and while crossing the street, a speeding motorcyclist hit them. The nanny was killed instantly, and Louann was thrown about 30 feet. I had almost lost her again, but God stepped in, and Louann survived.

As a hard working Chinese mother, I push all three of my children hard because I want them to be successful in this challenging world. We immigrated to America when Louann was 2 ½ years old; and my current husband, Garnett, adopted her at the age of 6. At only 5 ½ years old, her first piano teacher, Mrs. Matthews, used to stack phone books as a foot rest because Louann was so small. When she moved away, Louann began taking instruction from Mrs. Minasian. At the age of 11, Louann wanted to quit piano, but I would not allow it. I didn’t want her to waste her God given talents. I urged her to continue. Louann practiced piano diligently, and her talents blossomed.

Starting in 1990, Garnett and I began spending much time away on business in China each year. We were fortunate to have the McCain’s look after our children when we were away. Mrs. McCain accompanied Louann to many of her competitions and was a shoulder to lean on during our absence.

She excelled in high school and also mastered the saxophone. She is very small in stature, and it was always very easy to find her when the band marched because she was one foot shorter than the other bands members. Her dad teased her and said, “Good things always come in small packages.”

When Louann played at the Springfield Chinese Church throughout her college years, I was, as usual, away on business much of that time. But when I was in town, I would attend the church services. Listening to her play brought tears to my eyes; tears of joy and pride at how my daughter had grown. I thank you, Lord, and her many musical church friends who kept her company.

At the age of 17, Louann began having seizures, which her neurologist controlled with medication for some time. During her second year of medical school, in August of 2006, she had another seizure. I spent many hours flying between Kansas City and Shanghai every few weeks to accompany her to the doctor and take care of her. She is a strong woman, like her mother, and pushed forward, continuing in her studies. Three months later, Colonel Dana Reynard invited her to give a piano concert for the Missouri Military Academy (MMA) in Mexico, Missouri. The Lord gave her the strength and encouragement to fight through the seizure ordeal. Thus, despite the adverse reactions to medication, her intense medical school work load, and her health challenges, she prepared and memorized five new songs for the MMA Piano Concert in March 2007.

In May of 2007, Louann began seeing a muscle specialist because she was now having muscle problems. It was a devastating shock to us. There is no history of this on either side of the family. Throughout all this, Louann continued to study very hard in school and passed her Step 1 Medical Board Exams, in July 2007, at the end of her second year. At her neurologist’s advice and our family’s insistence, she decided to take her third year off from medical school to let her body rest.

During this time off, she has dedicated her time to putting together this CD fundraiser and preparing to give another piano concert. Colonel Reynard invited her to play again in March 2008 at MMA. She has practiced diligently to fine tune the pieces she will play. Playing the piano seems to be an outlet to channel her emotions. They flow through her fingers and into the keyboard with passion and skill.

She learned the last six songs on this CD during her most critical and difficult time. God gave her the strength to finish this task, and I hope you also receive His energy and blessing as you enjoy her music. God bless you, Louann, for your hard work and dedication to help raise money for the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation.

Her seizures are under control through medication at this time. However, there is no cure for the muscle weakness, and she faces many challenging days ahead. Perhaps one day, as a doctor, she will overcome this as well and help many others like herself.

God bless you my daughter.

Caroline Lee Carnahan

Louann’s mother

January 2008

My Story, as a Pianist


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