|“Did I hear you gentlemen say, ‘Pro-life’?”
She was the only woman in the restaurant in which I happened to be grabbing a late lunch with CLC Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. secretary Bill Murphy. We had crossed the St. Marys River to Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., where our friend Tony Stackpoole owned and operated Cup-a-Day restaurant. Tony was Bill’s counterpart with Sault Ste. Marie (Mich.) Right to Life.
“Yes, ma’am,” Tony said. “Abortion is murder.”
Bill and I winced. It was just the four of us in the restaurant, yet Bill and I were surprised by Tony’s bold response to this eavesdropping customer. She was obviously passing through town; she was not one of Tony’s regulars.
“God has brought me to the right place, then,” she said with a new warmth. “My name is Sharon Dunsmore. I’m a registered nurse. I’ve experienced what you’re saying. I worked at a hospital where the doctor botched an abortion. They called me in to try and save the little fellow, who I named ‘Tiny Tim.’”
Our ears perked at the mention of Tiny Tim. He was a mid-term baby fetus who survived a botched abortion. Sharon was the neonatal nurse whom the hospital’s abortionist called in when Tim emerged alive. Having been abandoned by his birth mother, Sharon adopted the boy as her own.
“I was certainly pro-life at that point in my life,” Sharon said. “It went with being a Christian and a neonatal nurse. But I just looked after people. I did not become an activist until God put Tiny Tim in my life.”
Sharon recalls the first time she laid eyes upon her charge. “He was gasping for air,” she said. “‘Lord, help!’ I prayed.” His vitals were dangerously low. Sharon stabilized them as best she could. “I settled down a bit and began to focus on this tiny little person. He had no name, so I gave him one … ‘Tiny Tim, who are you? I am so sorry you weren’t wanted. It’s not your fault.’”
Sharon spent the afternoon looking after Tiny Tim. Despite his failing vital signs, he responded to her touch. “I stroked him gently and began to sing: ‘Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.’”
Another nurse summed up Tiny Tim’s life with the following words: “For such a little person, he’s sure putting up a big fight.” His tiny hand grabbed Sharon’s thumb, and she stroked him and prayed with him until he could fight no more. “Goodbye, Tiny Tim,” Sharon whispered as he drew his last breath. “You did matter to someone.”
Sharon became a psychiatric nurse after this experience. A few years later, “Karen” was brought into Sharon’s ward after attempting suicide. Karen had undergone an abortion and was repeatedly suffering from a nightmare in which her baby called out her name. Sharon asked some follow-up questions and discovered that the woman was Tiny Tim’s mother. This enabled Sharon to help Tiny Tim’s mother bring closure and seek healing.
To Sharon, helping Tiny Tim’s mother heal was just as important as comforting Tiny Tim during his fight for survival. “Part of helping Karen is that I didn’t judge her,” Sharon states. “She needed healing, she needed forgiveness and she had a lot of problems in her background.”
Dr. James Dobson heard about Tiny Tim’s story and published it in his Focus on the Family newsletter. This caught the attention of Congressman Henry Hyde, who invited Sharon to testify before a United States congressional judiciary sub-committee. “He told me Congress was starting to reconsider Roe vs. Wade,” Sharon stated. She became nervous when she entered the building. “A lot of people were there and I wasn’t on the popular side.” Some pro-abortion politicians refused to attend. “I didn’t know what to do. There is a lot of violence associated with abortion. There is no happy medium on this issue. My husband flew to Washington with me, held my hand and walked me in to where I was speaking. He was a rock of support.”
Sharon told the politicians about her experience with Tiny Tim. She sat with an abortion survivor who had also been invited to testify. “Gianna (Jesson) had been left on the table to die, but somehow survived. She has cerebral palsy.”
“Tiny Tim’s story circulated from there,” Sharon said. “He has saved a lot of babies. What I like is that it’s men too who read his story. I have boxes of letters from every country in the world. A lot of people tell me they never knew what abortion meant until Tiny Tim. That’s the power of Tiny Tim – he takes the politics away.”
Sharon continues to share Tiny Tim’s story wherever she travels. “Oftentimes, half the people who come out and hear me talk are mothers and fathers who have aborted their child,” Sharon said. “They will approach me after my talk and share their story. They feel I’m safe to talk to because of the compassion I showed Tiny Tim’s mother. It’s a gift to be able to help them work through their guilt and seek God’s forgiveness.”
Sharon explained that Post-Abortion Syndrome is not just a medical term. “It truly affects people for years,” she said. “A lot of them have dreams. Kathy was dreaming that her baby was calling out to her all the time. So she tried alcohol and drugs to cover the pain – these are painkillers … Preaching often just makes them shut down. They already feel bad.”
Sharon concluded the interview by stating that medical professionals and pro-life activists should “never lose our compassion for people.” She added: “But for the grace of God, that could have been us who aborted our child. The mothers and fathers are victims, too. Kathy tried to commit suicide. We almost lost two people with one abortion.”