An Adopted Son Finds His Birth Father Just in Time

Listen as Ken Davis, who was adopted as an infant, describes the thrill of finding his birth parents just in time to see his birth father, David Johnston, through a life-saving open-heart surgery.

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Well, I’m David L. Johnston. I’m a local CPA here in Monroe. I’ve been practicing for a real– for a long time. And just, this whole episode of finding my son has been very rewarding and very exciting for me. 

I’m Ken Davis. I’m currently serving as chief medical officer for CHRISTUS Health Care System. I’m very blessed to have found David as my father. I was adopted as an infant. So it’s really been a real blessing for me. 

I’ve always known that I was adopted. My adoptive parents always told me I was adopted as an infant. I knew the- very few– little bit about my real parents. But I knew they were both 19 years old, knew they were both students in college. 

So my adoptive parents were in their mid 30s. They couldn’t have children. So it was a great thing for them and a blessing for them as well. 

I was fortunate to go to college in Mississippi, later medical school in Mississippi. I enjoyed doing internal medicine, geriatric medicine. I went to Boston and trained at Harvard for about five years there. I came back to Mississippi after that. 

Later, when I was in my late 50s, I actually went into my father’s lock box and found my real birth certificate, which I’m not supposed to have. And it had my name, Keith Johnston, on there. I went online with Keith Johnston and my birth date, and it popped up, mother looking for son, Keith Johnston, born on this birthday. 

So my mother– I actually found her. I telephone called her. She lived 80 miles away from me in Texas. So she and I interacted and related and found each other that way. And through that, I found David, who was my birth father. 

Naturally, did not really expect that he would ever find me. 

And we spoke on the phone. And we talked. And he told me about himself. 

And it was just, from the start, it just seemed very natural. When I first saw my birth mother, I recognized her face. I hadn’t seen her since I was 2 weeks old. There was a recognition there. When I talked to David, there was a recognition there of just something that just seemed like it was part of me. 

She sent me an email, gave me a phone number to call her. She says, I found our son. It was a few months before I got the– I’ll use the term the nerve to contact Ken and to– and discuss it with him, because I really didn’t know how to respond to this. 

Unbelievable, the feeling I had when I met him. It was just– was so, still, a closeness, and a understanding, and a relationship that’s just virtually impossible to explain. This was before it was discovered of my illness when I first met him. 

I have a heart condition. And I had open heart surgery. I was in a position that only three months to live. The doctor didn’t really know what could be done. 

Yes, David said he had a heart condition. He had a bypass surgery 20 years before and developed a real tight aortic valve that needed replaced. But he was at very high risk for replacing that valve. 

So fortunately, we’ve been developing an experimental procedure in San Antonio that we were one of the pilots for. Brought David to San Antonio. He was in the hospital for 24 hours and released from the hospital. Did very well with the valve. And his local cardiologist has been very pleased. 

So David didn’t have the recovery time he would have had with an open procedure or the risk he would have had. So I’ve had more time– I hadn’t had much time with him. God gave me some more time to enjoy him. I’ve learned a lot about faith with David and my encounter. 

But this was a miracle, first of all that– finding Ken, and then him developing this clinic and surgery, and that how God still performs miracles.

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