Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sweet Baby J~

In my almost 60 years of life I have seen a little bit of tragedy, trauma, sickness, heartache and death. You think you are prepared and ready for whatever life can hand you, but then the unthinkable happens.
On Tuesday, April 12th Darryl and I went down to Riverton, Utah to visit Hillary and Jake and their boys. On Wednesday, April 13th, while playing in the back yard, out sweet little 13 month old grandson, 'Baby J~" fell headfirst into an 18" square cooler with 2 1/2 inches of water in it. Just a couple of minutes before we had heard him laughing on the deck and scooting something around. The little neighbor girl, Corky, came over to play but couldn't find baby J~. When his mother went to look for him she found him in the cooler, purple-ish blue in color, lifeless and drowned.

The Life Flight Helicopter taking Baby J to Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City.

There are two sounds from that day that I will never forget. The first is the horrifying sound of Hillary's screams and then her crying out "My baby's dead, my baby drowned!" A feeling of dread still comes over me when I think about it. When Darryl and I ran from the front yard, through the house and onto the deck we saw our sweet daughter holding her little, lifeless son. 

Darryl immediately took the baby and held him upside down and patted his back to try and get the water out of his lungs. We then put him on the deck where Darryl and I gave him rescue breaths. As I blew air into his lungs I heard that second unforgettable sound. It was the sound of lungs full of water instead of air, and what little air came back out sounded like water being squeezed from a sponge. And then, after a few breaths ...... he gasped! We continued with rescue breaths and listened for a pulse as Hillary called 911. More water came out of his mouth and his pulse wasn't really a pulse, just a racing heart. We started doing chest compression's when Detective Shane Laycock arrived and took over CPR. As we stepped away to let Det. Laycock work we noticed Baby J's color was starting to turn pink around his face, an indication that some oxygen was getting into his blood stream. Immediately after that Detective Harris and the emergency respondents arrived and started working on baby J. Somewhere around 5 minutes had passed since Hillary had found the baby and called 911.

The Life Flight Team arrived within minutes and started to intubate Baby J's airway. As we watched I saw J lift up his hand, let out a squeal that sounded like "stop it!" and try and pull the tube out of his mouth. Right then, at that very moment, I was blessed to know that he was going to live. I didn't know what kind of recovery he was going to have, but I knew he would be alright. 

Baby J was on life support for 5 days.

I cannot say enough about the Dr.s, Nurses, Respiratory Therapists, and all of the emergency room staff and hospital staff and Primary Children's Hospital. Hillary had called Jake at work and he met us at the hospital. The members of the staff were wonderful and did all they knew how for our sweet little boy, even though it seemed like there was no way he was going to survive. I drove Hillary to the hospital and Det. Laycock brought Darryl over. I made a quick call to Cami and briefly told her what happened and asked her to call the family and asked for their immediate prayers for J~. The Dr's at the hospital were not able to give us a very positive prognosis for J's~ outcome, they wanted to be positive, but his lungs were so damaged and the unknown of possible serious brain injury hung in the air. As soon as possible, Baby J~ received a Priesthood Health Blessing from his Father and Grandfather, and within a short time started showing improvement in his CO2 levels. One of the hospital respiratory therapist later told us that as he worked on J~ and heard the words of the blessing his father gave to his son, he received a feeling of peace and very clear impression of what he needed to do to help save this sweet little boy.

J~ was given a paralytic drug to keep him immobile. My heart ached so as I watched his little body fight for life and I cried more than I think I ever have in my life. I didn't mean to cry, but it was so hard to see him and Hillary and Jake and wonder what the future would hold for their little family. The first evening, as I sat in the NICU waiting room fighting back tears, a sweet young mother came up and put her arms around me. Her last name was Sorenson and as I told her about our sweet grandbaby, she assured me that everything would be fine and if I needed to talk she was there for me. I found out a few minutes later that her 6 yr. old son had died the day before as a result of a motorcycle accident and they were donating his organs to other children. I was overwhelmed that she, in her sorrow, would take the time to comfort me. What a tender mercy this was and a sweet reminder that God was mindful of me and what I needed that very day. Cali came to be with us a couple days after the accident. Our children would call us and one another just to check on each other and make sure everyone was doing okay.

There are so many miracles we have seen through this tragedy. All of our family and children have been blessed by the prayers of hundreds of friends and family from across the United States and the world, and by their own prayers which they have offered up and seen answered by the hand of God in the recovery of Baby J~.
Some of our grandchildren were the most fervent in offering prayers for their little cousin. One granddaughter, Parker, while staying with her Nana would come to her about every half hour and say "Nana, we need to say another prayer for Baby J~" and they did. Oh what faith they have!
April 18th - Daddy gets to hold his little boy.

On April 18th they removed the Ventilator tube and brought him out of his coma. Our Baby J~ woke up! His parents were able to hold him for the first time since the accident. It was like holding a 13 month old newborn. He had very little muscle control, but he did recognize us when we talked to him.

Brotherly Love!

On April 20th J~ was moved out of NICU onto a regular recovery floor. His IVs were removed and the only machine he was attached to was his feeding tube, so Big Brother G was able to see his brother and give him a hug.  G wasn't too sure about the Feeding tube but he was so happy to see his little brother.

Happy Mom and her boys.

Each day brought more miracles in the healing of J~. He would try to stand and pull himself up, he would sit up on his own and try to crawl, and on April 21st he took his first steps.  
Cards and gifts poured in from friends and strangers and we heard of entire church congregations of all faiths and denominations in other parts of the country and the world putting our little grandson on their prayer lists and praying for his recovery. Our friends, Heather and Amelia, who teach school, sent get well cards made by their students. These cards decorated the walls of J's~ hospital room and brought so many smiles to all who read them.

Grandma Cindy, Baby J and the Zippity - Do - Dah Bear from Aunt Jesse.

Soon J~ was wearing his own clothes and taking rides in the wagon around the hospital, out to the Garden and children's play area. 

Chillin' in the wagon!

Every day, as Baby J's~ health improved, God blessed each of us so that our hearts and spirits started healing too. 
Baby J~ In the "Hope" Garden at Primary Children's Hospital with mom Hillary.

On Sunday April 24th, only 11 days after the accident, Baby J~ came home. 
April 24th - Leaving the hospital  - One happy family.
His parents had to learn to run and use the G-tube feeding tube, but it was all worth it to have this sweet little boy home!
Big brother G and Baby J~ Together at last. April 24th.

Baby J~ has several therapy treatments a week, meeting with Occupational and Rehabilitation Therapists, Speech Therapists and Food/Eating Therapists.  His recovery is remarkable and astounding the experts! He was off the feeding tube within a couple of weeks. He is still having some swallowing issues and sensory issues, but each day we see our sweet, happy, laughing boy looking more and more like his old self.
Cali has a good friend who worked on baby J~ in the emergency department of Primary Children's Hospital and told her on the day Baby J was released from the hospital, "Remind me to tell you just how miraculous Baby J's~ recovery is. This just doesn't happen." 

25 days after the accident. Baby J going to church on Mother's Day, May 8, 2016. 
Grandma Cindy and her sweet boys one month after the accident.  
Each day since the accident I have felt to shout with joy - Praise God! Thanks be to God for His many miracles and tender Mercies in our lives. For I do know that the only reason Baby J~ is alive and well is due to the healing power of God! God is good all the time and wants us to call on Him and put all of our trust in Him. Praise be His name forever!

"....for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day."  - From the Book of Mormon, The Book of Alma 36:3

Thank you to all who offered up prayers, positive thoughts and their support for Baby J~ and our whole family. We are eternally in your debt. May God bless you always!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Happy Birthday Jonas and Cami

I don't know how life got so busy, but it seems to be flying by at an alarming rate! Since my last post on Mother's day I have been recovering at Hillary's in Utah and Jesse's in  ID. I'm am doing great and need to get back in the swing of things.
First things first - I missed a couple of important birthdays! 

This handsome guy turned 14 on April 18th. He is as smart as they come, funny as can be and fast as the wind! (Yes, he likes to run and is on the cross country and track teams!) 
Love you Joe!


My sweet "Cami-Ree" turned 35 on May 18th. What a beautiful, talented daughter, wife and mother. She is a 'crafty' gal who loves to create beautiful things, play with her 4 gorgeous kiddos, run and stay fit and do all she can to make their little 'homestead' and beautiful and fun place to be. 
Love you CamiBami!