This past week something very real happened to two separate families- two families I do not know, but my heart breaks for them nonetheless. The first is the Spohr's of California. Their beautiful 17 month old daughter Madeline passed away unexpectedly on April 7th. Like our son, Maddie was born premature and spent her first months of life in the NICU. Her final days were spent in the PICU, where she struggled with respiratory problems. Her parents (Heather & Mike) will bury their child tomorrow, April 14.
There has been a world wide web outpouring of donations to the March of Dimes and to her parents to help pay for the funeral costs. All the mom (and dad) bloggers of the world have rallied together to make sure that everything is covered for her parents during their time of loss. Heather had been fundraising for the March of Dimes March for Babies later this month and her goal had been $3,000. Since Maddie's death, she has raised over $25,000 in donations! Their website (linked above) was temporarily shut down due to traffic overload. Her story has been seen on blogs all across the web, in the L.A. Times and on TV.
I personally have been very affected by Maddie's story. As a NICU parent, there are certain things you'll just never forget from your time there and to lose your child is the worst nightmare of them all. We came so close... so close that it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. Neither Michael or I will ever be able to forget waking up to the nurse practitioner telling us to come to the NICU to say goodbye to our son. I have read many other parent's shocked responses and it seems that we all have pretty much the same thoughts: "Ohmygod, it could have been MY child!". We've all spent more time and have held our kids a little (okay, a lot) closer since. I can hardly take my eyes off Max!
The second horrible loss happened only yesterday. Thalon Myers, the four month old son of
Shana passed away after fighting for his life in the hospital. I do not know many in-depth details about him so far, but his death has shocked the community nonetheless. It's heartwarming to see the outpouring of support for the family and the blogosphere is making donations again.
I send my deepest condolances to Heather & Mike and Shana and all of their families. No parents should ever have to bury their children.
Over the past week I have been constantly reminded of the outpouring of love and support WE received from friends, family (and in the case of Shana and the Spohr's) from complete strangers. It was so appreciated and helped us through the darkest of days, so I would like to say thank you to everyone again. Our little man is thriving and we are grateful for every day with him. Thank you all from the bottom of this mom's heart.