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Amanda's Friends























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Welcome to CJ's Page

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I always dreamed of the day that I'd become a mother. On October 2, 1997 that dream was realized when I gave birth to a perfectly healthy baby boy. I dreamed of all the things that he would be, of all the things that he would accomplish. I took my son home to start his new life, never knowing of the things to come.

I will always remember October 18, 1997. It was the day my life changed...forever. As I picked my son up from his bassinet, I knew something was terribly wrong. He was shaking, as if the world was having an earthquake that we couldn't see. My husband and I frantically took him to the local hospital. Moments after we walked in, we were informed that our son was having seizures. My heart felt like it was going to pound out of my chest. We listened while the doctors explained that he would need to be transferred to the children's hospital two hours away. I sat at my son's bedside holding his hand as he seized, waiting for the children's hospital to get there.

They stormed through the door of our local hospital, a team of five hooking my son up to countless monitors and putting him in the ambulance. I rode with them to the hospital, thinking the entire way that I would wake up from this awful nightmare. When we arrived at the children's hospital, my son was immediately taken to the intensive care unit.

I sat at his bedside every day. He was in a huge hospital bed; he was no bigger than the pillow. The seizure medications that he was taking kept him unconscious. I held his tiny little hand and prayed that he would survive. Three days after our arrival, my son crashed and was put on life support. I remember standing at his bedside watching that machine move his tiny chest up and down. He had tubes and wires attached all over his little body. I could only hold him once a day.

Two weeks later, he began to breathe on his own again. It was as if someone had removed the cloud above him, and let the sun shine on his life. It was finally over; my son would be okay. That night the nurse informed us that the doctor wanted to see us. I remember thanking God for giving my son a second chance. I called my husband, and told him to come to the hospital. I thought we were finally going home.

The doctor walked into our son's room. We didn't give him a chance to speak. We thanked him for what we had done for our son. He interrupted, saying, "We need to talk". My husband and I looked at him expectantly. The doctor took a deep breath, "Your son has severe brain damage on both sides of his head." My legs felt week, and my body began to tremble. I reached for my husbands hand. The doctor continued, explaining that our son had suffered a bilateral stroke, and that the stroke had been the cause of his seizures. He continued for about five minutes, and then left the room. Everything was spinning. I looked at my husband. Tears streaming down my face, I begged him to make the pain inside me go away. He responded with his own tears. I picked up my son and held him until he fell asleep.

The next few days were unbearable. We listened to doctors tell us what the future held for our son. They said he would never walk, talk or even smile. I kept asking what we could do to change his prognosis, and every time the answer stung my soul, "Nothing". The stroke had taken over sixty percent of his brain.

I realized that my life was changed forever. Gone were my hopes and plans for the future. As I told our parents the news, I remember hearing the pain in their voices. My son was the first grandchild on both sides. They tried to hold back their tears. My in-laws were in shock. My father got angry. it was an anger I had never seen in him before. My mother was silent. I realized then that I wasn't alone, their lives had been changed forever too.

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Over the next year, I realized that my hopes and dreams weren't gone. They had just been changed. My son was still beautiful. He was still a blessing from above.

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Today my son is a happy 14-month-old boy. The stroke left him with a lifetime of lasting effects, but he triumphs in spite of it. my son can move his body, although it is limited. He coos, and even makes some babbling sounds. He has a smile so bright it could light up the world. He is in no way where he should be for his age, but he is on his own level. I know that my son will accomplish things to the best of his ability. Most important, my son has let me see things about life that I would have never been able to see without him. I see the miracle of a child, the beauty of the world, and the ability to triumph in spite of your shortcomings. My only job is to help him achieve

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