Welcome to CJ's Page
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.
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.
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