Tuesday, November 8, 2011

{The Day He Died}

Photo Credit: Ryan EstesPhoto Credit: Ryan Estes

I remember the first time Gavin's doctor had the talk with us -- you know, the talk where the doc eludes to the fact that your child will have a shortened life, though the word death is not used, only implied in the dark gloom in the physicians eyes. We probably had that talk over twenty times, Gavin just kept beating the odds.  Infection after infection he would push through, even as more organ system begun to fail he still somehow was able to keep his little heart beating -- he fought so stinkin' hard.

By the time we had our last talk and the words were actually used I think I was almost in disbelief.  Gavin had full blown pulmonary edema.  His ANC, his ability to fight infection, was almost zero.  His little body was colonized with fungus.  Yet I told our doc that I wanted to take him home -- I felt in my mommie heart that I could make him all better -- at home.

And we did just that.  Ok, so it only lasted about six hours, but I think I really needed those six hours so begin to truly see the horrible suffering taking over my little boy's life. I drove Gavin home alone that night.  Seriously, I can't even believe it.  He was on 4liters of O2 and on a biPap system working as a vent.  He alarmed the entire hour drive home.  It was my mommie's gonna make it all better adrenaline that helped us both survive that car ride home.

Adam and Madison met me out at the car and we carried out little boy in the house.  I held Gavin out flat in my arms, as he was unable to bend, Adam grabbed all his IV's including his TPN, antibiotics and his morphine pump, the ventilator and the huge tank of O2 and Madison grabbed the vent tubing and we slowly carried our little boy home.

Photo Credit: Ryan EstesPhoto Credit: Ryan Estes

Wow -- looking back my heart and mind sees such a beautiful image of what our family is all about.  It makes me hurt and smile at the very same time - speaking to my soul on such a deep level.

Can you feel it?  

We loved that little boy more than words could describe.  We would have done anything to give him a life full of experience and quality.

After a few hours at home it was clear that Gavin was leaving us.  His temp spiked high and he was no longer being supported on the home vent as it was unable to give him enough support and O2.  We knew it was time to go back.  We differ from many families in that we didn't want our little boy to die at home.  I didn't want our home to represent death.  I didn't want to have to go back and ever see the very spot where he left this world -- so we took him back for one last time to the place and people that walked us through three and a half amazing years -- the place that helped us keep him alive for as long as we did.

From there on is a blur -- and I like it that way. 

His last days were filled with so many tears but also so many smiles and laughs.  I never once imagined that the moment of his death would bring such amazing comfort and joy -- but it did.  It was all apart of the process.  We lived witness to  his suffering for so long that by the time he took his last breath it was as if he finished the marathon he had been running all his life.  Of course their were tears of grief, but the overwhelming joy that our little boy was finally free from pain and suffering -- free from the body that held him prisoner -- it was simply breathtaking.

Today I mourn his death, but my heart celebrates his freedom.


Anonymous said...

I love the picture of Gavin hugging Madi. The childhood innocents is beyond me. That picture speaks to me more than any other one. Love lives there!

Anonymous said...

you r amazing...this is a beautiful website

Anonymous said...

Your family remains in my thoughts and I am sad to hear that you had to go through this pain.

Suzan said...

Oh my goodness, my heart hurts for you just as much today as it did 2 years ago. Gavin was such a precious boy, thank you for sharing him and your journey with us...he has truly touched my heart! May the Lord continue to bless you all!

Anonymous said...

I have followed your blog for over a year. You are an amazing woman and have such a beautiful family. Gavin has inspired me to be a fighter! I love the photo of Gavin giving his big sister a hug!!! L.O.V.E. Is what I see/feel when looking at your pics and reading your blog. e

Krissy said...

I wish I had an inch of your strength and faith. You are beyond amazing in so many ways. You are truly an inspiration.

Anonymous said...

How sad--yet beautiful. I can see that God has blessed you to be able to see the beauty in the release of pain of this life. Thinking of you today.

Amanda said...

What a beautiful way to remember your amazing boy. Thank you for sharing your inspiring words with us.