Life is a crazy thing. I'm not sure any of us can fully appreciate it until we are one day forced to say good bye. The death of a child is a horrific event that I would not wish on anyone, but if we choose to focus on the deep sorrow that it brings along side us we will fail to see the beauty that flows.
After a difficult pregnancy which ended at 30 weeks gestation, Our little boy was born on June 14, 2006. We knew there were some concerns with issues such as feeding and tempature control but we had no idea what we would soon face.
By the time Gavin was six months old he began to go into intestinal failure and began intravenous feedings. The months that followed brought more and more diagnosis including liver dysfunction, pancreatic dysfunction, autonomic instability, bone marrow failure and the list went on and on.
Gavin was an amazing child. We spent most of his life inpatient at the AI duPont Hospital for Children. We lived life to the fullest despite what medical science was telling us -- that our little boy would soon die. Gavin became neutropenic at around age two and his episodes of sepsis began to spiral out of control and the vibrant little boy that we once knew was slowly fading away.
In October of 2008 Gavin was finally diagnosed with Mitochondrial disease, a illness which stems from the bodies inability to convert food into energy and results in multi organ failure and many times death. Despite this diagnosis and the idea of death that was always in the back of our minds we choose to see hope and give our little boy the best life possible.
I could go one and one about all the medical diagnosis and challenges our little boy faced -- his list of medical equipment could go on and on. But Gavin's life was not defined by these challenges. Gavin taught us to find joy in our times of deepest sorrow, to find peace in the most chaotic of situations.
In November of 2009 we, along with our wonderful team of doctors made the decision we never once imagined we would actually have to make -- it was time to let him go. Gavin was suffering beyond words could describe. He no longer could breath on his own, his pain was so intense, no medication could take it away, he was crawling out of his skin and was not the little boy we once knew.
52 hours after we removed life support Gavin earned the peace he so very much deserved. Snuggled up with both Mommie and daddy Gavin took his last breath. Even though we felt the most intense pain the peace that flowed was so beautiful and will forever be engrained into my heart.
Life is filled with unexpected outcomes. The death of a child is never expected. But sometimes these unexpected outcomes are the ones that slowly change this world -- showing people the hope we all so desperately seek. Gavin's legacy lives strong in the lives he touched. He finished his job here on earth and now gets the most awesome of rewards -- life without suffering.