Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Pack Family

I first crossed paths with the Pack Family on Christmas Day. Kelly and Ryan didn't know me, and I didn't know them. But I was in the PICU the day they lost their sweet 18-month old son, Colum, in a tragic car crash. I have thought of them often since that day, and finally decided to reach out to them, to share what was in my heart about the loss of their son, and how it personally affected me.

If you don't know anything about the Packs, a good place to start is here. Of course, if you haven't heard about them, you're either 1) not in Utah or 2) living under a rock. Their story was all over the news when it happened. Kelly and Ryan, with their son Finn (who's Harper's age) still have to work so hard every day to heal their bodies and their hearts. Just a warning: Kelly's blog will make you cry - and if you are brave enough to watch it, Colum's funeral video is also posted on there. It is quite possibly the saddest video ever; it will tear you to pieces. I heaved heavy sobs when I watched it, as it hit far too close to home. Our situations are so different, but the fear of losing my children sticks in the front of my mind and my heart every day in a very real, very unwelcome way.

Why did I email Kelly? Well, I have a feeling that her sweet boy Colum was with us when Norah semi-coded on Christmas Day. Here's the deal... back then, Norah was having frequent oxygen desaturations. She was turning blue multiple times a day, and always needed bagging to resuscitate her. But on this Christmas night, it was the first time in my recollection that Norah was able to work through it without being manually bagged. Her oxygen saturation had dropped really low (probably in the 50's), and her heart rate was something like 40. I turned her from her side to her back to talk to her, and she came back to us without further medical intervention. I am not at all religious, but I feel in my heart that Colum was there with us. You can read my email with the rest of the story, along with her feelings on her blog here. It is a very worthy read. And for those of you that have come here from Kelly's blog - welcome.

I have the feeling that our families are meant to be great friends. I look forward to meeting Kelly, Ryan, and Finn. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: life is fragile. Go hug your loved ones, and make sure you tell them what they mean to you. You never know which cuddle and kiss will be your last.
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