‘My son came to my house with the cops. ‘YOU CAN’T HAVE HIM,’ I screamed. In one second, everything I had tried to protect was gone. He wouldn’t look at me as I cried.’

“Imagine being 15, standing in a house, and this person you have NEVER known walks in fresh out of prison? I got a call from my son. ‘Mom… Smith was at my grandma’s.’ I fell to the ground. My heart was racing so hard I could feel it in my throat. I drove roads at 4 a.m. looking for him. I had no idea where he was.”

‘Is he gone?!,’ I yelled. It wasn’t my husband. He was so excited to be a dad. He was born to be one. I held his hand, telling him how much his unborn son and I loved him.’

“Scott just started a new job. We bought a house and were moving. He started not feeling well, but we attributed it to the stress of everything changing in our life. He went to work after getting me settled in the hospital. When he came back, he looked pale. I told him to get some rest, I would be just fine.”

‘The doctor said, ‘The parents need to understand there is no chance of their daughter having a meaningful life.’ I thought, ‘My daughter has meant more to me in the last 2 days than you will EVER mean to me.’

“What would our daughter have to do to be meaningful? Would she have to talk? Would she have to be able to solve math problems or perform in the school play? Graduating? Getting a job? Getting married? At what point would the doctor say, ‘Ok, you are meaningful now.”

‘Please help me, mom!’ My heart dropped. ‘I’m so thirsty. My tongue feels like sandpaper! I REALLY need a drink.’ An ER doctor yelled, ‘Get this young man back here RIGHT NOW!’

“We were in the middle of the Nevada desert with no signs of life for hours. The doctor informed me, ‘If you had waited 3 hours, your son would’ve died in the car.’ These symptoms are mistaken for the stomach flu or virus, strep throat or a growth spurt. I couldn’t believe I had numerous excuses for all of my son’s symptoms.’

‘We are having a problem. Your baby is floppy and turning blue. She only has a 50% chance of surviving through the night but we’ll do everything we can.’ 

“I woke up suddenly to the sound of my husband’s footsteps coming up the stairs to give me his phone. ‘Something has happened to Drew. He’s had a seizure. We were on our way to the park.’ I remember thinking to myself, ‘I have experienced seizures in the past. He’ll be OK.’ Second phone call. Everything was a blur.”

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