It’s been a little over a week since we announced our Extra Life Charity Team, and I have to say, I’m a little disappointed by the turnout so far. I’ve decided to take today to talk a bit about my own experiences with the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and specifically, the hospital group that I’m choosing to support with my personal page.
A little over seven years ago, my son was born. I didn’t become a father then, I already had a daughter who had been born 5 years before that, but even having done it once doesn’t prepare you for having a newborn in the house again.
Alec was born a wrinkly, but healthy appearing boy. I’m not going to say he was beautiful, cause newborn babies are generally red splotchy things with funny shaped heads, by any objective measurement he was kind of an ugly lump, but all parents are a little delusional about that when one of their own was just born. We took him home the next day, nothing appeared to be wrong, but something was.
He was ravenous all the time. He would eat and eat, but nothing stayed down. While my wife would calm him down, I would clean things up. The smell of sour baby formula permeated about everything. He didn’t gain weight. He looked like an old man, thin and feeble.
I can’t explain to you how frightening this was. Something being wrong with me I can deal with. Something being wrong with my son just filled me with dread. We took him to the local hospital, and they found out what was wrong. He had a small deformity in the connection between his stomach and intestines. He literally could not pass more than a small percentage of his food through his digestive tract, not nearly enough to survive.
Even knowing what was wrong, I was terrified. Just, how small he was. How would he deal with surgery? He was transferred up to Children’s at Scottish Rite. I remember following the ambulance up there. A two hour drive alone. My wife was in the ambulance with Alec, my parents were with my daughter back at their house. I didn’t know what would happen.
I remember filing into his very brightly colored room at Scottish Rite. And the nurses and doctors there, they were so poxitive, so confident. They just radiated this feeling that everything was going to be alright. His surgery went well. He was healthy. He ate. Man he ate so much. He went from frail to chunky. I think we could have rolled him everywhere. He was so happy, too. I’ve never seen a baby smile so much.
We went home. He grew. All that is left of the ordeal is a small scar from the surgery, and the memories. I know that what we went through, though it would still have been deadly without modern medicine, is nothing compared to what other children and parents who went there do. Not every child comes home. Not every child’s condition just requires a single surgery to cure.
But we should do everything we can to make sure they do come home, or at the very least, that they have the care they need for the time they have.
Please, to all our fans, and all the readers of our blog: Join us in trying to help make this year’s Extra Life charity even greater. Even if all you can contribute is a few dollars, that few dollars adds up. Don’t let this opportunity for us to do something really special pass us by.
Thank you for taking the time to listen to me talk about my memories. Hopefully a few of you have been inspired to contribute some to the cause.