My beautiful boy Nicholas was born at 32 weeks. A normal pregnancy is 40. Even though he was not that early he only weighed 2 pounds 4 ounces. Other than being little he was perfect. Then 10 days later tragedy hit. He had Necrotizing Enterocolitis which is a gastrointestinal disease that mostly affects premature infants. NEC involves infection and inflammation that causes destruction of the bowel(intestine)or part of the bowel. They had to remove the intestine that was dead because they could infect the healthy intestines. Needless to say this lead to numerous complications and 12 surgeries all together over the next almost 12 months.
Through all of this pain and misery my Nicholas always lit up when he would her my wife's voice. He liked my voice also, but not like hers. I nick-named her "Sunshine" because to him she was like sunshine. She brightened his day and life. He taught us that no matter what happens we will always have each other for strength and support. He showed us how to love unconditionally. Even when our decisions to do more surgery lead to more pain for him, he still gave my wife and myself his whole heart. He showed us how to work hard at overcoming misfortunes. He taught us to never give up no matter how high the odds are stacked against you. He showed us that if we let others help it did not make us weak, it actually showed us how strong we could be. He showed us how to have hope in the darkest hours. He taught us to be humble and thankful for what we have, and not to dwell on how HE got dealt a bad hand in life. He showed us you can trust a complete stranger with the life of your precious son. He showed us to learn from failure, and not to just be angry because this surgery did not fix him. He showed us the greatest love that exists.
What he showed the rest of the world was opportunity and optimism. The opportunity was in the fact that the transplant he needed to have in order to live had only been performed a handful of times on an infant, and had only been successful once. But at least the procedure existed. The optimism was in the fact that he could be the second baby to survive this transplant.
Unfortunately Nicholas is now an angel, but maybe the next baby with severe NEC will be helped by what the doctors learned from him. There are still very bad days for my wife and myself when we think about Nicholas. However, there are also great days when we remember his smile, or the way he would get so excited to see us his whole body would be jumping. The two best memories for me were his smile and the way he would blow bubbles from his mouth to get my attention.
I guess my point is that in the worst of situations there is always hope. You may have to work hard to find it, but it is there.
Submitted by Anonymous
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