I would like to take a moment to thank Jodie for sharing the following story about her son Eli. It was such a pleasure to work with her creating a tribute canvas art with Elis photo and the beautiful poem i carry your heart. Her loss is heartbreaking yet her strength as a mother is so inspiring. Please take a moment to visit her site …she also has a fundraiser going for a great cause … thank you Jodie. Here is her story ….
After 2 miscarriages, numerous failed fertility treatments, and 2 very long years, we had finally achieved a successful pregnancy with twin boys through invitro-fertilization. But to our surprise, during our 20-week ultrasound, not only did we find out their babies were twin boys, but we were also given the news that no new parent wants to hear: our Baby A would be a special needs baby upon birth. Baby A had been diagnosed with a neural tube defect called Spina Bifida. So for the remaining 3 months of our pregnancy, we prepared for the opposite challenges to come.
On Monday, August 3rd, 2009 at 36 weeks gestation, we gave birth to our beautiful twin boys, Eli & Walker, 5 & 6 lb baby boys. But after numerous testing and MRI exams, it was determined that Eli’s birth defect of Spina Bifida was much more severe than detected on the ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy, as well as a few other major problems. Because it was clear Eli would not have the quality of life that he deserved, we painfully made the heartbreaking decision to remove Eli from life support at Arkansas Children’s Hospital the next evening. Doctors told the us to expect minutes with Eli once the tubes were removed. But minutes turned into hours. Hours turned into the next day. And Eli continued to breath on his own.
On August 7th, 2009, by request of our family and support of our medical personnel at both University for Arkansas Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Eli was transported back to UAMS to be with his twin brother during those unexpected last hours. Seperated by an interstate, this proved to be a brave move on behalf of both hospitals that would result in a true amount of closure for our entire family. Once Angel One delivered Eli to Walker’s NICU room, Walker’s incubator was opened and Eli was laid inside, able to touch his little brother. Eli’s color returned and a smirk came across his face. It was there that we knew we made the right decision in having Eli transported back during this time they shouldn’t have had with him. He obviously had ‘unfinished business’.
Eli McGinley peacefully took his last breath beside his brother and in his our arms on August 8th, 2009, approximately 31 hours after he was taken off of life support. His heart was donated to ARORA (Arkansas Regional Organ Recovery Agency) so that he could save another baby(s) life. Eli was also part of a Spina Bifida Educational Documentary during his short few days here on earth, which would later be name “Project E.L.I.”, to be released in the summer of 2010. This documentary was created in effort to help other parents cope with the initial diagnosis of Spina Bifida and will be donated to numerous OB/GYN clinics throughout the state of Arkansas.
Today, we are learning how to be a family of 3 instead of 4. And in the mean time, we are preserving Eli’s memory through different state projects for special needs children so that Walker can always know how special his twin brother really was. But for our personal closure inside our own home, we searched long and hard for that something intimate that would represent Eli’s life positively so that Walker would always know who his big brother was. When we ran into Geezees online, we immediately knew that this is what we needed. And the rest is history. You can read what we wrote about Geezees here: http://mcginleybabyjourney.blogspot.com/2009/12/i-carry-your-heart.html
This piece is now a part of our home forever and a daily reminder of God’s plan for our lives. We truly believe that our precious Baby A was created for a reason: to save a life. Stephanie at Geezees just made life a little more peaceful for us by preserving that beautiful piece of perfection for us to be reminded of. We are so thankful to have her in our lives.
Do you have any causes or fundraising events you would like to share?? What causes are important to you??