I came into this world earlier than most babies. It had only been 31 weeks since I had been concieved. I had problems right away because of being early as well as my mama's medical problem affecting me for a couple of days. She had preeclampsia, and it threw off my chemical balance for a few days. But, no problem, because I was a very strong baby as you will find out!
The doctors told mama and daddy that I had been born with bad kidneys and they would need to remove both of them when I got bigger.
My heart had become enlarged from having to work so hard from being born premature, the chemical imbalance from my Mother's pre-eclampsia and my kidney defect. They put me on lots of heart medications, hoping to shrink my heart back to normal. They could not say whether my heart problem was congenital at that time, the only way to tell was if I responded to the medications. When my doctors told my mama that my heart was almost normal size finally, she cried all over my head! Mamas can be so silly!
I had to stay in the hospital for a long time, my kidneys were removed after I almost died from an infection that was caused by my bad kidneys. My kidneys allowed my immune protiens to filter out of my body into my urine. This last infection became so bad that I went into shock and DIC (this condition is so complex, that only medical people would understand, but it is very bad!).
The antibiotics that finally cured this infection (which was a resistant infection), caused me to lose my hearing.
After my kidneys were removed, I went on Peritoneal Dialysis, which occured in my abdominal cavity. This kind of dialysis is much more gentle that the traditonal hemodialysis that you are probably familiar with.
It took some time for the doctors to get me up to the level of dialysis that I needed because I only weighed 15 pound. But once they got me to where I needed to be, my mama and daddy were trained how to do my dialysis for me.
That meant I finally got to come home to my very own room! I think that my parents were much more excited than I was because, afterall I was just a baby. My parents had so much fun with me at home. They were not as scared as you might think because they are both nurses and learned the dialysis much more quickly than people without medical training.
I guess it was because they were nurses that they noticed that something was not quite right, after being home for only 4 days. But something that they did not know was that God was needing me to come to Heaven early to do a special job that only babies of Heaven could do. I didn't even know this until I became a child of Heaven myself!
Mama and daddy called the doctors and they were told to bring me to the hospital right away. On the way, I started to have difficulty breathing, I remember mama telling daddy to run the lights when there were no other cars around.
About 20-30 minutes after my daddy ran me up to the hospital room, the doctors and nurses had to do a code on me. Both mama and daddy saw them do this and they looked very scared. Mama cried and daddy hugged her to try to make her feel better.
The doctors and nurses made me better enough to be transferred to PICU (pediatric intensive care unit).
Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
I spent 10 days at the PICU. I don't remeber too much because of the pain medication. I would prefer to just remember my family's love. My mama and daddy would hold my hand and kiss me. Daddy would talk to me and sometimes mama would sing songs that she would sing when I could still hear. I knew the songs anyway, I could feel the vibrations when mama would sing with her lips against my cheeks. It was very hard to do through the medicines that I was on, but I told my mama and daddy that I loved them. I squeezed daddy's hand and looked at mama when she talked to me once. I know that it made them feel good.
Everyday, the doctors would let my parents know how I was doing. Some doctors thought that I should have gone to Heaven sooner than what I did. There were many doctors involved in my care, and some of the doctors that my parents had come to trust thought that there might still be hope. So, at the conference to decide whether I would go to Heaven...my parents told the doctors to still keep trying everything. Some doctors left that conference with big smiles on their faces!
On my 7th month birthday, my daddy visited me in the morning while mama slept from working the night before. The doctors told daddy to call and wake up mama and then go home to pick her up for a meeting. They knew that this was it. One of my favorite doctors had worked in the PICU last night. This is one of the doctors that my parents trusted, he would let them know when there was no more hope for me to stay here on Earth. I sure did like Dr. Gittomer.
At the meeting, there was lots of doctors and nurses and my social worker. When another one of the doctors that my parents trusted said that all had been done and that there was no more hope, my parents knew that it was time for them to give me to Heaven. Dr. Lally had told my parents that he would always be honest with them. He was my surgeon, and I would like to thank him. Because of him, I was able to stay with my parents a lot longer. After Dr. Lally said what he had to say, he rushed out of the room. The other doctors just looked at him. Who says that doctors have no emotions?
My last day on Earth was spent in my family's arms
After my mama and daddy heard what the doctors had to say, they called my grandparents and aunts. Then, my mama and daddy gave me a bath. My mama cut a bunch of locks of my hair so that they all could have a part of me always. Grammy brought me something to wear that would cover all the tubes and lines that the doctors had placed in me to try to save my life. The tubes needed to stay in me just in case I might feel pain if they were taken out. They did keep the pain medicine going the whole time that I remained with my family on Earth.
Everyone held me to say goodbye. I sure did love that. I wanted to say goodbye to them too. My favorite nurses came to say goodbye too: Margaret, Esther, Vickie, Bettina, Sarah, Marybeth and Patsy. Rosemarie's child was sick, but she asked the other nurses to hold and hug me for her. Dr. Swinford gave me a kiss goodbye too. She also gave me a kiss for Dr. Grimm. She could not be there because she was visiting her family up North.
My mama told them that I was ready
My mama would not let them turn off everything at once. Just one thing at a time was turned off. My mama did not want me to suffer. I want her to know that I sure did appreciate that.
After the respirator was set to let me breath on my
own, I did not breath anymore, but, I felt no more pain.
In fact, I felt more wonderful than I ever had. I looked
around and my mama and daddy were both still holding me,
and my family and favorite nurses were still there,
He flew to me and put his arms around me and gave me a kiss.
He said,"Hi William, I am your brother Joseph and I am here to take you to Heaven". I sure did love being with my brother in that PICU room but, I knew that I would have to leave soon. I said,"What about mama and my daddy"? Joseph, my brother, baby of Heaven, said, "You will see them with us in Heaven very soon. A few seconds in Heaven is like years on earth. We will see our parents in a few minutes. But, it will seem like a very long time for them. We need to send them lots of kisses and show them that our Lord loves them, like he loves us, so that we can be with our parents once again, for all eternity.
I Became Heaven's Baby On April 29, 1998
My mama sang this song to me all the time, even when I could not hear anymore. I still hear her sing it even though I am in Heaven now. My cousins: Shelby, Zachary, and Rachal, sang my mama's song for me at my memorial service. It made a lot of people at my memorial smile.
Now my brother and I guard over all the special
Want to see my pictures?
I am just a little Angel!
My mama loves to show my pictures.
She loves to show people that just because I was a "sick" baby while I was here,
that I had a personality just like other babies.
And, she likes to show that all babies do not "look" sick.
I sure didn't look like I was sick, did I?
Goodnight Mama Graphic By Liz of Heaven's Graphics
Snowglobe of William made by LJDesigns.
Original artwork of William with his wings