Saturday, January 19, 2013

Meet Jack.

Okay friends. Here is a story. I met this girl, her name is Brenna Reaves through a good friend of mine, Jade Judd. About 6 months ago Jade messaged me and told me about Brenna and her son Jack.
He is a twin, and precious at that.
I instantly fell in love, who couldn't? He is adorable. He has many similarities to Kannon. One in particular- Jack can't swallow, and he gets pneumonia....A LOT. Sound familiar? Kannon's first year of life he was hospitalized 9 different times for respiratory infections, most of those being pneumonia. Now, jack is on the same road.
He has been in the Pediatric ICU with RSV, and then later he also developed pneumonia. Now he is battling two very serious respiratory infections. He is struggling to breathe at this very moment you're reading this and it's heartbreaking, partly because our family has been there before. Not only are you helplessly watching a precious and innocent part of you battle for his life, but there is a lot more that comes with it than you can imagine. No sleep for no one, nasty cafeteria food, and being closed up in a small room to name a few...but under all of that, did I mention she has other kids? Jack is a twin, and his twin's name is Lily.
The two of them also have 3 older siblings. So five kids in all.
One of them with special needs. Oh and did I mention that when I first met Brenna, she told me her husband had just fallen from a cliff and shattered both of his legs and couldn't be weight-bearing for months?
It is kind of ironic how much our lives matched up, crazy actually.

-Both boys have Mickey buttons. Here's Jack, with his.

-We both have special needs babies, and both struggle with swallowing.
- Because of that, they both get sick A LOT and very easy, a cold always = pneumonia to our kids.
-When Jack has pneumonia, Kannon is well. When Kannon has pneumonia, Jack is well. So they have never gotten to meet. But are best friends through their moms.
-Brenna works in healthcare, and so do I (She is a nurse, and me an X-ray tech).
-Her husbands name is Zac, and my husbands name is Zach.
-Zac is a paramedic, one day wanting to be a firefighter. Zach is in the Fire Academy, and also wanting to advance to be a paramedic.
-Her mom passed away from cancer at 52, my mom passed away from cancer at 50.

I'm sure by now you get it...need I go on? Coincidence? Maybe, or just an act of God. I believe that for some reason God wanted us to meet and when we did, we had LOTS to talk about if you can imagine. I've grown to love this family, and to pray for them daily like I do my own.
This is a very personal post, but I feel everyone will better understand if I put it all out there. This kind of situation tests you in many areas, it tests your strength and your stamina, it tests your finances, it tests your marriage, it tests your self-control and management of priorities, and most importantly it tests your faith. Zach and I have been here, where we have had to ask our family and friends for help financially. It's no secret. And it definitely isn't easy to let your pride down, to realize that you are not going to be able to do this on your own, and hope others will listen and understand. To admit that you need help is difficult in any situation. We have put on many fundraisers and opened up a donation account for Kannon, and have had to raise money to pay bills, medical bills (there is a reason why they are separate, $115 electricity compared to $3, 000 medical), medical equipment, medications, groceries, gas, and the list goes on. Fortunately, people listened. We prayed and prayed about it, and our prayers were answered. Zach, Kannon, and myself are extremely blessed to have the love support that we do from friends and family and even complete strangers willing to help in an extreme time of need. Here is Brenna's post on Facebook, asking for help. And all I'm asking is to think about how hard this situation is for her family, think about how hard it was for her to write this post...and think about how hard it would as a parent to raise 5 kids, one special needs whom is sick and in the hospital for numerous times for consecutive days in a row. There is no time for a job. Her priority right now is being a great mother and wife...keeping the family above the water.

"Docs just left. I'm gonna give a quick update then I'm gonna ask for your help. Those of you that know Zac and I personally know how hard it is for us to ask for help.
They are gonna give Jack 24 hours to try and see a significant improvement in his left lung. Gonna try a neb called pulmozyme which can help break up the sticky secretions in his lung. Then we have to pat on him vigorously and hope he coughs hard enough to suction him out. Also gonna try a form of CPAP. This will hold a bit of positive pressure constantly in his lungs to help hold them open to loosen that crap up. Much like a dog hanging his head out a moving car's window-positive constant pressure. Thing is, that is a little cup that goes over his nose with a head gear to hold it on. Try explaining this to a 9 month old. He has to NOT fight it. If this does not work in 24 hours they will put a tube down his throat and use fluids to try and flush the left lung out. as weak as Jack is and as aggressive that procedure is, docs say he'll end up on a ventilator. Then they're worried about him ever coming off the ventilator. Here's my asking for help....
I'm getting ready for work as we speak. Zac is gonna relieve me. Neither one of us have worked this week. But we have to a little obviously to pay bills. I'm only working 12-6 which is half my shift but can you imagine leaving him now?? We need help financially to stay with him. A friend set up an account under Jack Reaves at Bank of the West on S. 89th between S. Penn and S. Western. Or Paypal and choose as the recipient. Anything you can spare helps. I'll pay it forward anyway I know how. Thank you, friends. Love."

They need your help in any way, shape, or form. I pray that Jack comes home healthy soon, and that those who helped us when we needed it most will also extend their hand of grace and generosity even further to help Kannon's best friend. Despite our finances, we will give to them what we can, and I ask that everyone else will to.

Money can be donated to any Bank of the West location in Jack Reaves's name. Locations in Oklahoma are as follows: Midwest City, Norman, 89th and Penn, Ada, and Seminole. You can also donate by going to PayPal (If you use this route please select the "gift" option so Jack gets the full 100% you are giving, and PayPal doesn't take away 3% for fees). The recipient on PayPal is

"All must give as they are able, according to the blessings given to them by the Lord your God."
Deuteronomy 16:17