My One Pound Premature Baby Has Enjoyed 14 Years of Life

Opinion   |   Jess Clark   |   Jun 25, 2013   |   11:15AM   |   Washington, DC

Last year I wrote an article about my son’s 13th birthday that got a lot of positive feedback.

People have always been encouraged to see how Richy, barely viable at birth and facing countless challenges in his life, lives a life full of love and joy. I had no idea, writing that post, that this year Richy would face his greatest challenge yet. At the end of last year, Richy grew very ill and rapidly lost function, going from attending school and walking and feeding himself to being curled in a fetal position, having difficulty chewing or swallowing and showing every sign of a rapidly degenerating brain disorder.

Things grew so grim that we began working with in-home hospice workers and a team of physicians dedicated to end-of-life services. We made tentative plans to celebrate his 14th birthday in April, since nothing in the natural made us think he’d live until his true birthday in June. Then everything changed, and somehow, we turned the corner, not just slowly regaining function, but even gaining some speech and personality that we hadn’t seen in years.

It took a while for it to sink in that he was actually better, that death was no longer imminent, and that we might have years and decades to enjoy with him. Was it a miracle? Even our neurologist agrees that it seems that way. Whatever it was, my son was nearly dead and now he is joyfully, fully alive.

Richy is a testament to the value of an inner life. He lives on the inside, and even the little glimpses we get of his radiant spirit are beautiful. He’s worth every battle, easily.

His birthday this year was a celebration of that miracle and the miracle that he has always been. We celebrated him in the womb, we celebrated him in the hospital, and we celebrate him now. Here’s to the best 14th year ever!



LifeNews Note: Jess is a writer and the mother of 4 children on earth and 2 children in heaven. When she’s not answering questions about the universe or saving the baby from himself, she blogs about adoption, mothering, life, and special needs.. Reprinted with permission from Bound4Life’s blog.