In a beautiful video called 99 Balloons, Matt and Ginny Mooney share about their journey with their first-born son Eliot, who was born with Trisomy 18. The condition, also known as Edwards Syndrome, is caused by an error in cell division, known as meiotic disjunction.
According to the Trisomy 18 Foundation, the condition is extremely rare and occurs in only 1 out of every 2500 pregnancies in the United States and about 1 in 6000 live births.
On the couple’s blog, Matt writes, “His name was Eliot, and I’ve never beheld a life more beautiful than his. He lived for 99 Days, and at his funeral we released 99 balloons to honor each unpromised one. In the days since, Ginny and I have: struggled with how life looks now, bellowed in laughter at the many joys along the way, become parents of three beautiful children whom we affectionately call “the rascals”, and doggedly sought to live our lives in light of the lessons that God taught us through the life of our first son.”
In the video tribute, Matt tells Eliot about the day he was born. He says, “Dear Eliot, you were born today weighing in at six pounds and you’re already a miracle to us.”
He goes on to share about the 99 days they had with their son. During his short life, Matt and Ginny celebrated Eliot everyday at 4:59pm, which was the time he was born. They brought Eliot out for coffee, had birthday parties and enjoyed caring him. Matt tells Eliot, “We fed you every three hours and it takes an hour and a half to do it. It’s eleven at night right now and my feeding shift has just begun. Mom is asleep and the best part of my day has begun. My shift ends at 4:45am when your mom takes over. She cherishes her mornings with her boy.”
On October 27th, 2006 Eliot went to be with Jesus. Matt explains, “An underdeveloped lung, a heart with a hole in it and DNA that placed faulty information in each and every cell of your body could not stop God from revealing himself through a child who never uttered a word. Not a pulpit, not a slick presentation, not a best-selling book but a 6-pound boy with trisomy 18. God found great pleasure to take a lowly thing in the eyes of the world to show truth.”
Watch the moving video below and share with friends and family.