There has to be a time in your life when it is not OK to just take. There has to be a time when you must give back. When the amount or value of something you have received is too great to continue on your path without more than just acknowledgement. When this happens- you make a choice. A choice of how you are going to react. A choice to be thankful, a choice to praise God, or a choice to try and make a difference. I’m choosing all three. Words are not enough to express my gratitude. I know and believe that God chose to save Easton but I also believe that he had to be under exceptional care in a particular place for this to happen. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Hurley Medical Center has a good reputation and for that reason alone, I chose to have my children there. Never in my plan of making a family did I picture what that unit would mean to me. Never did I understand the depth of what happens behind those locked doors. Never did I imagine my darkest hours to be in that place. That’s just not the picture your mind paints when you decide to have your perfect, little family. Sometimes life just happens. You cannot predict what your life will be like. You will never really know what is next to come or what challenges you may or may not face. All you can do is plan to the best of your ability and rise to the occasion… whatever that may be.
My experience with Hurley’s NICU changed the entire course of my life. Having a baby that you aren’t sure will survive is excruciating. There are no words to explain what that feels like. There is no preparation for this experience. I could spend my time asking the “why us” questions but that isn’t what matters. What matters is that Easton is alive. Easton fought hard. He could have easily succumbed to his illness on many occasions but he didn’t. You know why he didn’t? Because, he had a team of doctors and nurses (and family) fighting just as hard right next to him. The staff at Hurley’s NICU cared about our baby. He was not just a patient number. He was a human being deserving of a chance at life and that is exactly how they treated him. They NEVER gave up on him. They believed in him as much as we did. One of the doctors even pulled me aside as I stood with tears in my eyes next to him and said, “You know, we love him too.” I will never forget that. Ever. My point to all this is not to rehash the near tragedy of our last year but to explain to you all how fantastic this place is and to invite you to share in my attempt to support this unit.
Team Easton Gives Back is my family’s way of trying to pay it forward in the only way we can. We will never be able to repay the people that took care of and saved our baby but we can try to help make it possible that they have the things they need to continue to take care of other babies. We have decided to come together annually as a family and put on a benefit for the Hurley NICU. This year’s event will be:
Date: May 11, 2012
Place: Warwick Hills Country Club, Grand Blanc, MI
Event: Dinner, Dancing, And Silent Auction
If you would like to come with us to celebrate Easton, one week before his first birthday, and to raise funds for Hurley Medical Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, please send me your address at firstname.lastname@example.org. All donations are 100% tax deductible. If you cannot make the event but would still like to donate, please let me know.
Thank you to everyone in our life that supported us during that difficult time and for continuing to support us today. We are lucky to be surrounded by all of you.