Over the past couple of weeks, a tragic story has unfolded on my Facebook feed. A mother whose baby boy suffered from an incurable pediatric lung disease posted updates and questions to a Facebook group I belong to. (One of our sons is in remission from a rare pediatric lung disease, and I still participate in these groups to keep abreast of what's happening, and to offer support to others when I can.)
In one particularly gut-wrenching post, this mom described how hard it was to be told by her medical team that she needed to prepare to let go of her child because his lungs were in the final stages of failure. This post was accompanied by a photo of her son who — besides being attached to various breathing apparatuses — was otherwise in great spirits, a beautiful little boy radiating happiness.
Yesterday, she posted that her son had lost his battle.
I won't share any other details out of respect for her family's privacy, other than to say that she is clearly a remarkable person going through an agonizing ordeal, and handling it all with grace and dignity.
I was haunted by her posts for days, and yesterday's final update broke my heart. I am, however, grateful for the opportunity to have gotten to know a little bit about this boy before he passed away, to offer a few (hopefully) supportive comments to his mom, and to reflect and be grateful for my own son's improved health.
I'm also grateful to live in a time when such connections are possible. There's a lot of social noise to wade through, but occasionally in that noise are the most elemental of human stories.
Please consider making a donation to the chILD Foundation, The chILD Foundation's mission is to "...accelerate research to cure all forms of Children’s Interstitial and Diffuse Lung Disease (chILD) and to provide compassionate support, education, and hope to children and families affected by these life-altering diseases."