Care giving for a sick and injured child would be that road for us. At first the unfamiliar landscape feels impossible to navigate. There are huge boulders blocking the way every few steps. There are hair pin turns that come out of nowhere. There are obstacles and dead ends that redirect your journey further into the unknown without any road map to navigate you along the way but the one in the middle of all this confusion, the one you love, the one that is laying so still, so lifeless, the one holding on to your hand. They hold the map, the key, and the answers to the unknown without any way to get the message across.
Here is the caregiver's strength. Here is what keeps you going. It's always easy in hindsight to see what you couldn't see before, that love is more powerful than anything in life's way. You'll walk through fire, give up food, sleep, and comfort to care for the ones you love, without a thought of any reward or payback. However by the grace and love of god and the unconditional and undying love of a parent, that reward will come, the reward of your child's life.
My son, Evan M Turner nearly died when a car struck him as he rode his bicycle. Being a kid, having fun, playing safe and just simply enjoying childhood (his helmet saved his life). The accident left him in a coma sleeping under an ice blanket in the PICU for days, weeks, for what seemed like an eternity. I sat by his side every min of everyday for weeks, wishing, hoping, praying, and willing him to return to us. Then my voice finally broke through. "Evan its daddy, I'm here buddy, I love you." As I held his lifeless hand, he squeezed, and I knew. He was with us, there was hope, he wasn't giving up, and he was going to fight this. In turn I squeezed his hand. He squeezed each of our hands in recognition, in an effort to tell us "I'm here, I can hear you."
Our hearts were bursting with joy, a joy unlike any we had ever known before. Before this experience, I might have considered a meaningful gift, or a wonderful vacation the joys of my life but after Evan's TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), as caregivers we now know the purest joy of all, as pure as the birth of a child. That joy is a life returned with the squeeze of a hand, the faintest of smiles.
After Evan awoke from his coma, there were many difficult days ahead. I found that when I would fall away to my lowest point, I could return to the feeling of his hand in mine, telling me he was still with me, and that feeling reminded me that anything can turn around, bad days will become good days, tears will dry, and smiles will return. That memory has been burned in my heart and soul again, and again, and again. Just waiting for the day the words come back. The sweet voice of my precious son saying, "I love you dad." I love you so much my son, daddy is always with you xoxo
Our Family has been left completely devastated by this horrific accident. We want to bring our son home but we can't. Supporting a family of 6 on a single military income has been a challenge in itself but now having a child in the hospital for almost a year has had some major financial burdens as we travel back and forth from home and to the hospital at least 3 times daily. Our costs for gas, food and now childcare have more than doubled our monthly finances. We currently rent the house that Evan used to call home but it now needs major modifications for him to be able to call it home once again. Due to the price of the home and the lack of income to support the mortgage for this home I cannot purchase it like we want to, so we would have no choice but to return the home back to its original state prior to vacating creating even more financial hardship in the future. If we cannot secure a safe and accessible home for Evan to come home to he will unfortunately end up in a facility instead of being at home with his family where he belongs. I am asking for the help and generosity of anyone and everyone to help use so we can help our son come home. Although the purchase of a home may seem unnecessary it very much is. It is a necessity in this case not a nicety. I'm not the typical type of person to ask for help like this however as life throws you into situations beyond your control, I am left to reach out and ask for your support at this time. Our goal has been set low however the costs that are going to be attached to bringing Evan home and securing a safe future for him are very much greater than our goal and I am very hopeful that we can meet and exceed our goal to ease as much of the financial burden as possible and I know that if you can help with your hearts, we can do just that. I thank you in advance from the bottom of our hearts for all the support that you can provide us.
Sincerely with love, hope and faith.
The Turner Family
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