I have taken a few messages from Owen's CaringBridge site below to help tell his story.
"On the afternoon of July 4, our Owen Lawrence was born at 26 weeks. By today's standards, this is a viable age for survival and definitely possible for him to have a life without long-term complications. However, there isn't such thing as "out of the woods" for quite some time. Getting to this point has been an adventure to say the least. We are very fortunate to be where we are today, as this process could very easily have gone many other ways so far. As we've discovered, hospital and NICU life flies by, so this is a way to journal Owen's long road ahead and keep everyone informed. The absolute outpouring of love, support, prayers, and encouragement is overwhelming. We truly believe that this journey has/will help others somehow. We trust in Someone greater than all of us who can use any situation to change our lives and those of others for the better.
Holly and I have had a very rough summer at times with a few pregnancy complications. We have been going for weekly ultrasound monitoring for both Fifth Disease and for a growth restriction on the baby. He just hadn't been growing as well as he should. We were put on weekly monitoring. That was all scary enough, but on our weekly scan on Weds 6/28, we learned that we had to be admitted to the hospital immediately for close monitoring due to intermittent blood flow to him (hence the growth restriction). He had fallen a couple weeks behind on his size by that point. Once in the hospital, we learned we will be here until delivery. Within a couple hours, Holly then started exhibiting strong indications of preeclampsia, a high blood pressure and liver-damaging condition that can lead to seizures or stroke. They got the blood pressure down just in time. It became a waiting game for him to either need to come out due to no longer doing any good being inside her OR her preeclampsia getting bad enough that she was in danger. The next six days were unimaginably nerve-wracking. There were times when we didn't know if either Holly or the baby would definitely make it. It can take a mother in a hurry. Fortunately, care here at Barnes was stellar. Every day we could keep him inside, the better, but it didn't last long. Her liver enzymes increased well beyond a safe threshold and he had to be born that same day.
Considering how very small he is since he had a growth restriction and he is quite premature, Owen is in the NICU and will be here for a few months at the very least."
September 20, 2017
"Owen no longer has to fight with his earthly body. He fought as long and hard as he could, but today, he moved on into his next chapter. Midday today, God welcomed him into the place He prepared for him, and there, his lungs function perfectly, he sees as clearly as can be, he digests well, and he has no struggles.
We are devastated, and our hearts are broken in ways no one should ever have to experience. Owen's story has plenty more to go. He has touched more lives than anyone could have fathomed. I have so much to say, but please stay tuned over the coming days and weeks for more about where we go from here, how we will celebrate his life with everyone, and what else this voyage you all have been on with us means.
Thank you for your love, support, and prayer. Please don't stop now. We need it all now more than ever."
Oct. 16, 2017
"There is no way to adequately express the gratitude we have for everyone involved at any point throughout Owen's time with us and beyond. Thank You cards and Thank You conversations will continue, but they will take time. The turnout at his memorial and celebration service last Thursday was perfect. People ranged from those we see regularly to those who we rarely, if ever, talk with. There were even some celebrating with us we have never met. This all speaks monumentally about every one of you. Many were not able to attend but have followed along with us closely through these posts, and again, that support speaks strongly of your character.
Words, prayers, support, donations, time, food, etc. all add up to one thing: love. We have never known love quite like this. The love we have for Owen is beyond what we could have imagined, and along with that, the love we receive from all of you is tremendous. We are the very fortunate recipients of it during these last 3+ months. Keep showing that love to everyone.
I could fill this message with Thank Yous of all kinds, but I wouldn't do a very good job of it. Please know how truly humbled we are for EVERYONE: friends, family, students, strangers, new friends, medical professionals, and anyone else who wanted to be a part of our lives with Owen. "
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