If you are reading this, you probably know the story of my sister Michelle and her husband Steve, and have been touched by the short and precious life of their son Randy, but here is a little glimpse:
Back in May (about 28wks gestation), we received the devastating diagnosis that the baby has a very rare and serious heart condition called Dilated Cardiomyopathy. (you can read more at Michelle's blog). Long story short, we knew that we were going to lose him, we just didn't know when. The following months of the pregnancy were very difficult as Michelle and Steve prepared for the unthinkable. The doctors couldn't tell us wether we would have just minutes, hours or even days with him. The fear of the unknown was very hard.
Phoenix Randall "Randy" Van Zant was born on August 1, 2012 at 5:13pm, weighing in at 4lbs 14oz. Seeing my sister holding her baby for the first time was hands down the greatest joy I have ever felt. Family and friends followed along on facebook throughout the labor, delivery and the three days we had with our little guy. We feel so blessed to have been given so much time with him, and every moment was priceless. The love that this little family had for each other was such an inspiration to so many, and just seeing the pictures of this sweet little boy was enough to make everyone immediately fall in love with him. The outpouring of love and support from everyone has just been overwhelming and means so much. I can definitely say that there is a whole lot more love in the world because Randy was here, and he will always be in our hearts.
So now, Michelle and Steve begin a long road to recovery. Nothing can take away the pain of losing Randy, and we all wish there was something we could do. I started this website after several people expressed an interest in helping out financially. The medical bills are definitely overwhelming, and I have no doubt that they would appreciate help with those costs, but I know that the last thing they want is a handout. (they don't even know I'm doing this, so I hope they are not mad at me!!!!) What I wanted to do, in addition to helping relieve their financial burden, is give Michelle and Steve a GIFT.
They had mentioned that they wanted to go on a little trip before they both had to go back to work. A time to relax, get away, recharge and re-connect after going through this difficult time. I would like to send them somewhere special, and be able to spoil them with nice dinners, spa treatments (Steve could reeeeealllly use a pedicure!) massages, etc. They definitely deserve a break after all they have been through. Please do not feel obligated to contribute, I just wanted to give those who wanted to the opportunity.
From the bottom of my heart, I wanted to say thank you again for all the love and support you have shown Michelle and Steve throughout this journey and in the days, weeks, months and years to come. Thank you for loving my nephew Randy. I think he taught so many people in such a short time a little more about un-conditional love, family and what is really important in life. We are so sad that he is no longer with us, but my heart is full of joy because HE LIVED!!