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On May 19, 2006 my life changed forever. My husband Kris had a motor vehicle accident that killed him and my 6 year old son Adam. Conner was one at the time, and suffered a spinal cord injury at C1, 2 and 3. The doctors told me the night of the accident to prepare myself because Conner would never survive through the night. We had thousands of people praying for Conner that night and for God to do a miracle in him! I have never prayed so hard before in my life for something. I just begged God to let Conner live. I needed him. I was 29 years old and just lost everything that was precious to me! I had no idea how I was ever going to survive this tragedy. That is the thing though, without God you can't survive a tragedy as great as this! Well clearly you can see that Conner survived through the night. The next few weeks were really hard though. The doctors told me that Conner was going to have no quality of life and would be paralyzed from the neck down. He was also in a coma and ended up coming down with spinal meningitis. His outcome did not look good. He was on a ventilator and couldn't breath on his own. The doctors told me that I needed to let Conner go. They even went as far to tell me that they would put him in my lap and let me rock him to sleep (death)! I was mortified!! I told them there was no way I was going to do that, and that God could have taken Conner when the accident happened. It wasn't a survivable accident! God saved him from the wreck for a reason! I told them I was having faith and believing in God to heal Conner! They did not support my decision and told me I was being very selfish and not thinking about Conner's quality of life! I told them that God could take Conner right now if he wanted him. I told them that where there is life, you always choice life! Today I am so thankful that I put my faith and trust in God! Conner is a living miracle, and yes we have had a very hard road to follow and continue to have a huge journey in front of us, but the blessings God has given us along the way, have been absolutely amazing! It has been almost 7 years since the accident happened and Conner is making great strides everyday! He is able to breath on his own off the vent for over an hour right now. Which if he can breath an hour on his own, he will continue to get stronger and be able to come off the ventilator one day!! We just have to keep praying and believing! He has all feeling and sensation throughout his body! He can use his arms to roll over from his side to his back! He gets stronger and stronger everyday! God also brought love back into my life again, and I remarried 2 years ago! He is a great man of God and is a great daddy to Conner! God has blessed our lives more than I could ever imagine or deserve! We do still have hard days and struggles, but God is always faithful to take care of our every single need! We are believing that God will completely heal Conner one day and he will be a walking testimony for God! I pray that God uses him and his testimony for his GLORY and KINGDOM!!! We appreciate all the prayers you lift up to God on behalf of Conner! We ask that you continue to pray and believe with us that God is going to completely heal Conner! We serve and AWESOME and AMAZING God!!!
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
I write a letter every year in December for Conner that just explains some of the things that have happened in his life over the last year, so one day he can see what happened year by year in his life. I decided to share it with all of you this time!
My Sweet Conner,
Words can't even begin to describe how proud I am of you! 8 1/2 years ago, I wasn't sure what our future was going to be like. On that dreadful day in 2006, I have never been on my knees praying so hard before! I will never know how many people were praying with me for you to survive! I know people all over the US where praying for you! Some of them have connected with me to tell me that! When I was told that your daddy and brother were killed and you were barely hanging on, I can't even begin to describe the FEAR and PAIN that I felt!! It was a pain that hurt to even take a breath!! I wasn't sure that I would survive it! I remember just wanting your daddy to be there to hold me more than anything! All I knew was that I needed God to let you survive! I knew I couldn't survive losing all 3 of you! My heart does break for you that you don't get to have your brother and daddy in your life! They both loved you more than you can imagine! There isn't one day that goes by, that I don't think of them and miss them! However, I am very thankful that God placed another daddy and two brothers in your life, who also love you! You are truly blessed by all the people who love and support you! You will probably never fully know all the people that pray for you and have grown to love you over the last 8 1/2 years. You have truly blessed so many peoples lives!
Over the last 8 1/2 years, I have seen God answer so many of our prayers and even do things we didn't pray for! I want to share some of those miracles with you! When the wreck happened, the doctors told me you had a spinal cord injury at C1, 2, and 3. A few days later, you ended up with spinal meningitis. They told me there was no way you would survive the meningitis. They put a shunt into you little head, to relieve some of the pressure on your brain from the swelling. Your blood pressure kept going up extremely high! They told me you would never survive the meningitis, but they didn't know how many people were praying for you! They had so many different tubes and medicines going in you everywhere. You had a c-collar on your neck, to stablize your spine. It was the scariest thing I have ever seen. All I wanted to do was to hold you, and I couldn't hold you. It was 3 weeks after the wreck, before I finally got to hold you! When the neurosurgeon went in to do your spinal fusion, he said it was the worst spinal cord injury he had ever seen. He said he couldn't do anything to repair it, all he could do was stabilize your neck with rods along the side of your spine. The doctors pushed me so hard to let you go. They told me you would have no quality of life! I never budged or questioned my decision to go on with your life! I knew that I needed you and that God didn't save you from an unsurvivable wreck to be a vegetable the rest of your life. So the first miracles God did in your life was allow you to survive those first 31 days in ICU, that to be honest, you shouldn't have survived! He also performed a miracle by allowing me to survive those days as well! I was also told that you would have chronic pneumonia, due to being on a ventilator, that would eventually claim your life. I was also told that you would have no brain activity, would be blind, and deaf. I am happy to say that to this date, you have never had pneumonia! I am also happy to say that your brain is smart as a whip and you aren't blind or deaf. Even though, you aren't talking yet, you understand everything that we say and teach you. In school we use your communication device and you are able to give us the answers to all of your homework and test. Which by the way, you are doing great in school and have great grades!! You also follow all commands that we ask you to do in therapy! So your brain is perfect! After having meningitis and lack of oxygen when the wreck happened, your brain should have significant damage! That is just another one of God's miracles in your life! Your neurosurgeon, who we have become very close to now, also told us that he has completely changed his outlook on his job now! He said he no longer goes by text book and everytime he has a child suffer a spinal cord injury, you come to his mind! He knows to never say never now!
Last year on December 12th, I got the best Christmas present I could ever ask for! We took you to Cleveland, Ohio to have a procedure done. They placed Diaphragmatic pacers on your diaphragm. These help to strengthen your diaphragm, so you are able to get off the ventilator. Dr. Onders told us that he wouldn't know if the surgery would be a success or not, until he got in there. He said if your diaphragm was paralyzed, it wouldn't work. The surgery took longer than he said it would and I was a complete nervous wreck!! I knew that if your diaphragm was paralyzed there was no coming off the ventilator ever! When the doctor came in the waiting room he was so excited that he had to tell us right then the good news. He said not only was your diaphragm responding, but it was open and beautiful. He said after being on the ventilator as long as you had, that was a miracle! He said you had been using your diaphragm more than anyone thought you were. He said there was no doubt your would come off the ventilator 24 hours a day! All I could do was break down and cry!! All of us did! Me, Daddy Robbin, Pappy, Nonna, Manaw, and Pa were all able to be there for this surgery! It is a day none of us will ever forget! I could feel God's love and power huge that day! I couldn't wait to text all our friends and family at home that were praying through your whole surgery! Everyone was so excited! You are now up to around 6 to 7 hours off the vent and we are working towards 8 hours now! I was told in the beginning, you would never be able to take even 1 breath on your own! We are also blessed that your insurance went above and beyond to make this surgery happen! If it wasn't for them covering it, we wouldn't have been able to do the surgery!
We just got done with our two week outpatient PT and OT therapy at Kennedy Krieger again. This was by far the best trip we have had! We know that the signals are getting from your brain to your arms now! It is so exciting to know that now we are working at strengthening your arms, so that you will be able to use your arms all by yourself again! As your mother, this brought so much joy to my heart to hear this! I want so much for you to be able to experience things that other kids get to do! So now we are working on getting your upper body going! We are working hard on your head, trunk, and arms! I always try to stay positive the best I can about your future, but after leaving Baltimore this time, I felt very hopeful about your future! I am so thankful that God gave you a spirit to work hard and always have a great attitude about it! You never give us any problems when it comes to doing your therapy. You inspire me with your determination! I wish I was as determined to workout as you are! I can see it in your eyes and your hard work, that you want to get better! Because of the recovery you are making, Brooke your PT at KKI is actually going to do a case study on you! She will start this process next year when she gets back from maternity leave. It will take her a few months to get it all put together, then she will start presenting it. So your story will go even further in this world! This is such exciting news!
You also are growing so much! In fact, it is time for us to get you a new wheelchair, because you have grown so much! At 10 years old, you are already 4 foot 9 1/2inchs! I know I am short, but you are almost as tall as me now! I believe you are going to be big like your daddy! He was right around 6'2. It is amazing how much you have changed this year in your looks and size. You are really starting to mature. I am sad that you aren't my little baby anymore, but so grateful you are growing like you should!
Conner, you are nothing short of a miracle and I give God all the credit for the things he has done and continues to do in your life! I can go on and on about all the miracles in your life, but that is why I am in the process of writing a book. Maybe by the time you are 18, I will have it done, haha! Hopefully it doesn't take me that long! I am also thankful God has given us the knowledge and strength to take care of you!! It is amazing the love I have for you now! When you and Adam were born, I didn't think it was possible to love you anymore than I already did, but I was wrong! My love for you now after going through all that we have been through, is even stronger!! You are an amazing young man and I see God through your eyes! I know people label you as special needs, but the truth is you are just a special little man! I never thought I was strong enough to endure all that we have had to endure, and the truth is I am not strong enough! It is only through the Grace of God that I am able to go through all that we have been through and continue to go through! There are many times that I feel like David having to face and fight the giant, but David defeated the giant with just a sling shot and a pebble. So know that God can accomplish anything and nothing is impossible for him! I promise to always do the best I can to take care of you and help you overcome the difficulties and mountains that you have been faced with!! I promise to do all I can, with the help of God, to help you have a future!! My prayer for you is that God completely heals you and that you become a mighty man of God for him! I have visions of you telling your story to thousands of people! I will always be your biggest supporter! I know one day when you get to Heaven, your daddy and brother are going to tell you how proud of you they are!! Your daddy loved superman, and he didn't realize that he had his own little superman!! I am so proud of you Conner and love you so much!!