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Zachary’s Story

Zachary received the gift of a new heart on February 19, 2011.  His journey for the last 10+ years has been challenging.  He is an incredible, inspirational young man.

February 2001: 
Diagnosed with Leukemia (ALL)

May 2007: 
Diagnosed with treatment related Leukemia (AML)

August 2007: 
Bone Marrow Transplant

February 2011: 
Heart Transplant

Lord, We pray that no more will be added to this list. We give thanks for hope, faith, and love.  Amen.

Latest Journal Update

From the Mom, that's me!

When Zachary passed away on August 26, 2015, he was 19 years and 3 days old.  91 years earlier back in 1924 Zachary's Grandpa Gordon Prestby was born.  That's right.  Zachary gets to heaven on the day when Grandpa turns 91.  Do you happen to know what psalm is for On Eagle's Wings?  Indeed, it's Psalm 91. These connections keep us connected.  I have always felt a strong connection with my children because I'm the mom.  Now dads, I know you have a connection too, but it's the mom who has a 9 month head start.  Actually it's typically 9 months.  Zachary came into our world a few weeks early, and Tim came into our world 7 weeks early. Both parents have immense connections.  Anyway, through all of Zachary's hardships, he radiated positive energy, and I had the pleasure of being in the wake of that positive energy.  

My last quality time with Zachary was at 2 am on August 26.  He woke up with a fever, and I knew within 24 hours he would pass away & be free from hardships.  We called for the hospice nurse, and I tried to get Zachary settled back to sleep.  Not much was working, but then I remembered I picked up a bunch of Henry & Mudge books from the library.  Picture books helped Zach stay grounded while he was going through periods of confusion.  We anticipated this confusion due to the toxins building up in his body from no dialysis treatment.  I reached into the tote bag and picked a Christmas one.  (Zachary's favorite season is Christmas; thus, Joy to the World was the closing song at his celebration mass.)  I started reading it, and Zachary at first just listened.  His face at this time was swollen due to fluid building up from no dialysis.  As I kept reading, I realized I never read this book.  Now, being an educator for years, a fan of Henry & Mudge books, and a frequent flyer to the library when the boys were little, I was thinking how did I never read this book before?!  As I continued to read, Zach settle down & opened his puffy eyes to follow along.  As we read together, it was our last moment shared, a mom and her son reading together, being connected with a deep love.  Okay, seriously, my own writing is making me cry.  Kleenex anyone? At the end of the book, we were both content & fell back to sleep.  Next thing I realize it's morning.

In the morning, Zach's breathing was very labored.  Time was spent being next to him & reassuring him.  Before he passed away, his labored breathing became easier. Then easier again & again, until he was breathing quite calmly.  During this time, his eyes were closed for the last hours with no conversation. I whispered in his ear to fly with the eagles & be free from suffering in heaven.  Jinkies, I'm writing to help my healing process & it hurts so much.  Jumping ahead,
I need to get to the part where I keep seeing Zachary running with a strong body, full head of hair in a beautiful field with green grass. He's wearing regular shoes (not crocs), and he is moving all over the place with his friends & family up in heaven.  Happy, happy, happy!  He is so happy! I just know it.  I can feel his positive energy, and he is happy.  

Well, that's enough reflecting for me today, but I have more to share for the Zman Fans.  Have a beautiful day from the Mom!


10 people hearted this



Rebekka Budz
Wow!!!!💦 These are tears of joy. Through you and your words Zachary shines on all of us. The thoughts of his warms smile wraps around us each and every day. 💞
Jill Giesler
You are such an amazing mom. You console, inspire, encourage, and the list goes on. Writing these thoughts will help with the healing process, but I also realize they are difficult to share. Thank you for sharing with us. Every time I see a rainbow or smell the smoke of a crackling campfire my heart swells and I smile while reflecting on amazing Zachary. Love you, Suanne!
Mary Rice
By Rick and Mary Rice
Wishing you a beautiful day, Suanne...and many wonderful sweet memories. Please give Tim a hug from us.
Lynn LaBar
Thinking of you all and keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers. Love and hugs.
The LaBars
Cathy Jarosinski
I believe the same things ... He's free of pain and has a healthy body. As for the mom comments ... That's awesome that you could communicate by reading a book and in the silence / peace of the night ... Love