My Story

Feel The FORCE

On Sept 20, 2012 George had surgery in Philadelphia to correct a rare and complex congenital heart defect. After 8 months in the ICU and countless complications including loss of some of his extremities, George was able to come home and enjoy the summer with his family and friends who love him so dearly. Despite his physical challenges and a heart that wouldn't fully recover, George's strength, bravery, unshakable faith and compassion for others inspired all who met him. George went home to the Lord peacefully Saturday, August 31, 2013 while sleeping at the cabin, after teaching us that with faith, hope, love and a little humor we can overcome any obstacle. George loves fishing, golfing, playing hockey, building Legos, and is a Star Wars enthusiast. Darth Vader said it best, "The Force is strong with this one."  

Rest in Peace, Little Jedi

Your eyes saw my unformed body;

    all the days ordained for me were written in your book

    before one of them came to be.  
                                                         Psalm 139:16

But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
                                                         Luke 18:16-17

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.                                                  2 Timothy 4:7


From October 2012:

George had open heart surgery on September 20th at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to correct a congenital heart defect, L transposition of the great arteries (LTGA) with double outlet right ventricle (DORV). It was a very complex surgery (Senning and Rastelli double switch) that started out well; however, complications began when they could not get him off bypass and had to put him on ECMO, a machine which performs the heart function while the heart recuperates.  They were able to get him off ECMO 5 days later but he has had one complication after another since that time.  As of now, they are trying to get him extubated for the third time, which has been a balancing act of eliminating fluids so lungs quit collapsing while keeping enough fluid for kidneys to function.  He has also been battling EAT, an arrhythmia that is not uncommon with this type of operation. He has suffered damage (similar to a frostbite) to his extremities due to poor perfusion when on ECMO.  A plastic surgeon and orthopedic surgeon are waiting to see what regeneration occurs and will determine what steps to take for George to have maximum use of his hands and feet.  This has obviously been a very difficult time; however, we have learned to take it day by day, rely fully on our faith, and lean on the love and the prayers of our friends and family.  Words cannot express how blessed we feel to have so much outpouring of support from all of you! 


The Rios Family signed George's Guestbook.

Thinking of you all on the one year anniversary of George getting his angel wings.  The tributes made at George's funeral will stick with me and the hundreds of others ... Read more

Alyson Armstrong signed George's Guestbook.

Julie - thank you so much for sharing George with me! Your journaling is so heartfelt and honest - I felt like I was traveling the journey with you as I read! George ... Read more

Lynda Hayes signed George's Guestbook.

Thinking of all of you today.  Jokes were told, Tyler got a laugh out of a couple of the jokes you posted.  We were thinking of you and George when we were out on the ... Read more

patti deckas signed George's Guestbook.

Dear Julie, Ed, Jack, and Elizabeth.  Happy thoughts and prayers are sent your way from our family to yours. The strength and positive attitude you've shown is NOTHING ... Read more

Margrette Newhouse signed George's Guestbook.

Ed and Julie - George"s orange ribbon still adorns our mailbox and we think of him daily. You can count on the Newhouse's to sing a few country songs and Jerome is gifting ... Read more

Alison Gulden signed George's Guestbook.

Ahhhhh……Dear Ones……What a joy to read about your Precious Boy…… it's like a little visit with him to read about the indelible mark he made on so many. What a ... Read more

Julie Lagerstrom posted a new journal entry.

While the school year started off so sadly, it ended with some special moments. George's classmates at The Blake Lower School planted and dedicated a butterfly garden ... Read more

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