I was having difficulty determining a topic for a post for My Unplanned Life until I viewed a photograph that took my breath away. In fact, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with my latest medical diagnosis and the requirements of the new lifestyle, but viewing this photograph helped me see things more clearly than I have in a long time.
Before I share this touching photo, I need to provide some detail. I am proud to report I am part of a very large and tightly knit Southern family. My Mom is one of eight children and my grandparents, whom I miss dearly, had 18 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren when they passed away. My six aunts and two uncles are an enormous part of my life and another reason I wanted to relocate back to Virginia from Pennsylvania. I feel complete being surrounded by loved ones.
Recently, my second cousin, Phillip, and his fiancé, Meredith, have been experiencing a difficult situation. Last October their son, Trevor, was born with hydroanencephaly, a condition where the brain’s cerebral hemispheres are absent and replaced by sacs filled with cerebrospinal fluid. Or, in layman’s terms there is fluid where his brain should be.
Meredith was 27 weeks pregnant when she and Phillip learned of his diagnosis and were told their unborn baby would most likely not live even a day or two. While Phillip and Meredith were planning for his birth they were also making arrangements for his funeral. However, Trevor has surpassed all medical experts’ predictions and is now three months old.
With Trevor’s condition is the need for constant care and attention and Meredith is by his side 24 hours a day, seven days a week. She left her full-time job and continuing education since she knew her time with him would be short. Her devotion to Trevor is inspiring. She has spent more time in the hospital than at home and survives on very little sleep, food or social interaction. She fights for him, speaks for him and her love speaks volumes.
Talking to Meredith and Phillip about Trevor is remarkable and as a mother myself, I don’t know how they do it. During a recent visit to the hospital, my husband and I were in awe at how Meredith was able to handle a conversation with the doctor regarding a procedure Trevor was going to be having the following day. Meredith is fully aware and prepared that Trevor is going to die. Just the mention of a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) immediately filled my eyes with tears; however, Meredith handled it like a true professional, or rather a mother who is taking care of her sick baby boy.
I have found myself praying a lot for Phillip, Meredith and Trevor these last few months. While I know we aren’t supposed to question God, I can’t help but wonder what God’s bigger plan was when He created little Trevor. While we may never know, I have to admit that no matter what the obstacle, I am proud of Meredith and Phillip; lesser people would have given up, others would have aborted the baby, or abandoned him. I have always known my family was full of heroes – these three just shine a little brighter.
Meredith and Phillip plan on donating Trevor’s organs when God decides his time here on Earth is over. According to them, “It was our decision that just because Trevor can’t live, doesn’t mean he can’t live on through other children.”
As far as the photograph that put things in perspective, it appears below. The first is a CT scan of a brain; the second is Trevor’s CT scan.
Trevor’s story may be followed on Facebook at Travel’s with Trevor at the following link:
©My Unplanned Life and http://www.shakinguplife.wordpress.com, 2013.