Colton just turned 7 and is doing great. I think about how blessed we all are to have him in our lives. We could never thank the family enough for the precious gift he was given. He also just started first grade as well as his sister. Some of Colton's favorite things are swinging on swings, playing video games, drawing pictures, and jumping on a trampoline. Love him so much, his Nana
What you may see is a little boy with scars and feel sorrow...
what I see is a beautiful life and a story.
I think back to the time he spent in the hospital before these scars, and looking at his lifeless body lying there with all of his tubes and lines, and just wondering if he will ever come home again. Yes I had and have faith in the Lord but I also know that he sometimes takes special ones home with him. Since then I have watched him grow to a now four year old and I feel that we have been given this amazing gift of time, time to spend with him and to watch as he takes every new step and be grateful for every accomplishment he has. It also woke me up to the rest of the family in a way that I may have overlooked before. Appreciate what you have been given and cherish each and every moment...good and bad. Because even the bad can sometimes turn out good. I also am reminded of the one who lost his life so that Colton could live his....This child, whom we don't even have a name for, or the family who has made that decision to donate his organs without them this would not be possible. I also think about the surgical team preforming these miracles.....thank you just doesn't feel like strong enough words to describe how much we appreciate all of you... without all of you we would not have Colton today.
So yes when I look at those beautiful scars I'm reminded of how blessed we all are.
Your Nana loves you Colton!!
I found this quote today and I thought it fit perfectly for Colton. This is the kind of character I believe Colton to be. He is such a happy little guy everyday and he loves life. I myself sometimes fear tomorrow but try not to ever let that show. I can't imagine life without this little man in it. I pray to God daily for his health and feel extremely blessed to have him in my life!! Thank you so much donor and family you have given the most amazing gift anyone could give!! For that we are forever grateful. Your in our thoughts each and everyday!
Love, Colton's Nanna
The toughest 3 month stretch of my life.
Just never knew what to expect from day to day. Praying every day for him to get his heart. Watching him do pretty good for a while only to decline again as we waited to hear that an available heart was a match. A whole slew of emotions that I never knew existed had now become the norm. Then the day arrives when a match was found and a whole new thought process enters the mind....it finally hits...either this is gonna work out or we will be going home making different plans, what a day. As it turned out he fought a good fight and came home a CHAMP. For the most part he reminds me of most little boys his age with the exception of all the scars that tell a different story. From time to time after he came home I was always searching for the appropriate nick name for him. Even though a few came to mind like Lucky and Red and a couple others, nothing ever stuck. I now know why, because they were not the right ones. The only appropriate nick name for this little fighter is... Champ. Yes, that will be my nick name for him, how fitting. One of my favorite pics is the one Marcy took of Colton and I as I was saying my good-byes, getting ready to drive home with Tyler. Tyler for school and I had to work in the morning. Well, work and school never came that Monday morning being I got a call at 4 A.M from Marcy telling me about the heart that was a match. So, this photo was taken the night prior to his surgery. He actually looks good in this pic, but in reality he did not have too many miles left on his broken heart . All of us certainly have been blessed including Colton. He was given another chance, a great mom who really does a great job with him... ( proud of you Misty )..., our church family that was praying for him always, and the rest of us, who realize just how special he is.
Love you Champ...Papa..
Our family will always be thankful for this man and the rest of his team, who took part in Colton's heart transplant, care, recovery, and continued support through out his life. The amazing skill and dedication that it must take, is quite mind boggling to me. The hours spent in surgery to save the life of my beautiful grandson and so many more. You have been given a gift and you have chosen to share that with the world. Thank you!!!
We were just on one of our regular trips to the hospital when we bumped in to Dr. Mitchell on his way to get something to eat, I asked him if I could get a picture of him with Colton and his Mom Misty. Thanks for taking the time out of your very busy schedule to allow us the time for this, we will cherish this photo forever. Colton means so much to us all and we cherish every day that we have been given!!
I was born September 9th, 2010. They said I had a small heart murmur, but shouldn't be anything serious. I was able to leave the hospital 2 nights after being born. The only problem they said I had at the time was my jaundice, which they treated with a biliblanket for about 1 1/2 weeks. On September 22nd my mom and grandma noticed I was breathing funny, my breaths were fast paced, and deep. They decided to bring me to the emergency sometime between 12-1 am on the 23rd. When I got there they looked me over and tried giving me an IV, but failed 6 times before giving up. They eventually gave me an x-ray showing a possible enlargement of my heart. From there they decided they needed to send me to a better hospital with more experience in this field. Me and my mom were then transported to Marquette General Hospital in an ambulance. We arrived there around 12:30 in the afternoon September 23rd. They picked up where the first hospital left off, taking blood samples and x-rays and giving a successful IV. After a while they did an ultrasound of my heart and then sent us back up to my room. After a long wait the doctor called my room with results from the ultrasound. He told my mom that my heart was sick.. he proceeds to tell her that either an infection caused by a virus or a misplaced artery was causing my left ventricle to struggle with pumping blood and circulating it throughout my body, which caused that side of my heart to get enlarged. After the news they transferred me to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) to wait on my next hospital transfer. They were trying to get a plane to fly me over the Milwaukee's Children's Hospital, but the weather was terrible and they were unable to get one. After hours of waiting they decided on sending me in an ambulance to Green Bay where I would meet up with another Ambulance that would bring me to Milwaukee. Mom was sad because she was unable to take this trip with me and had to take a separate vehicle. Mom got the call saying I got to the hospital at around 4:30 in the morning September 24th and didn't get there until around 6 a.m. They still don't know exactly what is causing my heart problem, but my left ventricle is very large. They have ran many tests on my urine and blood. They test for all kinds of viruses, they even have genetic researchers checking me out. So far they haven't figured out a cause but are trying very hard at figuring it out and have been keeping me stable. I was put into isolation the night of September 25th and will be until the lab results come back.
Milwaukee was finally able to give me the correct diagnosis of Dilated Cardiomyopathy. They first tried treating it with medication and rest. After a few weeks of getting pumped with medication and other therapies they decided I needed to be placed on the transplant waiting list as status 1-A, which is the top priority status. After about 2 weeks on the list I got my brand new heart November 8, 2010. I was smiling the next day and improving greatly. I was able to go home December 13, 2010 just in time for Christmas :)