Meet Wes! I'm honored to be able to share about a precious little boy today!
Ashley, Wes's mom, and I have been friends for many years as we grew up at the same church and school. Ashley and her husband Joe have two little boys, Bowen (2 years old), and Wes (5 months). During Ashley's pregnancy with Wes, she and her husband recieved some devestating news about their soon to be born little baby boy. I will let you read in Ashley's words, exactly the news they received, what that meant for Wes, their family, and the future. This is an incredible journey of their faith!
Wes was born with hydranephrosis of the right kidney. Hydranephrosis is a condition in which the kidney retains flud, and does not drain properly. Before Wes was born, the doctors thought that this condition was so severe that he would probably lose his right kidney. Joe and I were devastated and spent many weeks in prayer, tring to figure out what it would mean long term for him to only have one kidney. However; after Wes was born, the doctors were pleasantly surprised to find that the kidney was not nearly as damaged as previously thought, and overtime his kidney would correct itself. About a week after his birth, the doctors started noticing that Wesley was not breathing quite normally. Once again, the doctors were hoping this was something that would correct itself over time, but it did not take long to see that his condition was more sever than initially thought. After multiple tests, it was discovered that Wes has subglottic stenosis (a narrowed airway beneath the vocal cords) and sever GERD (reflux disease). Every time he would reflux, his airway would swell more and more and his breathing would get louder and louder. There were days where it was so difficult for him to breath; we could see each and every rib. The doctors as one point told use they were concerned his diaphragm would collapse; he was working so hard to breath. Because his breathing was so difficult, and he was expended so many calories to breath, it did not take long for him to fall off the growth charts. At two months old, he had not even gained a full pound. We quickly became regulars at the Children's Hospitals here in Dallas, particularly the PICU. Wes then had a G-tube placed. Side note- to this day, that has been his only surgery Wes has had!
Our stays in the PICU were long, exhausting and emotional. The PICU would not allow for bathrooms in the rooms, or food and drink, so the rooms would maintain sterility in case they ever had to do emergency surgery in the room. For the families, we were required to be there to support our children, but the ability to take care of ourselves was very limited. Joe and I met families that had been in the PICU for 3-4 months, with no end in sight. They are exhausted, broken and just drained. And the one thing we kept saying over and over was it felt void of Jesus there because of how hard the days and nights were. We quickly learned through our experiences that actions speak a thousand times louder than words, so Joe and I decided to start an organization to how His mercy and grace to those who are caring for children in the PICU. We were able to to a big donation at Christmas and provide toys and Christmas gifts for the families at Dallas Children's Hospital. We were also able to provide the PICU funds to purchase items for the children that were patients to help each day better, such as: mobiles, bouncers, coloring books, and magazines. We are now hoping to take care of the families. We have started Comfort Bags to help the families that are there to get through their stay just a little easier.
The bags contain travel size toiletries, because many families find themselves there in emergency situations and have not packed or prepared for their stay. We are hoping that this act of kindness towards the families in need will be passed on, once those families are discharged. All items needed for the bags as well as more information about this ministry can be found on my blog at www.acomfortofhome.blogspot.
I know this blogging community is full of giving, tender hearted and compassionate people! Maybe you're looking for a way to serve or give back. I think this is a perfect opportunity. After all, aren't most of us in Target each day?!!? It would be so simple to grab a few of these items to send to Ashley and help bring a little bit of support to those families in need. Ashely can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow her on IG: Weswarriors.