Today marks one year since Jack went into cardiac arrest.
It’s hard for me to even know how to follow up with anything else in this post. It’s been a year filled with emotion.
Anxiety. Fear. Anger. But also gratitude and joy.
Jack brings us so much joy. He’s an absolute little ham. He constantly has people laughing and smiling. He’s still our hero. And probably always will be.
A year ago today, Matt and I experienced what will likely be one of the most life-changing days of our lives. And without a doubt the toughest next six months of our lives. In those six months I held our energetic little boy while he stopped breathing, we paced the floors while he was hooked up to machines, we held on to each other so we didn’t disappear into a place we couldn’t climb out of.
When Jack first breathed again, I was relieved. And terrified. What if that was as much progress we would see? Then a few days later when he moved his eyes to look at us I was relieved. And terrified. What if that was it? Later, when he showed some voluntary movement I was relieved. And terrified. What if that was it? And then he smiled. And I wasn’t as terrified anymore. I was still pretty damn scared, but our little lion heart continued to show us what grit, determination and a joy for life really is throughout those six months (and the last six months too).
To commemorate this unlikely anniversary, the three of us and Roger went and got a tree that we’ll eventually plant in the place where we call home. It’s a European Beech which is the tree you’d see on a lot of the trails where we’d go walking in Dresden. It’s trunk is strong and it may grow as high as 35m tall. We call it Jack’s tree. He likes to water it with his sippy cup.
These days Jack is working on a standing sequence from a crawling or sitting position with our help. He’s relearning the walking pattern with help holding our hands (below armpit height so he has to find his own centre of gravity). He’s finding new ways to move functionally into sitting positions on stools or balls. He eats nearly everything- raw vegetables and chewy Lara bars included- the NG tube is a distant memory. He’s working on supination and fine motor tasks with his left hand- building stacking towers of small blocks using only his left was his latest accomplishment. He’s beginning to string two words together and starting to annunciate certain words more clearly: “yes,” “house,” “mum”. He loves getting dirty in the garden, reading books, playing with blocks and his play kitchen, watching cartoons, screaming (see pics below for the madness that ensued when I told him he couldn’t use the camera- and then the last picture which is the photo he took after I caved) and spending time with family and friends goofing off. He’s mostly just your average two year old.
This journey isn’t over, and it won’t be as long as Jack keeps smiling.