Our miracle was born April 1st, 2017 at 2:03pm. Our miracle left this Earth May 17th, 2017 at 4:49pm. Palmer passed peacefully in his mommy and daddy’s arms. His fight was Strong and truly honorable. Palmer is and forever will be a truly exceptional young man. It is impossible to fully express what Palmer means to Kristen and I. There is so much I want to say and so much that needs to be said. Palmer is my picture of perfection personified. No matter how broken his body, his mind and soul are perfect.
The decision to let Palmer pass was the most painful experience I have had to face in my life to date. His 47 days of life, although excruciatingly difficult, were also the most beautiful days I have ever lived. The moment I saw my baby boy, I immediately knew my life would never be the same. Palmer taught me the true meaning of unconditional love. It was not wrapped in ribbons and bows, but instead laced with devastatingly torturous days of unimaginable fear and worry.
Palmer elicited emotions in me that I never knew existed, and could have never imagined feeling. Our instantaneous bond grew stronger with everyday we fought together. I would always whisper in my baby boy’s ear, “Daddy will never give up on you. If you continue to fight, daddy will fight ten times as hard. Daddy has always got you and daddy is so proud of you.” I have to cry when I write these words. Palmer is my soul. He is made of Kristen and me and there is nothing that can ever take this away. But Palmer was different, and far beyond the obvious nature of his CHD and Heterotaxy. Palmer shouldn’t have lived 47 days, not with the circumstances he faced, both from his condition and the resulting issues we faced, immediately after birth and before being medivaced to TCH.
The word fighter doesn’t do my son justice. The Dr.’s, Nurses, and Specialists were truly amazed at how long Palmer was able to fight considering the devastating nature of his conditions, combined with the complications that occurred during his surgery. Since day one at TCH, we were told that our son’s chance of survival was very low. We don’t allow such thoughts to penetrate our mind and way of thinking. The most difficult part of all of this is not that we lost Palmer, but that Kristen and I were not able to do all of the things we wanted to do with him. We may not have been able to hug Palmer, or see him walk for the first time, or teach him to ride a bike (and kiss his knee after he falls and scrapes it), but through awareness, we look to keep Palmer’s fighting spirit alive and well.
Mistakes were made. This is truth. These mistakes were made on our part as parents, as well as by the hospitals that took care of Palmer. Admitting this is not bad. Kristen and I will not forever blame ourselves or someone else for our son’s misfortune. Admitting this allows us the strength to fight. It gives us purpose. We were chosen for this, and to do nothing would be a mistake that we could never live with. Without the truth, the chains of our minds will keep us bound in a place of doubt and fear. People must know. People will know. Palmer will live in the hearts and the minds of many. His story will be one of tragedy and triumph. The tragedy has already been written. The triumph will rise up out of tragedy; the truth shall set you free!