Sunday, April 14, 2013

What makes a hero?

A blog acquaintance is right at this very moment living the worst moment any mother could.  Her precious miracle - her 5 year old son who has overcome so many obstacles - is spending his last moments on this earth.

I barely know this family.  I am only an occasional reader of their blog and I doubt that they have ever read mine but this news has hit me hard.  It has triggered the fear that lurks in the back of every special needs parent - that something bad will happen - and my child will be taken from me.

From what I have read Gavin was a fighter like Ashlea - overcoming many obstacles in his short life. Many would have called him a hero - a term that we so often over use in our society.  I can tell you there is now no doubt that he is a hero - he and his parents.

Despite their grief Gavin's parents are choosing to donate his organs.  He will  give another child (or children) the gift of life.  Another child will live because of his gift.  Another family will receive their child back from the brink.  Another child will get to leave the hospital - and the tubes and wires and treatments behind.  Like I have said before it's not just that they will be alive - it is that they get to live - really live their life and experience all the milestones both big and small that they would have otherwise missed out on.

Gavin's parents are making a heroic decision in a time of great grief and as a result a family like ours is going to get more time with their precious child.

As a fellow special needs parent I have no words - my heart breaks for them.

As the parent of a child who is alive because of the gift of organ donation I say thank you.  Thank you Hero Gavin and thank you to your parents for their heroic, life saving decision at a time of such great sorrow.

I don't know - maybe it's because I sit on the recipient side of the organ donor discussion - but I think they all qualify as heroes.


Heda said...

Good post. Thanks.
I read back through the latest entries on Gavin's Mum's blog. She's one tough lady with a lovely family. Sobering reading.
Ashlea is well isn't she? She seems wonderfully fit and strong and happy now (even when you're making her pose for photos!).

Kerri Ames said...

Allison, this is so beautiful. We do become close to our blog-buddies and feel such empathy. And heartache that this could be us. You are so right, Gavin's parents are heros to us all.

Di said...

Total agree. Absolute heroes. So sad for this family and their loss x Di

Anonymous said...

As a parent of a child with special needs, I understand the trials and triumphs of everyday life, that most parents never know. Little things like making a friend, or reading a word...things that parents take for granted, are monumental triumphs for our children.
One thing that I realized, is that I get so easily frustrated with my son sometimes... It's overwhelming, having a child, but sometimes, having a SN child is 10x as overwhelming. In honor of Gavin, I will do my best to be a better parent, to enjoy the little moments with my son, to stand taller, and do more.
I've written my own blog post honoring Gavin, if you'd like to read it.
I've also added the SuperGavin G to my Facebook Profile (it's in the post if you want it!) and hope everyone does the same.

Your newest follower from the SuperHero Gavin Hop