It’s Not Too Late to Support Chelsea!

Hello everyone! I wanted to go more in depth about my family and tell you a little more about the Green Bay Cellcom Marathon. 

 My husband, Justin, and I met when we were juniors in high school. We fell head over heals for each other and have been smitten with each other since. Right after high school, I attended UW Stevens Point to get my Bachelors of the Arts in drawing and painting. Near the end of the first semester, I found out I was pregnant with my oldest, Jayson.  While I was at school, Justin was at basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.  We wrote to each other as much as we could (they were not allowed to use their phones, except Sunday’s for a couple of hours).  The poor guy had to do push ups for every letter he got.  In the mean time, Justin went off to AIT- Advanced Individual Training (where soldiers go to school to do their job while in the service), at Fort Lee, Georgia while I completed my second semester. Shortly after the end of the school year, Justin was stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas.  Jayson arrived on June 16. He was born grey, very pale, and pretty quiet.  He was whisked away to the NICU where we learned he had a complete AV canal defect (a hole between the atriums and ventricles of the heart).  A couple days later, I was relaxing in the hospital bed when a group of doctors came in with a solemn look on their faces.  They all crowded themselves into the farthest corner of the room right behind the door and told us they suspected Jayson had Down Syndrome.  Immediately, I cried while Justin was sitting there trying to process what they just said. After they left, I asked Justin if we should place Jayson up for adoption. No one in either of our families had anyone with special needs… I was worried about what they would think or if we could handle this at the age of 19. Plus, he didn’t have the mitten hand or the almond eyes that are typical tells. Justin said no to the adoption and I am so glad he did. Right then, we decided that we are going to do what ever it takes to make sure Jayson has the best life possible. Jayson has been quite the blessing and has taught us so many different things about life that we probably would never have learned otherwise. 

 Jayson was a healthy seven pounds 10 ounces at birth and was thriving until he was four months old.  He started to go into heart failure and we couldn’t do anything about it. He started to wear oxygen at all times, his eating lessened to the point where he didn’t really eat at all, and his medicine wasn’t helping him anymore .  His cardiologist wanted us to wait as long as possible before he had his heart repair…she had him wait another two months, (December 1st, 2011). During that wait he was in and out of the hospital, weeks at a time due to Rhinovirus, low oxygen saturation, and RSV.  Once, he was flown from the hospital on post, Fort Riley, Kansas,, to Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City Missouri.  At his pre operative appointment, he developed this deep cough that worried me and the pre op nurse.  Luckily, she cleared him to have his surgery (don’t worry guys, he didn’t have a fever or any signs of a cold). The worst part was handing Jayson over to the surgeon, not knowing if he’ll come back alive. Hours later, the surgeon came out and told us everything went well! The relief and the feeling of helplessness was overwhelming but he was on the mend comfortably in the PICU.  He was in the hospital for almost two weeks before he was ready to go home. A few months after his surgery, we started his physical therapy (he was already receiving physical therapy from the Infant and Toddler program) and eventually worked up to occupational and speech therapy over the years.  Every winter since, Jayson will have pneumonia at least two times before summer.  

 Ever since Jayson born, he’s been a quiet, down to Earth little man.  He goes with the flow, for the most part, and is a thrill to be around. Jayson will go out of his way to put a smile on everyone’s face.  As he got older, he has this spirited side to him that comes out when ever he has his mind set and boy, you honestly can’t talk him out of it.  Jayson is quite the active little man. He’ll play soccer, run, jump, and will show you all of his fancy dance moves (which are awesome by the way). He enjoys telling jokes, has long elaborate stories, and is the sweetest biggest brother his siblings could ever have.  

To support Chelsea and GiGi’s Playhouse Wausau, please use this link.

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