Thursday, May 15, 2014

Our Grown Up Angel Heather

We honor Heather and her family this Saturday at the Running with Angels 5K.  She has participated almost every year, and, quite frankly, the event is more complete when she is with us.  I mentioned my experience with Heather in an earlier post, when she came to be with us after our stillborn son arrived.  Recently I asked her for a little synopsis of her two angel children.  I consider the Walker family to be incredibly courageous and inspirational.  They symbolize the strength of family unity.  To Lance, Halea, Hayden, Heidi, Holden and Hilary, thank you with all our hearts for sharing your angel wife and mother with us.  Thank you for taking over at home when she leaves at the sound of a beeper, often in the middle of the night, to be by our side.  We are sad and hurting, as we face the reality of losing a child that can leave us numb and unsure of what lies ahead.  In that tender way she has, Heather's visits bring hope and encouragement.  What is so extraordinary is that she continues, even through her own sorrow, to give us light in moments of darkness and despair.

 You can read more of Heather's inspiring words at 

Here is the story Trevin and Tatum, and the rest of the Wonderful Walker Family:

To truly tell Tatum’s story I have to start at the beginning of our family.  Our son Trevin was born May 27, 1993.  He was the sunshine in our every day, our little buddy.  When Trevin was 10 1/2 months old we put him to bed healthy and happy.  At 3:00am I sat up straight in my bed and went to check on him.  When I got to his room he was in a convulsive seizure.  We rushed him to the ER with full faith that all would be well.  From that day on Trevin’s body was not the same.  He lost all muscle tone so he could no longer sit, move his arms or legs, eat on his own or even hold his head up on his own.  He had constant seizures for the next eight months, and yet he still smiled and interacted with us.  He was trapped in his broken body and no one could figure out why.  After months of a lot of inconclusive testing and many illnesses, on December 9, 1994 Trevin lost his battle at 18 months old.  To put it lightly we were devastated, and yet peaceful.
The doctors strongly advised us to not have any more children because they were certain there was a genetic cause to his illness.  After much prayer and contemplation Lance and I felt that we were supposed to have more children.  We were blessed with five healthy kids, Halea(18), Hayden(16), Heidi(13), Holden (10) and Hilary (4).
Right before we got pregnant with Hilary, I was looking at Trevin’s autopsy report and noticed something that I had never seen before.  Under diagnosis, there was a name of a disease.  After researching Alpers syndrome I felt like maybe this really was what Trevin had, but we couldn’t be completely sure because there was not an actual blood test available in 1994.  We felt sure we were still supposed to have one more baby, and so we did.   
Tatum Hope was born on May 23, 2012.  We felt that our family was complete and we were thrilled.  Tatum started off as a little 6 pounder and always had struggles with her weight.  None of us were too worried until at about 4-5 months her weight plateaued.  It was about this same time that I started feeling very anxious about her development.  In December of 2012 I brought her to my pediatrician to have him look at her tone and development.  I will never forget that visit.  He saw the things that I saw and also felt very anxious.  My heart raced and sank, and hurt.  I knew at that moment that we were not going to have Tatum for long.  
We began a series of doctor appointments.  There was now a blood test available to test for Alpers syndrome, so we decided to start there.  We sent the test off immediately.  That would be a 4 week wait.  A week before we were supposed to get the test back, Tatum had her big seizure.  
For the next three and a half months Tatum fought like a warrior.  She suffered things that little babies should not have to endure.   During these months she taught us about strength, endurance and pure love all with a cheerful countenance.  We saw many miracles during this time.  We saw prayers answered.  We witnessed the true goodness of people.  We felt the power of the Atonement.  We felt angels near and the love of our Heavenly Father.
Tatum slipped peacefully out of this world on May 31, 2013 just after her first birthday.  Tatum changed all of our hearts forever.  We will never be the same as individuals or as a family.  We are so grateful to be her family.   We miss her sweet presence in our home.  Our only wish would be that she could have stayed with us longer, but we are forever grateful for the time we were blessed with because we know that there are many who don’t get any time. 

Trevin and Tatum are our constant reminders of our central goal as a family, to be reunited and eternal.  We miss them every day and anxiously await the time when we can wrap our arms around them again.

1 comment:

  1. We love the Walker family so much. Truly inspirational and such a great example of what our Heavenly Father wants us all to be like. Such good people. Of course God would send His best and brightest angels to be in their family. He has a special plan for this family.