WHY GIVING BACK IS IMPORTANT TO US...
On November 6, 2008 we experienced the greatest joy in life. Our family was blessed with two beautiful twins (GraceAnn Elizabeth and Ethan Thomas). At the time we weren't sure we could even have kids, so imagine the joy when we found out we were having two! One couldn't wipe the smiles from our faces.
On November 7, 2008 our joy quickly turned to disbelief and heartache. In a local NICU my wife and I watched as Doctors and Nurses performed CPR on our son. The room was filled with monitors going off in the background, doctors working to stabilize our son, and nurses prepping him to be moved to a level 4 NICU. Everything was happening so fast we couldn't really process what was actually going on in the room. We watched as Emergency personnel quickly entered the NICU to transport our son and as they entered, the Doctor looked at them and calmly said, "You won't be needed". Nurses ushered us to a room next to the NICU and seconds later they brought in our son. Moments which seemed like hours passed as we sat and held our son. The room was silent as we tried to comprehend what had just happened. Shortly thereafter, a doctor walked in and checked Ethan's vitals for a final time and looking at us he simply said, "I'm sorry, he is gone". The pain a parent feels at that moment is indescribable. We had only been given 24 hours with our son, but those 24 hours would change our family forever.
Ethan and Grace were born eleven weeks premature with Ethan weighing 3.6 pounds and Grace 2.3 pounds. At the time, we thought prematurity just meant our kids were born early and needed time to grow. Unfortunately, our view of prematurity was not reality and we quickly learned with prematurity comes a lot of complications, ups and downs, sleepless nights of not knowing what the next hour might bring, heartaches, and fear of the unknown. During the first year of Grace's life we would spend one hundred nights in the hospital and each day would bring a new challenge. We spent countless hours watching the monitors. We would witness multiple desaturations (which are periods of time when babies forget to breathe), learn she had a cyst in her throat creating a 60% blockage, battle a bacterial infection which at one point was thought to be meningitis, and if that wasn't enough, we thought she had cystic fibrosis and hirschsprung's disease.
My wife and I have a strong faith, but even our faith was being tested during these days; until a cold December day we were given a sign everything was going to be ok. A day earlier, we had received a Christmas ornament with the saying "Snowflakes are Angel kisses from Above". Little did we know how powerful those six words would be. During one of the challenging days in the hospital, Jenny sat by Grace’s incubator waiting for test results to come back identifying whether Grace had Hirschsprung’s disease or not. Those test results weren’t scheduled to be back for five days, but a couple days after the biopsy a Doctor noticed Jenny sitting by Grace’s bed side and decided to check. He looked at her with a smile and gave her the news we had been hoping for - Grace did not have Hirschsprung’s disease! Jenny ran out to the waiting room to call me and when she got to one of the few windows in the building, it was snowing like crazy, angel kisses from above! She proceeded to call me, deliver the news and shared how it was snowing like crazy, but ironic as it sounds, it was only snowing in this part of town. We would go on to experience snowflakes at various times; the first time Jenny went to visit our son’s grave, again the day we brought our second daughter home in March and many times thereafter. Many may say it's coincidence; we prefer to believe our Angel Ethan gives us simple reminders not to lose faith.
Not a day goes by we don't think about the events of those days, they are simple reminders to enjoy each hour, as the next is not promised. As time has passed we have come to realize Ethan's life was short, but what he taught us and gave to the world in 24 hours, forever changed us. He made sure his sister Grace would come home, he changed how doctors would monitor kids with similar conditions, he showed us the compassion of people during the most difficult hours of our lives and when the day seems to be a challenge, he reminds us it can't be as hard as the day we carried his casket out of church.
In memory of our son, Ethan, we have incorporated his birth weight into our company name and included an angel wing in the logo. The angel wing in the logo is a simple reminder we will always work to make a difference with the time we have been given, whether its donating signs for a charity event or giving back to local charities who help fight prematurity or childhood cancers, its our goal to make a difference.
We thank each and everyone of you for taking time and reading about what inspires us! We hope our designs inspire you to do more with the time you've been given. God Bless!