Today, I want to introduce you all to a good friend, Craig Hutchison. Craig and his wife Roxie were two of the first people my wife and I spoke to when we moved to Cleveland and I can honestly say that my life has been richer since because of this. Craig and Roxie have endured so much and yet remain to be two of the most solid people I know. Here’s a little of their story and reason why. (Grab your Kleenex and read on!)
Twenty seven hours of labor and our second child was born. A 7 pound 9 oz beautiful girl. I held her in my arms and studied her face hoping I could etch it in my memory for ever. She was so cute . . . so quiet. She was our child for an eternity . . . but not for this life. I laid her in her mother’s arms. She held her and cried both tears of joy and tears of sorrow and grief. We kissed our little girl good-by and they took her away. This was not like when we lost everything in a fire. Those were just “things” but this was our child. A hundred other children could not make us miss her less. It has now been over 33 years and I still ache to hold her my girl again.
Our first born daughter was healthy and full of life. She was in her second year of residency, fulfilling her life long dream of being an emergency room physician. We were with her in the hospital as she was having a medical procedure performed. Late at night she called me over and said “dad, this is very important, you need to get someone, I am bleeding out”. I went and told the nurse who called her doctor. But no one took it seriously. The next night I looked over and saw her having a seizure. I ran and told the nurse who called the doctor. Still nothing was done. The next day a different doctor stopped by and immediately noticed something was not right. My girl had laid there for two days bleeding at three places in her brain . . . . They only gave her a 10% chance to survive. While she survived the stroke, the next few years were tough. One year she spent 300 days in the hospital. She was now missing part of her brain and she struggle with new medical issues. But she fought and got better. Six years after her stoke she went back into a residency program.
It was a thanksgiving morning. A time to be thankful, our son was back home. We were looking forward to cooking the turkey together and spending the day with family. I got up early to start the turkey but noticed something in the living room. It was our son. He was lying collapsed on the floor . . lifeless . . . I rolled him over and I yelled for his mother to call 911 . . . We immediately started CPR. Pressing in on his big chest and breathing air into his lungs. After the rescue squad arrived it became increasingly evident that our son was dead. He was taken to the hospital where they pronounced him dead. The only thing left to do was to hug and kiss him good-by. Our boy . . . our friend. Once again we were burying a child.