When Devon Jeremiah (Jeremiah means "God will raise up; God will set free) was 4 months old he developed a painful knot in his leg. Over the next two days, it tripled in size. His local pediatrician diagnosed him with sarcoma and sent him to St. Jude's Children's Hospital in Memphis, TN (WONDERFUL, wonderful place). He was diagnosed with sarcoma there, as well. (The absolute worst day of my life was when my daughter called me from Memphis to tell me that the doctors had diagnosed cancer there, too. I had been there with her for the first few days, but had come home to finish the work week out and go back on the weekend. I was at work, I hated that she was over three hours away from me. I remember holding it together while she was telling me, promising her that I was on my way. I remember calling my mom and losing it...even now, I can't type this without crying, knowing that I had a happy ending!) His blood count was very low, and he was given a blood transfusion. They did a biopsy of his knot, and put a chemo port in his little chest. All this was going on over the course of a week or so.... doctors were getting ready to do surgery, and realized, finally, that the child didn't have one cancer cell in his latest biopsy.
I have to tell you that there had been a LOT of prayer about our situation. I truly do not know if there were originally cancer cells found or not, or if cancer was just the assumption. But, we were back to square one, not knowing what we were dealing with.
The doctors started going back over his medical history (remember he was only 4 months old) and realized that just before the knot formed, he'd been given a shot of Rocephin in his leg, for a 104° fever that wouldn't break. With that information, they figured out that he had a hematoma from the needle sticking into a muscle, not sarcoma, and the origin was no Factor 8 (the clotting factor) in his blood. His diagnosis was changed from sarcoma to hemophilia. The port in his chest was then used to supply him with Factor 8 instead of chemo. He is now a healthy, handsome 7 year old, getting factor when he needs it, for cuts that won’t stop bleeding, or knots and bruises that bleed internally.
Ashton's Cool and Handsome Self
When Ashton came along....very early...(for one day in his life, he weighed a mere 1.15 lbs., about as big as a package of baby wipes) life was rough enough without having the added issue of hemophilia. He was born with a bleed in his brain which God mercifully cleared up. He became very sick and lethargic and could not even be fed through a feeding tube because the residual was so bad. At the tender age of 1 month 2 weeks old, and under three pounds, he started moving and wiggling, and moved himself up onto his knees. He came home after several months in NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). Almost a month after his extended hospital stay, they went back to the hospital for a visit, and he seized up and stopped breathing. Thank God they were at the hospital, or he would have died! A man stood over him for an hour or more manually pumping air into his little body until they got a machine to do it that fit his size
He couldn't talk when he should have been able to, so he was given speech therapy. He is now the most lively, energetic, talkative and healthy little boy in the world. Lucas (his middle name) means giver of light. Well, wouldn't you think so?! He is an inspiration. Never give up!
Then there was Samara (the name means "Protected by God")…the picture of health and beauty since Day One. She is now three, and our little princess…at least that’s what she tells us..and it's what we believe
Oliva means "peace;" of the olive tree,
(the olive leaf being a symbol of
abundance, glory, and peace)