Samuel’s Miracle

Editor’s note: Teresa and I met in the PICU at Primary Children’s Hospital. It’s funny how friendships can emerge so quickly in these types of situations. I will forever be touched by Teresa’s love and total commitment to Samuel. I believe you will too.

Hi, I’m Teresa from I’m excited to be your guest blogger every Friday for the month of November. Hopefully, I can do an adequate job of sharing our story and knowledge with you.

It was a hot day in July 2005 when our world was turned upside down. I was 33 at the time and had just moved into a new home with my husband and 4 sons. My husband owned his own business and I worked full-time from home. It was a hectic life, but worth the effort, because I loved being home with my boys.

Our youngest boy, Samuel, was my sidekick and had just turned 2 that July. He and I loved sitting on the front porch soaking up the sun or playing in the yard together. He was my helper and had a power over me that I couldn’t describe. No matter how busy I was or how crazy things were, he could always convince me to drop it all just to play with him. I was happy, but in retrospect, I took it for granted. I thought I knew a lot about life, but I soon found I had much more to learn.


It was nearly 7 pm that day when an ambulance sped past me as I was driving back home from getting my oldest boy from soccer. I had left the younger 3 boys home with their dad and was in a hurry to get back and get dinner on the table. It was moments later that my cell phone rang.

I hesitantly answered, not recognizing the number. The voice on the other end was grave as it informed me that my youngest son had fallen into the canal adjacent our home and had been taken to the hospital by ambulance. Pain sliced through me as I realized he was referring to the ambulance that had just sped past me – lights flashing, sirens wailing. I asked the few questions I could muster. The answers crushed me to my soul. And our lives would never be the same again.

Although Samuel’s brother saw him fall into the canal and his father commenced searching for him immediately, the water was incredibly swift and his little body could not be found. We do not know how long he was in the water, but it was possibly somewhere between 10 and 18 minutes. He was lifeless when he was found.

Samuel sustained an anoxic brain injury. It manifested itself as horrendous and erratic muscle spasms that encompassed his entire body and affected everything from his breathing and heart rate to his urination and body temperature. The first 2 months after the injury were devastating. I cried daily and begged God to end the pain, as it was too much to bear. The next year was almost as unbearable. And the 2 ½ years since then have been a myriad of ups and downs, mountains and valley as the realization sunk in that all the abilities our son once had were now gone and we were given no hope of them ever returning.


And that is where our story begins. It was at that moment that I was whisked out of my normal life and thrust into a world I only thought I knew existed – the world of special needs children. A world I had avoided because I didn’t know what to say or how to act around children who were “different” from the norm. But now I understand. Now I count myself part of an elite group of parents. A group of parents who “get it.” Parents who didn’t ask to join the club, but received an invitation anyway. Parents who give of themselves every day in order to help their children succeed. Parents who deal with the stares and remarks of those who simply don’t understand. And parents who fight every step of the way for their children’s rights and believe that their child can succeed despite what the doctors or specialists say.

Now I can see the angels inside these imperfect little bodies who struggle to accomplish the smallest of tasks and who outdo us all in their determination to never give up the fight. And I can see the parents who love them with the most compelling of loves. Sometimes I miss my old world – the carefree one – not that I understood that it was carefree when I had it. But most of the time, despite the struggle and the heartache and the difficulty of each and every day, I am grateful to know that this other world exists. For it is this world that has taught me to appreciate every miracle of life – from the miracle of breathing to the miracle of hearing your child speak your name. And it is those miracles that I vow to never take for granted again!


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