I do not know Justice, I do not know his family, all I do know is that while I sit here starring at my computer monitor tears are filling my eyes.
I often read a blog about another preemie that has overcome substantial obstacles, Anthony. He is an amazing little boy and I love to read about his triumphs. Today on his mom's blog was a post about Justice, and I followed the link to read his story.
Justice was born September 17, 2008 at 2 pounds 5 ounces, 14" long at 27 weeks 3 days gestation. He spent just shy of 100 days in the NICU and went home on Christmas Eve of 2008. Justice was still on oxygen when he came home, he had chronic lung disease which can be very common in preemies. Justice stayed on oxygen. About 3 weeks ago he came down with a cold and a high temp. On May 9th he was admitted to PICU (Pediatrics Intensive Care Unit). Justice had RSV. Yesterday, Justice passed away in the arms of his mother. He was 20 months old.
My heart aches for his mother, father and twin sisters, Dakota and Georgia. It aches for his grandparents, the doctor's and nurses that took care of him, and all his family and friends who loved him so.
My heart aches with thankfulness that Aidan is so healthy! It pains me to hear of another preemie, who was so much like Aidan, leave this world way too soon. Justice and Aidan were nearly the same weight (Justice being 2.8 oz. lighter), Aidan was 1 inch taller, and Aidan was born 3 days further along in gestation.
Justice and Aidan shared a similar path in the NICU, bouncing back and forth along ventilators, oscillators, and oxygen. They received similar treatments. I do not know if Justice received vaccinations for RSV, but I'm sure he did since he had CLD (Chronic Lung Disease).
If you remember, Aidan received monthly RSV vaccinations in the NICU, when he came home through flu season and received them again this past year's flu season. RSV is Respiratory syncytial virus, a very common virus that leads to mild, cold-like symptoms in adults and older healthy children. It can be more serious in young babies, especially to those in certain high-risk groups such as preemies or babies with CLD. RSV is highly contagious and I am so thankful that United Healthcare continued to approve Aidan for the vaccine, it's nearly $2000 a dose. And I am so thankful that when United Healthcare didn't approve the last requested dose in May, Aidan's pediatrician gave us a dose that was left behind that another patient gave up. Dr. Corden thought that Aidan receiving the shot was very important and gave it to us for free.
I just can not imagine the journey that family has been through. I know the NICU journey, I know the scare of preterm labor and delivering a 2 pound baby. But today I am even more grateful and know that we have been TRULY blessed with our miracle, Aidan! I've always known Aidan was a fighter and that things could have been different, but today I have been made VERY AWARE of what a miracle it is to have such a happy, healthy boy!
I love you more and more everyday Aidan Christopher. You truly are our miracle!
Thoughts and prayers go out to the Blakey Family and the preemie community everywhere. Rest in peace, Justice Blakey (9/17/08 - 5/20/10).