Day 5 – July 14, 2017
Stacey and my in-laws left bright and early to make the 7 hour drive back to Mississippi. The kids were on their way to Arizona with my sister and her family. And, Peter stayed home last night. It is just me.
I got up early enough to get to morning rounds with the doctors and enjoy some quite time with my boy. As I had experienced a few days before, the rounds were not as revealing as an anxious mother would have liked. Doctors had just switched over so we had a new doctor for the weekend. She was very kind and soft spoken. She assured me she would be back in just a bit to go over Andrew’s status with me. She also asked if Peter was there at the hospital and if he would be coming in. She suggested we wait until he arrive and our nurse suggested we meet in the conference room where we would be more “comfortable.” I didn’t think much of it at the time.
A Meeting to Never Forget
When Peter arrived, Dr. Chi and Dr. Weinman delivered us the worst news we could have ever received. Andrew has a Grade 4 brain bleed, and there is nothing that can be done. There are a lot of stories out there about babies who have brain bleeds who survive. But Andrew has so much more wrong than just a brain bleed. I believe this was just the final straw to his precious little life.
As I sat in the conference room, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It was too much to take in. I felt like my heart was being ripped from my chest. I wailed like I never had before. I couldn’t hold in all of my devastation. How can there be no solutions? Nothing to try to help him recover? There has to be something that can be done. This was not the news we were supposed to receive. And I know it sounds so strange, but I had not expected or prepared for this.
I returned to Andrew’s room and gazed at him in his little bed. He was just so fragile. The doctors have been fighting an uphill battle from the beginning, and it didn’t look like this hurdle was going to be overcome. God decided not to “throw this mountain in front of us into the midst of the sea” like I had asked of Him so many times over the past 6 months. If Andrew continued to live on life support, he would have no quality of life. And if he died, he would live for all of eternity.
Our last post asking for prayers:
God can do great things, but we also know that He has a perfect will. We trust him, and we put Andrew completely in his hands. Please pray for Andrew’s comfort and for us to make the best decisions for him. God is good all of the time, even now.
-Peter and Meredith
1 Peter 5:7
Preparations for the End
Everyone returned to the hospital after their long journey home and then back again. The family was anxiously waiting for news in the waiting room.
Andrew’s heart rate plummeted, and it didn’t look like it was going to improve.
It wasn’t supposed to happen this fast. He was supposed to be ok for at least 24 hours so we could make plans. What about the photographer I had lined up to come in the morning? What about all of the things I still needed to tell him? The songs I still wanted to sing? What about this whole life I had planned out for my Down Syndrome baby boy? If we just had a little longer, maybe God would decide to perform a miracle.
But, the time had come to hold my little boy for the first and last time.
An entire team of doctors and nurses worked to move Andrew over to the chair where I was sitting. It was like a complicated choreographed dance trying to move all of the machines but keep the cords connected to him.
As they placed my child into my arms, peace seemed to wash over me. Despite my sadness, I was fairly calm as I looked into his eyes and felt the weight of him once more. His body was so small, and I was reminded of how much he had endured over the last four days. His skin was dark with a glossy sheen to it. He didn’t look like the same healthy, pink-skinned baby I had seen just a few days before. He looked like he was ready to go home.
We removed the life support and sang Andrew to sleep. I wanted him to fade away to the sound of his mama’s voice and to leave this earth peacefully, since nothing he had experienced in his short life could be described as peaceful. Our sweet little Andrew James Chase went to be with Jesus on July 14, 2017, around 11 pm.
Our Last Words to our Loving Community of Supporters
We can’t express in words the depths of our love for Andrew and the sadness we will always feel for being separated from him. However, we praise the Almighty Name of our Lord Jesus Christ for blessing us, loving us so very much, and entrusting us as parents with his life for this short period of time.
We are so thankful for the love and support shown by every single person who followed us on this journey and for all of the prayers lifted up. God heard every prayer but had a different plan for our baby. The staff at both Harris Methodist and Cook Children’s was incredible, and we are grateful.
We will love you forever, baby Andrew!
Peter and Meredith Chase
Day 5 – The End is Near