Friday, January 28, 2011

Meet Jack!

So a while back I posted this… the letter from Gabriel’s recipient family. Shortly after receiving the letter I became obsessed with finding them online, but with no intentions of contacting them until we had gone through the proper channels of the transplant agencies. I did eventually find them, although it wasn’t easy. I read their caring bridge blog and found their Facebook pages but didn’t’ ask to be friends until Gabe’s birthday. The day before Gabe’s birthday I learned that they had received my return letter and I wanted to see how Jack was doing. So I asked Amber (Jack’s mom to be my friend) She accepted that same day and we’ve exchanged some nice little messages since then. She seems as excited to meet me via the web as I am to meet her.

(Her first message)

Hey! I really am super excited that you guys found us on Facebook! I actually was going to call one legacy to see if they can relay you a quick message! On April 30, we are doing the donate life run walk and I wanted to know if I can use Gabie's picture in the memory garden!

Since that first message we have talked about how our boy’s have similar looks and how we have some similar photos of the two of them. And this message really touched my heart and I cried.

I am actually going to start writing a book about this whole experience! Out of 150 cases of Barth Syndrome, Jack's is different than all of them! Jack has progressed so much since his transplant! He has even surprised all of his doctors! I took a video of him going upstairs yesterday when we were at my cousins house! I guess I will have to teach him to go down now because we have stairs in our house! Gabie was a perfect match for Jack! They said that this all couldn't have gone more perfect! That is the best gift that anyone has ever and could ever give up in our lives! Gabe is living on in Jack for sure! Jack is always so happy and loving so I know Gabe was super loving and had a very kind heart! I can see it in Jack! You can share our pictures in your blog! I don't mind at all! You can email me the picture that you want me to use for the memory garden! I like he one that you sent me of this standing with his arms out! I love all the pictures! Such a beautiful family! I love being so connected and being able to talk so quick! Not having to wait for mail is great!
Love, Amber and Jack and Shaun!

I know I’ve said that I’m proud of Gabriel before but this just makes me so much more proud. I know he had a great mission here on this earth and I now know that it was worth it for him to give us so  much happiness and then give Amber, Shaun & Jack a chance for that same happiness together. I miss him daily but I always feel so blessed that he was such a special boy and so perfect to accomplish so much in his short life and accomplish even more in his choice to return to live with his Heavenly Father. I Love you Gabie Baby and I can’t wait to see you again!!

This is Jack and his mom and dad. The family photo was taken when they were finally going home after the transplant. Jack spent about 5 months in the hospital. Then the other pictures are Jack’s 1st Birthday coming up pictures. Jack will be one on January 31, 2011, almost exactly one year younger than Gabie. Doesn’t he look great after only 6 months ago undergoing a Heart Transplant. I am totally overwhelmed with joy and gratitude and so many other emotions that he is doing so well.


  1. How wonderful! I'm so glad that you were able to find them!

  2. I love your blog! You are the sweetest! I tell everyone how sweet and what an amazing family you are! We are blessed to have you all in our lives!!

  3. I have read this blog with tears streaming down my face. I have lost two children from Barth syndrome. We donated what we could of our son (Evan) who passed away in 1990. Our son Michael died while waiting for a heart transplant in 2009. I have been on both sides of this and find it so wonderful that the recipient family and the donor family have detailed their accounts on this page. As the Director of Family Services for the Barth Syndrome Foundation I have seen firsthand what a difference a parent's selfless gift of life makes. There isn't a day that goes by when that gift goes unappreciated for these families. Sadly they aren't always able to convey their gratitude with the families who gave that gift.

    I have never seen anything like this. Thank you both for sharing your stories. They are truly inspirational. Shelley Bowen