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Today is Thursday April 30, 2009 and I am standing in the field at my parent’s farm flying kites with my 2 oldest sons, my wife and my mother. The only thing my sons wanted to do was go to the farm and fly their kites. As I stand here watching Asher (4yrs) and Aden (3yrs) running around trying to catch the tails of the kites, my mind can’t help but to replay the events from the day before like a broken record. Our oldest son, Asher, has wavy sandy blonde hair, big brown eyes and the sweetest little smile. Asher truly lives up to the meaning of his name and is happy, positive, confident and outgoing. He is such a smart little boy and loves to learn new things and ask lots of questions, a real thinker. Asher learned sign language as a baby before he could even talk. He’s been asking to go to school since he was about 3 and loves to pretend that he’s in college. Asher always wants to be a helper around the house and especially when Daddy is working on a project. He is very independent and already exhibits real leadership qualities. He likes to play with his toys, watch movies, read stories and play outside. Asher and Aden love to go fishing together. Asher will reel in the fish, but doesn’t like to touch it, so Aden gladly throws the fish back into the water. Asher is a real social bug; he always wants us to invite people over. He loves to perform and entertain and will certainly be the center of attention with any group. He is a great big brother to Aden and Ashton, 9 months, and really watches out for them. Our middle son, Aden, has stick straight sandy blonde hair, big brown eyes, and these perfectly straight little baby teeth. Aden is spontaneous, adventurous, clever, sweet, a great performer and truly strong willed. He is completely fearless and will try anything. He has a sweet little voice that just melts your heart. He is only 16 ½ months younger than Asher, so they are great friends. Aden looks up to his older brother and does everything Asher does, it’s amazing to see the bond they have. This bond is shown everyday from playing ball to riding their bikes even things as small as Asher reading books to Aden or just watching TV together. He loves to play with his toys and would play outside in the cold rain if you’d let him. Aden is the epitome of unconditional love. He takes every opportunity to tell you he loves you and gives you hugs and kisses. The day started out much like every other day. Asher and Aden somehow snuck into our bed in the middle of the night, as they always do. They both asked if we would get them some hot chocolate and turn on something for them to watch. After getting everyone up, dressed and fed, play time starts. Both Asher and Aden are running around the house playing in every room including my office. This is the norm. Shortly after lunch they run in to my office asking if they could call their Nana and Papa, I dialed the number for them and after a short call, off they go again. Asher returns 2-3 minutes later to inform me that Aden is caught up in the cord. He is telling me this in a “matter of fact” tone. Thinking that his leg or arm is caught I pick up a pair of wire scissors that I had lying on my desk and started down the hall to the boys play room. Halfway down the hall I see Aden hanging in the window by his neck from the cord of the blind. His arms and legs were not moving just hanging straight down by his side. I screamed out “GOD NO” and started running. As I made it into the play room I tripped over toys and a bean bag chair that was in front of the window. As I fell I grabbed Aden’s lifeless body with my left arm. With the scissors in my right hand I cut the blind cord and at the same time my left elbow goes through the window and the storm window. The sound was like an explosion and glass was flying everywhere. Aden and I dropped into the bean bag chair underneath us. I pulled the cord off his neck and checked to see if he was breathing. Aden’s perfect little face and lips were blue and his eyes were open, he was not breathing and did not have a pulse. Amy was in the kitchen
cleaning up the lunch dishes when she heard me yell followed by the sound of crashing glass. She started running to the play room, but before she got there I screamed “Call 911, Aden is not breathing.” Aden and I were covered in glass. I picked him up, carried him into the dining room and laid him down on the floor. Amy ran back to the kitchen and grabbed the phone and called 911. She still wasn’t sure what had happened. Amy later said “I was on the phone with the dispatcher looking at my son who was officially dead. No heartbeat, not breathing, eyes open, lifeless and laying on the floor.” She sat down on the floor next to him telling the dispatcher that Aden wasn’t breathing and that there was blood everywhere. Amy was instructed to get a towel and put direct pressure on the cut. With glass sticking out of my arm and blood everywhere I looked down at my precious Aden and thought, how am I going to make funeral arrangements for my sweet little baby Aden? Crying and terrified I told myself “NO” this is not going to happen, I am not going to lose my son. I prayed that God would not take Aden from me. Aden’s little lips were cold as I started CPR, after about 10-15 breaths Aden took a deep breath and his eyes rolled back and then he was gone again. As I am continuing giving Aden CPR, Asher asks “Is Aden going to die?” In unison, it seems, we both said “NO!” Then I hear the greatest sound in the world. Aden started crying and almost at the same time we hear the ambulance siren. Amy picks up Aden and holds him in her lap. Amy told Asher to go get some shoes on so he wouldn’t cut his feet. I pulled two large shards of glass out of my arm and wrapped the towel tightly in order to stop the bleeding. I looked up at Asher and said “Find my phone and call Nana and Papa and let them know what has just happened.” Then Amy said “Grab mine, it’s on the island.” Asher grabbed the phone and started dialing. After he got his Nana on the phone, in a scared little voice he started telling her what happened then handed the phone to Amy. Asher was so focused he never questioned the instructions he was given. Laying on the floor all I could do is praise God for His greatness and thank Him for returning my stick straight sandy blonde haired, big brown eyed, baby boy. In the background I heard the sirens getting louder and louder. I then see a Garland Police car skid to a stop out in front of our house. Amy runs out the door with Aden. Asher is close behind as the ambulance and fire truck pull up. I walked out front to meet the EMTs and they start assessing the situation. Amy gives them all the information. Officer Crick from the Garland Police Department asked if there was anyone else who was hurt or still in the house. Prior to this happening Ashton was in his highchair enjoying some baby crackers. So when Amy told him that our 9 month old baby was inside and crying Officer Crick said “Don’t worry I will go in and get him.” Not only did he go get Ashton, but he cleaned him up and calmed him down and held him the whole time. While Amy and Aden are in the ambulance with EMT Kris Chitty (from Station 2) and Robert Kilmer (from Station 9) checking out Aden’s vitals the firemen checked my arm and wrapped it up. The EMTs came in and said they needed to get me and Aden to the hospital. Amy asked if once we got to the hospital would we be able to stay together? They weren’t sure so I told Amy to go and I would stay behind with Asher and Ashton until my parents arrived. As I am sure you can imagine I am in complete shock walking around the house in a daze, cleaning up the bloody floor, getting the kids bag together and praising God for allowing my son to live. After getting things together I found my phone and started making calls to let our family know what happened. My parents showed up a few minutes later and we loaded up and headed for the hospital. I got in the car with my mom and as we are on the way she starts telling me that she had been up all night the night before praying as she had felt that she needed to be praying for her 6 grandchildren. She said while praying something told her that it was one that she would not suspect. This was shocking to say the least.
We arrive at the hospital and find out that Aden had thrown up all over himself. Mom and Dad went back to the house to get him some more clothes. When I walked into room 11 in the ER I handed Amy her phone and told her to start calling her family. Aden’s skin was pasty white, eyes were black and he had rope burns all the way around his neck. He also had petechial hemorrhages* all over his little face. I sat down on the bed next to him and told him how much I loved him and everything was going to be ok. He didn’t say anything, he just leaned up and kissed me and then started crying. My sister and brother in-law arrived and within a few minutes Aden started coming around a bit more. Nathan and Melissa were talking to Aden to keep him from seeing the nurse working on my arm and being scared from all of the blood. Aden told Melissa that he rode in the police car (ambulance) to get to the hospital. He then told her about the Muppet Movie and that they were singing. Melissa asked if he was talking about Kermit. He said yes, and also mentioned Miss Piggy. Then he said, "How did I get here Aunt Mel?" she reminded him about the ambulance. Then he told her that he had to say bye. She asked who he said bye to, but he just stared off like he was daydreaming and didn't tell her. After being there for about 4 hours they released Aden and I waited for the doctor to put staples in my arm. On the way back to our house Aden told my Dad that he went to “Heaven House” but never said anything else about it. After being home for about 15 minutes or so the boys were riding their bikes and playing in the back yard. Asher and Aden are both acting as if nothing ever happened and show no signs of trauma from the day’s events. This is a testament to the true power and glory of God. Because of Him we have our son back. On Sunday Aden, Asher and I were standing in my office and Asher was asking Aden how/why did you do that. Without thought Aden said “I climbed on the window and put the string around my neck and God took me to Heaven.” I stopped getting dressed, turned and asked “Aden, God took you to Heaven?” Aden said yes so I asked “what did God look like?” he said “He looked like YOU!” with a tone as if saying silly daddy. So as I was saying Today is Thursday April 30, 2009 and I am standing in the field at my parent’s farm flying kites with my 2 oldest sons, my wife and my mother. Asher and Aden are still trying to catch the tails of the kites. With a smile on my face and my heart filled with joy because this day could have been so different. Unfortunately in life many do not get to fly kites the day after. We believe by telling Asher and Aden’s Story it can and will save someone’s life, empower brothers and sisters and save parents from having to experience this trauma as well as help heal families who are grieving. It is truly a miracle from God how many lives have been touched already by this event. If you have small children or know someone with them, please share our story. Ask them to make sure they have Safety Cord Cleats on the blinds or the cords are where little ones cannot get them. Make sure you tell everyone you love how you feel all the time. Most importantly, make sure you have a relationship with God because you never know when it is time.
We would like to say a special THANK YOU to the following: Garland Fire Station 2, especially Kris Chitty for handling the situation with our little Aden with such care and compassion. It is evident that you are good at what you do and you put your heart into each situation. Garland Fire Station 1, especially Tim Behrens, Donald Isenburg and Randy Smith for reiterating to Asher that he did such a great job getting help. Garland Police Dept, especially Officer Crick for taking care of our baby Ashton with all the chaos going on around us. This is truly above and beyond the call of duty. Fellowship Church Grapevine, especially Stephanie Hoskins & Mary Eubanks with Hand in Hand ministry. We are so lucky to belong to such a great church. Our family and friends, for all the prayers and support you have given us. We love you all. Tom Merker and Springs Window Fashions, It is refreshing to find a company who cares as much for the consumer as they do their own product. Our family is grateful at your willingness to let us share our story in your annual safety campaign which helps build awareness about the dangers of kids and cords. http://www.springswindowfashions.com/safety/ *A petechial hemorrhage is a tiny pinpoint red mark that is an important sign of asphyxia caused by some external means of obstructing the airways. They are sometimes also called petechiae. Their presence often indicates a death by manual strangulation, hanging, or smothering. The hemorrhages occur when blood leaks from the tiny capillaries in the eyes, which can rupture due to increased pressure on the veins in the head when the airways are obstructed. If petechial hemorrhages and facial congestion are present, it is a strong indication of asphyxia by strangulation as the cause of death. http://www.enotes.com/forensic-science/petechial-hemorrhage
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