At our tournament this year we will have a baby remembrance of babies that our foundation has helped, or that we have met along our journey of establishing and running the foundation. We believe it is important to share their stories and say their names.
Today we are remembering Johnny. I met Johnny’s Mommy, Erin, through Hope Mommies. She is so sweet to share her experiences after losing Johnny to help others of loss. Erin has also donated her time and talent of designing all our signage for the golf tournament! This is Johnny’s story….
John David Browning V
July 22 2016 – July 24, 2016
“I was 30 weeks pregnant and had just been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. The doctor had asked that I start coming in weekly. On my 1st weekly appointment, the doctor sent me to the hospital for observation as she noticed Johnny’s heart was having some deceleration. I went to the hospital and my husband and daughter met me there. I was set to be there all weekend so I sent my husband and daughter home. I settled in, ate some dinner, and tried to get some rest. In the middle of the night, they came and said they had to take the baby immediately because his heart rate had dropped. So, all alone and scared, I was put under so they could save my baby’s life. He had to be resuscitated immediately after delivery and placed in the NICU to treat Hydrops Fetalis (fluid that was threatening to collapse his underdeveloped organs), where I was told he would stay until his due date. For 2 days, more issues developed. He had a hole in his heart and down syndrome. All efforts to remove the fluid and help him thrive were exhausted and they decided that he would not survive being transported to a higher level NICU. Finally, they told us that any more efforts would just cause more damage to his brain and most likely leave him with no quality of life. We made the painful decision to take him off life support and hold him for the first time as he drew his last breaths.
We missed out on a full life with our son and many milestones that we’ll never experience. I handle my grief by remembering he is no longer struggling or in pain and is with Jesus in his perfect body. I look to the hope that I will see my son again in Heaven and get to spend eternity with him and our Savior. I feel like I have been parenting Johnny’s older sister through a veil of fear and sadness that she does not deserve. Emotionally, my husband and I have struggled, but our faith has brought us through the fog. Financially we were fortunate that my husband has a great job, so while it was expensive, we did not struggle too much financially.
I think the Rhett Sullivan foundation is an amazing support for families that are already struggling emotionally and shouldn’t have to think about how they will afford the funeral expenses plus being able to give their baby a proper memorial/funeral is so important.”