A year later

On January 12, 2014, my life was forever changed by one phone call. “Baby, I had a wreck” was all I heard on the other end of the phone talking to our daughters dad. In a split second, our lives changed by a brief moment that caused the car to go into the other lane of oncoming traffic.

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Anniston Jade was born on May 8, 2010. She was a beautiful little girl. We watched her grow everyday & like all parents, we had hopes and dreams for her. When she was born, Anniston had jet black hair and it was a straight as could be. As she grew older, it turned blonde and curly. She was the prettiest thing we had ever seen.
I will never forget her excitement as she opened up her presents on her 3rd birthday. A pack of panties made her the happiest little girl and she kept thanking her Mimi for them.
As parents, our hopes and dreams are far different than what God has planned for our children. We wanted her to be in dance and play sports. Live a life full of laughter and fun. However, God’s plan wasn’t like that. God knew his plan for her when I conceived her. Anniston’s purpose in life was to help others and to give life to others.
On January 15, 2014, after 3 days in LeBonheur Children’s Hospital, things had started improving. I thought there was a chance she would pull through then the doctors ordered her an MRI. The results were life changing for everyone. A spinal cord injury changed everything. At C1 & C2, there was bleeding into the spinal cord and a hematoma. At C7 & Th1, there was a distraction dislocation. That is a cervical injury that everyone knows as quadriplegic.

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There was no surgery to fix it. There was nothing we could do to help our baby girl. Her body was so delicate and frail she could no longer do a single thing for herself.

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Her daddy and I knew after hearing those words what we had to do. We made everyone leave the hospital so we could be alone with Anniston. We didn’t tell anyone what the doctors had told us. It had to sink in to us what the next coming weeks would mean. The next few days things really changed and she started going down hill. I was asked to sign a do not resuscitate form but I didn’t, instead we signed organ donation papers.

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Anniston’s body was failing her and if we didn’t act fast nothing would have been left to help anyone. On January 21, we decided it was time and the matches had been found. On January 22, in the early hours of the morning the machine was turned off and our sweet Anniston was wheeled off to surgery where doctors would carefully work on her little body, taking out the organs that would live in someone else.
Anniston’s purpose in life was fulfilled at the young age of 3.

Fast forward to present day-
To live a year without a piece of your heart is hard. There isn’t a day that passes where you do not wish it wouldn’t have been you. The guilt you feel for letting your child down, for not protecting her better. God knows the plans for your life before you do.

I have faced a year of all new firsts & 2015 will bring a year of new seconds. Each year will be different.
People have told me time heals, time will progress, and things will get better. People who believe this have never lost a child. All time has allowed me to do is appreciate what I do still have with me on earth. Time has allowed me the chance to learn how to live again because that is simply what you have to do.

The importance of car seat safety is the difference in life and death. Anniston sat in a no back booster with the adult strap.

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Our daughter should have been in a 5 point harness seat but we didn’t know that then. I can not stress it enough how important the proper using the proper car seat and in the proper way is. It is real life folks, it’s our children’s lives!

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