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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1,323 thoughts on “A year later

  1. This makes me absolutely sick. How can you even say things like “this was God’s plan?” No, it wasn’t. If you had properly restrained your child she would still be alive today. It was not God’s plan, it’s your own negligence as a parent that caused this. I can’t believe that people refuse to accept the consequences of their actions and try to pass the blame onto God. It’s just awful. I’m glad you decided to use her organs to save someone else’s life in the end, but she didn’t have to die in the first place. Her death could have easily been prevented. Don’t gamble with your children’s lives, don’t be cheap when it comes to their safety.

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    1. Mary, I was not driving the car my negligence is not at fault.
      I believe God had a plan for my daughter long before I ever knew she would be born. I believe donating her organs was her plan, to SAVE peoples lives!! Her story saved thousands of lives and her organs saved some to.

      I thank you for your comment but move along if you do not agree with my posting. This is my grieving that is put out for the public to see because it is REAL!

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  2. Last August I Lost a nephew in a automobile accident. He was also three years old and was in a booster seat like your little angel. As a mother of a now four year old daughter and a six year old son it just breaks my heart to see people go through this. My daughter who is four refuses to sit in a five point harness because she says it chokes her so I purchased a high back booster but now reading this I am going to try harder to get her in a 5 point harness. I couldn’t imagine what you and anyone else is going through that has lost a child. Losing my nephew has left a huge hole in my heart and on August 15, 2016 it will be one year since he has passed. I just got to remind myself that sometimes God needs a special angel and we need to take every precaution we can to make sure it’s not ours. God bless

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    1. I lost my daughter due to epilepsy, she was 8 mths. Pregnant and baby Haley could not be saved other, very shocking, to days before we had her baby shower and all was good, talked with her 2 hours before this happened, took ten years off my life!! It’s terrible to lose a child!! God bless yas, I know what yas are going through. Amen!!

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  3. I lost a baby boy at 2.5 mos due to a bad heart this was in Jan 1966. I have never forgotten him, Roger was his name. I feel for any mother that loses a child it is life shattering to say the least. God bless to all

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  4. I had my little girl in a forward facing 5 point harness at 16 months and someone fell asleep and hit us head on. We’ve been in the hospital for 33 days with a broken C1 and C2 and she will be ok. I know the pain of feeling like you let your child down. But you were the best momma Anniston could have had. Glad you’ve learned to live again. I’m trying to do the same. Praying for you!

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    1. Studies have shown its best to rear face until age 4, I would get a carseat you can rear face up to 40-45lbs. Prayers for your little one to recover quickly.

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  5. Hi, i am very sorry for your loss. Even more sorry for people’s judgements. I have lost 3 babies myself and it’s different as you said, but, I understand. One son was full term and had potters syndrome. Noone asked if we wanted to donate his viable organs. They told us that he wasn’t going to live. Now almost 29 years later I still wish I had asked them. God bless you and your family! We’ll see our babies again, when Jesus returns.

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  6. How beautifully written about your sweet little angel. We lost our son at age 6 years 11 months old and our life has been changed forever. I loved reading about your feelings on the death of your daughter because it is exactly the way I feel. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of my son and how precious he was. You are right you learn not to go on living because you have to.

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  7. I lost a son 11 years ago. He had a swimming accident leaving him a quad. He lived 4 years after the accident and it is a piece of your heart gone that unless you’ve lost a child you can never know the hurt. It’s been 11 years and when I open my eyes in the morning he’s there and when I close my eyes at night is the only time I don’t see him. It hurts so bad til this day and he was 34 when he passed so it don’t matter if they are 3,2,10 or 34 it still hurts. Praying for all in all the comments.

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  8. I’m so sorry for your loss. My daughter 16, was in a MVA with her boyfriend 17, in November of 2015. They neither one were wearing their seatbelt and he was ejected from the vehicle through her window. In a way we like to think it saved her life. He passed away 2 weeks after the accident due to complications. Besides car seats for little ones, seat belts are so important too. No one is invincible. He wasn’t mine son, but I loved him none the less. Buckle up.

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  9. I’m so sorry for your loss. My daughter 16, was in a MVA with her boyfriend 17, in November of 2015. They neither one were wearing their seatbelt and he was ejected from the vehicle through her window. In a way we like to think he saved her life. He passed away 2 weeks after the accident due to complications. Besides car seats for little ones, seat belts are so important too. No one is invincible. He wasn’t my son, but I loved him none the less. Buckle up.

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  10. Please know, that those of you that were selfless and signed up as organ donors your are TRUE hero’s. Having been a Registered Nurse for 36 years, I have seen so my families that that made the ultimate decision and helped so many others, you need to know how unselfish your decisions were and how many people you have saved.

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  11. I couldnt begin to imagine your pain… im so so sorry for your precious baby girl. Im sure it was so hard to write that, but let me say THANK YOU SO MUCH. I had no clue about the car seat. My daughter just turned one, and will rear face as long as possible. I didnt know the 5 point harness is what they need when older. Now i do…thank you so much for helping others and you are so amazing for donating her organs. She lives on.. and im sure she is by your side in spirit. You are a great momma, please dont blame yourself. You had no clue. God Bless you. I am Praying for your broken heart.

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  12. My grandpa was a recipient of a heart.. My neice at 5 days old was a donar of her cornea/eyes so another could see. Sorry for your loss and send blessings for your kindness in a tragic situation that may save another. #HeroAt3.

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  13. I’m so glad to read this. My son is six but still small. I’ve been debating whether or not to graduate him to a booster seat. Reading this has made my mind up to wait longer before getting him one. God bless your family with peace and joy.

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  14. I almost lost my life when I was 24yrs old. I had seizures for eleven years and had to have brain surgery having a benign tumor removed. They told my parents the facts and that they could loose their daughter if any mistakes. Our faith in God was awakened just before my surgery, so I had no fears. I knew He would use me in a mighty way, here or Heaven. That is exactly what He is doing with your daughter today. Many blessings to y’all!

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    1. It will be thirteen years this September 17th since my last seizure/surgery. I give Him praise daily =)

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  15. I lost my beloved Son in a motorcycle accident he was 33yrs old just earned a PHD in engineering 3 weeks before he died,his body was unidentifiable,it happened 1998 but his memory lives on , my only conselation was that he believed that Jesus.Christ died on the cross to save us from our sins and I now where my Son is safe in the arms o Jesus R.I.P. TIMOTHY ALAN STEWART 8-14-1964—-4-20-1998 your.Mamma, Sister Tess brother Ted and brother Terry . Dad Jim . We miss you

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  16. Prayers for you and your family, and thank you for donating her organs, all of my family are donors too, may God bring you comfort xo

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  17. My son is twelve. He’s always been small for his age and rode in a five-point harness until he was seven. Even now, he’s in a backless booster because he’s too small for an adult seat belt to keep him safe.

    Stories like yours are why I’ve made the choices I do. Bless you for sharing it.

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