Friday, July 2, 2010

Introducing Luke Aaron!

Quick update from tonight: Luke is doing good and is holding steady. They want him to rest as much as possible. His body is still in shock from surgery so hopefully by letting him rest for a few days his organs will be able to bounce back and his heart will be able to pick up and function like it is supposed to. Eariler today he was having trouble passing fluid. He had only peed about 7cc's of fluid the entire day. Tonight around 8pm he peed a whole 6cc's at once! Hopefully he will continue to do so during the night. They took him off his paralytic meds this morning so today he began having hiccups and even wiggled his toes tonight when I touched him, which was so exciting to see. He has a really long way to go and is still in super critical condition - but today was a good day and we praise the Lord for it.

Ok, on to the post and pictures...

Tuesday, June 29th 2010 was the most amazing and most terrfying day of my entire life. We woke up that morning around 5:00am, anxious and excited, knowing that in a few hours we would finally meet our son for the first time. Benson had set aside a special outfit (his favorite UK polo and shorts) to wear when he held his little boy for the first time. I sit here and cry writing this just remembering how happy and excited Benson was that morning. Since the day I met him, Benson had always told me how he could not wait to be a dad. Finally, that morning I would be blessed to be able to be a part of making one of his greatest dreams in life would come true.

 On our way to the hospital...

We settled in our labor and delivery room at Norton's Hospital. They started me on Pitocin around 8:30am and I was 2cm dilated and 75% effaced. For hours, our family just sat around in the room watching soccer and laughing together. I tolerated labor really well and didn't even feel contractions until around 2:00pm. They broke my water at 4:00pm and around 6:00pm, I was 5cm dilated and the contractions were becoming a little more intense but still tolerable. I decided to go ahead and get the epidural (which I didn't even feel when they put it in!).

Our last picture together before becoming parents!

At 8:30pm I was finally 10cm and ready to start pushing. Mom and Benson stayed in the delivery room and helped me every step of the way. Benson was in full "coach" mode and got so excited I had to nicely ask him to quiet down. He was incredible though and I definately couldn't have done it without him. We laughed with the doctors and nurses between contractions and I never once became frustrated or overwhelmed. The peace in the room was so thick that I was able to enjoy every second of bringing my little man into the world. The moment Luke arrived the whole world stopped. I hold on to the memory of that moment - his first weak little cry, the look on Benson's face when he saw him, the tears that streamed down my mom's face we she became a grandma, his head full of hair and his long little legs. In that one special moment, everything was perfect. 

Welcome to the world Luke Aaron Sexton!
6lbs 10oz and 21.5 inches

We all cried tears of joy as they cleaned him up. He was very blue and he wasn't crying much but at that time, we were not even thinking about him being sick. We were just so overwhelmed to finally see this little life that I had carried around for nine months that we didn't even think about things being wrong. They handed him to Benson to hold for a few brief minutes and then he handed him over to me. I remember looking at him and wrapping his little fingers around mine. I kissed his forehead and told him over and over again how much I loved him. He was so quiet and still and I knew that as much as I wanted to keep him with me - he needed to go to the NICU so I did not hesitate to hand him over and let Benson go over to the nursery with him. That was the last time I was able to hold my baby and the last time I saw him without any tubes and wires. I would give anything to go back to that moment and have him in my arms.



Hours later, our world turned upside down. After settling in recovery, my nurse literally came running in, put me in a wheelchair and ran through the halls of the hospital. When we reached Kosair's NICU, they were waiting for me with the doors wide open. I walked into a room of 50 people standing around my baby. For several seconds, I honestly didn't know if he was even alive. I started screaming for people to tell me what was going on. He was just laying here as dark blue as he could be struggling for every little breath. It was the most terrifying moment imaginable.  You all have read the story on Benson's posts so there no need for any more detail. He was immediately placed on ECMO to save his life. The next morning he had a heart cath to map out his heart. These pictures are taken the morning of his Norwood operation.

Warning: Some of these pictures may be rough for some of you to see. However, they are our reality. To us he is beautiful no matter what and those wires and tubes are what have kept him with us this far so in our eyes they are beautiful too.

This is Luke's ECMO machine. His bed is behind it (next to the green piece of paper). It is takes up most of the room. He has several other machines connected to him on each side as well.

The red spots on his chest and face are a skin reaction from the cath. You can see all of that beautiful hair and funny little sideburns.


As you can imagine, every one of his hands and feet have IV's coming out of them as well as in his umbilical cord stump.

Monitors on his closed chest. After his surgery on Thursday, they had to leave his chest open to allow for swelling. It will be awhile before they are able to close it.

We are not putting any pictures of him post-op simply because it is tough to see. His face and body are completely swollen - he doesn't even look like a little baby. Once his swelling goes down, we'll post some more.

It has been a roller coaster ride to say the least. Unfortunately, this is just the beginning. Everyone in PICU keeps reminding us that we have to take everything day by day, hour by hour. We are thankful for every second we can sit beside him and be his mom and dad. There are moments when we are full of optimism and hope and there are times when we can barely pick ourselves up off the ground. We cry a lot - but we laugh a lot too. We aren't letting Satan steal away the joy of the first few days of having our sweet little guy. God has held us in His hand and guided us through every moment. Luke may not be able to cry right now - but he speaks to our hearts every second. His life has reached thousands of people from multiple states and it has only just begun. I praise the Lord for sending us such an amazing little guy. As much as I wish things were different, I know the Lord is using him in ways that I could never have imagined. God made him exactly the way he was supposed to be for a reason. No matter how messed up the doctors may say his little heart is, I look at him and know that he couldn't be more perfect.


-- Kristin

51 comments:

  1. Jennifer & MattJuly 2, 2010 at 11:33 PM

    he is so precious!! continuing to pray for you all.

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  2. Praying for all of you. He is precious. What a fighter? We are bearing this burden with you. Benson, since the moment we met you, we knew you would be a great Dad. The loving words Kristin wrote about you is precious. I know you feel the same way about her. Just to let you know your on our minds and in our hearts. He may be just 48 hours old, but he has taught me, along with the two of you, a lot about love. Hang in there!

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  3. Kristin -
    It took me a while to put it together that this little baby I have been hearing about is your son. We had class together in the MBA program at CU...

    My face was wet with tears when I first read your blog; I keep coming back here to read the latest updates on his condition. Each and every time I am left speechless at the faith that you and Benson continue to show. God chose you specifically to be sweet Luke's mommy and daddy - for just as you are blessed to have him as your son, he is blessed to have you as his parents.

    Your son is changing the world with every breath he takes. His young life is teaching us all about the power of God's love and you and Benson are teaching us about what it means to live your faith. Continue to praise Him in this storm. He will never leave you.

    May God continue to watch over the Sexton 3, and may your sweet baby Luke be healed. My prayers for you all will not cease. God bless you all.

    Ann Dabney

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  4. Wow, he is simply beautiful! What a head full of hair :) You are absolutely right-God made him exactly the way he is supposed to be. The two of you are so strong & are already wonderful parents. Luke is very blessed to have so much love surrounding him. Prayers & love-tammy willis

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  5. Reading your story everyday has brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. Benson and Kristin, your faith in our Lord Jesus Christ is amazing! And although it is terribly hard at times, you are still praising him in this horrible storm you are enduring! Little Luke is absolutely beautiful! He has the most beautiful head of hair I have ever seen on a newborn! I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking about you every hour of the day and praying for you just as much or more!
    Lots of Love,
    Amanda Arms Conner

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  6. Your family is such an amazing story of love and faith. Thank you for sharing it and I am praying with all my heart that Luke continues to improve and be a blessing in your lives and those around him for many years to come.

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  7. He looks great. What a head of hair! Lots of prayers going around campus for Luke and your family, and we will continue to keep him in our prayers.

    -Chris Oliver

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  8. Kristin and Benson,

    I do not know you personally, however I have read so much about your sweet baby Luke through so many people's facebook. I visited your blog one day to read about this little guy, and now visit it numerous times a day to check for updates.

    My heart is deeply burdened for you both as you go through this tough journey. I have three children of my own and would love to think I would have the faith you do if I were to face the same. God bless you.

    Luke is very fortunate to have such loving parents that will help him as he is healed by God. My prayers will be going up daily for baby Luke and your family. Your sweet baby boy has blessed me and changed my outlook on a lot of situations in life.

    I will continue to share your story with others and pray that God will bring you through the storm with a perfect ending. God bless you and your family.

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  9. He is one amazing little boy and not only is he in the hands of Jesus Christ, but also some of the greatest doctors and nurses on earth!! Looking at the pictures its really heart breaking and brings back the memories. In fact I do believe my baby boy was in the exact same spot in 2004 as your precious Luke was. He was a fighter and your angel is too!!! Stay strong for him even though you feel like its taking your life away, he needs you!! GOD BLESS all of you. You are in my prayers.

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  10. Your Angel is BEAUTIFUL!!

    -Jennifer (Garner) Warinner

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  11. What a handsome little guy! He is absolutely beautiful! Continuing to pray for a miracle to be done in Luke's little heart.
    Love,
    Bethany

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  12. He is a beautiful angel...May God continue to hold him in the palm of His healing hand. I will continue to pray... God is faithful... All things are, truly, possible!!!

    ~Lee Ann Muncie

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  13. Congratulations on the birth of your son! Luke is precious - what a beautiful head of hair!

    I will continue to pray and share your story. Just don't have words to describe how your faith your love of the Lord is conveyed in your message through Luke.

    Praying for Luke's healing and your continued strength.

    Chris Tolson

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  14. We are praying so hard for Luke to come through this! What a beautiful boy!

    -Jessica G

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  15. Sexton 3:

    Luke you are so beautiful. We are praying for you to have a wonderful Saturday with your moma and daddy.

    Mike, Linda and Lydia Tiller

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  16. Luke is absolutely adorable!!! Benson and Kristin, I pray for your strength and courage. And for God's guiding grace in your lives.

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  17. Kristin, he truly is beautiful! Embry was also in the NICU directly after birth, seeing all those wires is frightening at first but then it just comes naturally for a mom and dad to over look them realizing they are doing "good" things and too see your precious child there. I am glad to hear you all had a decent night I am hopefully for today! All My Love, Mindy, Travis, and Embry

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  18. Bensen, Kristen,and baby Luke

    You don't really know me but I had the pleasure of meeting you at Kosair. My daughter, Rhyan, is a heart baby also that was put on emergency ECMO and had open heart survey day 9 of life. I wanted to just let you know that my heart and prayers go out to you during this difficult time. Know that Luke is in the Lord's hands and He will deliver him. I pray for his recovery and for both of you as well. Trust me... I know there are times it will seem impossible and more tears will fall than you thought could be produced but put your faith in
    God and stay positive. I believe everything happens for a reason... And how blessed we are to have been trusted by God to care for these little angels. In tough times with Rhyan I would read inspiring scriptures. Here are two that I carry with me at all times: Psalm 46:1 which says "God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble." And Matthew 21:22 which says "if you believe you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." We believe. May God bless your family daily.
    David, Beth, Kendel, and Rhyan Beverly

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  19. Kristin, my heart goes out everytime I read an update or Steve tells me what is going on.... I feel that you are my sister as well as Steve's!!! You remember that Arlieta was pregnant with you when Steve and I started dating! I pray for Luke's miracle, I pray for a mother's wisdom, patience, and calm spirit:) I remember the 5 year old little girl that was in our wedding and now I see a beautiful woman of God! I am so proud to have you as a sister-in-law!
    Love you always!
    Katrina

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  20. I just wanted to take a moment and tell you both how our family has been touched by Luke's story. First let me tell you who I am. I am Felicia Underwood's mother. Benson was Felicia's Freshman advisor at LWC. He helped her so much that first year, he will always have a special place in my heart for that. I have been reading your blogs daily and have shared your story with anyone who will listen. This situation is changing people. I believe that anyone who can read the blog is going to be a changed person. The example of your faith alone is outstanding. The smiling faces in the pictures speaks volumes. We will continue praying for the three of you. We will continue sharing Luke's story and your blog with others. I believe God is using Luke to change people all over the world.

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  21. We're praying. I cannot imagine what you're going through. And I realize I don't begin to have any words to offer. But I will be praying. And begging God for strength. For you. For your husband. For this precious little man. For rock awesome doctors. For progress. For hope. For comfort. For community. For peace. For those precious memories that last a lifetime. And for a whole host of other things. Oh that you three will be blessed.

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  22. Luke is absolutely adorable! What a head of hair! The faith that you two have in our Lord is amazing. Thinking about you all and praying hard. God bless you all!

    Krystle Bell

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  23. I want to thank you for sharing your beautiful story with all of us. I do not know you personally but I do want you to know that I am praying for your family. You both have such awesome faith and as you already know God can work such miracle. Keep your faith and know We are all praying for you. I have posted a prayer request on facebook to keep the prayer chain going. God Bless You All.

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  25. I sit here after reading your posts in awe of the faith that you have in our Lord, even in the midst of this storm in your lives. Luke is absolutely beautiful and has a gorgeous head of hair! He is touching lives of people you have never met and so are the two of you. To witness your faith in God as you watch your son struggle for his life is inspiring. Luke has been annointed by the Holy Spirit, but I believe the two of you have been also. My prayers and thoughts are with the three of you!

    Shirley Catron

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  26. Your son is adorable! I understand why you wouldn't want to post pictures of your little boy right now. My heart breaks just thinking about where you are right now on this journey.
    My daughter has HLHS with her own little twist on it which the doctors had never seen before and was pretty clueless on how to manage her. Needless to say they made a ton of mistakes. She is a two time ECMO survivor, almost got trached after being on the vent for over 5 months and has been septic twice. No one thought she would survive much less be more than a vegetable. She is two now and is doing normal two year old things. She's sassy and bright and has astounded the doctors. A parent always has hope for their child and sometimes praying for the miracle is all we have to hold onto. We will be praying for yours. Crystal in IL

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  27. Hi there! I'm pretty sure our families do not know one another but I do believe we have some mutual friends. I had so many people on facebook praying for "baby Luke" and finally I found a link to this blog.
    Benson and Kristin it is obvious that you two are covered by God's Grace and Peace right now. Your words on your blog about Faith and Trust in our Savior are inspiring!
    We will continue to lift up precious Luke on a daily basis. May the Lord continue to give you peace during this trying time.
    Covering you in prayer,
    Fran Kelley

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  28. Kristin-
    I don't know if you remember me but you were my team leader at YAC. I wanted to let you know that you all have been on my heart since Lindsey told me of Luke's condition. I wanted you to know that we are praying for Luke and are confident in God's amazing power!

    In our prayers,
    Nikki and Adam Pike

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  29. Luke is precious! We are praying for Luke and for his mother and daddy also.
    Benson, you and your family were always speciaol to us at Mt. Pleasant. You had a lot of good visits with us. God bless each of you!
    May the Lord give you peace you have never known before. Love & Prayers, Rodney & Darlene

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  30. We are praying for you and your family as well. Our family is in a similar situation and expecting a boy on 9/3 with multiple heart defects.

    Haven & Mandy Shaw

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  31. TAMMY FORBIS HUNTJuly 3, 2010 at 6:59 PM

    KRISTEN,I'M BRITTANY'S(&BRAYLIE)SISTER.BRITT TOLD ME ABOUT LUKE'S SITUATION.I THINK WE MAY HAVE MET ONCE BEFORE AT SHIRLEY'S.WANTED YOU TO KNOW THAT YOUR PRECIOUS LITTLE BOY IS TUGGING AT THE HEARTS OF MANY.PRAYING FOR YOU ALL &HOPING LUKE PROVES WHAT A TROOPER HE IS AND MAKES A FULL RECOVERY!!!

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  32. Benson and Kristin, Praying for you and believing with you that "all things are possible with God". I have prayed for healing for others and some were healed in Jesus name, but I have always seen results when praying for my own children. There is a holy anger that can rise up in you when it's your baby hurting. God wants your baby well. My prayer for him is that he will live and not die and declare the works of the Lord. That he is strong in the power of the Lords might. I pray that he began to amend from the time of the surgery. I would like to suggest Andrew Wommack Ministries website that you can read some articles that may help strengthen you. I like "You've already got it." As always, giving the Lord praise and glory for the love He has bestowed upon us all! God bless you all and God hold little Luke in the palm of His hand, bringing healing to his entire body.

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  33. Luke is a precious little angel..Praying and believing for healing in his little body! Also praying that God will give You and Benson strength to stay strong for each other and for Luke!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fe-qoF6WV0&feature=player_embedded

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  34. Man, how I love Benson's smile on that picture of him holding Luke. And what a precious little man Luke is!!!! AMAZING!!!! YOU GUYS are incredible and our GOD is AWESOME!!!!!!!!

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  35. Benson and Kristin,
    I'm praying for your precious boy! You don't know me, but I saw your blog address posted on Sarah Collier Culver's Facebook status and knew there was a reason I was drawn to it...
    My daughter, Harper, left Kosair's NICU May 17, and as I looked at the photographs of your sweet Luke, I realized he is in the same exact spot where Harper stayed at Kosair – I recognize the baby to the left :)
    Dr. Boone, Dr. McDowell and the fantastic team of loving doctors and nurses at Kosair treated our daughter like their own, and I'm sure you're feeling the same amount of love for Luke.
    Know that every time you're buzzed through the NICU doors to scrub and sanitize and don your gowns that you are not alone!
    Jacquelyn Stoess Hack

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  36. John, Brooke, and Kelsi WalkerJuly 6, 2010 at 9:47 PM

    Benson,

    Our prayers are with you all three. We love you guys, more than you know. We believe that God has a lot in store for this child.

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  37. You two are amazing keeping your faith so strong! I have a child and can not imagine what you are going through! You are in my thoughts and prayers that Luke makes a full recovery for a very long, healthy, happy life! May God continue to bless you!

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  38. Kristin and Benson:
    My heart goes out to you. What a beautiful baby! Do not give up!!! God is keeping him alive for a reason. I lost a son many years
    ago and it changed my life forever. Medicine
    has come so far now. I wish I could be there
    to try to comfort you and your family. I read
    your updates and am constantly praying for Luke,as well as you and Benson, as well as
    the grandparents. Keep the faith!

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  39. Kristin,
    My heart is filled with what you and your family are enduring with little Luke. Know that prayers are being sent everyday for your miracle.
    May God continue to give you strength and the doctors guidance.

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  40. I don't know you personally but I do know your God. He is every faithful and strong to help us through our deepest vallies. My prayers are with all of you. This is a deep valley and I know God will give you comfort and peace through it all. God Bless!! Your son is adorable. Karen Conway

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  41. God Bless you and your little Luke. I pray that God is putting his healing hands on Luke even as I type this. He is an all knowing, all powerful and almighty God! I will continue to pray for Luke and your family!

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  42. 11 years ago we found out that my mother had lung cancer that had spread through her entire body and they Doctors gave her, at best, 6 months to live. We had a healing service at church and we all just prayed and prayed. Her very next appointment when they xrayed her lungs the cancer was COMPLETELY gone. The Doctors were dumbfounded and couldnt give us an explanation so we told them we already had the explanation. God healed her. I witnessed a miracle straight from God in that moment and it was so wonderful. I am praying for your son and all of you and I hope he gets better and I just want you to know that there is always hope. God is still making miracles everyday!!

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  43. Kristen and Benson please know that your pain is my pain in the way of being parents. God does have a plan for your precious Lucas and he will care for him and for you. I will pray continually for you 3. I love the fact that you are putting this all in Gods hands and trusting him faithfully for whatever outcome. God is so good and will care for you all in a peaceful and gentle way. God bless you all 3
    Vicki in BG Ohio

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  44. Benson & Kristin,

    The word of God says, "By his stripes we are feel",Luke will receive healing. I will continue to keep Luke and you both in prayers.

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  45. Benson & Kristin,
    I just saw about your situation on facebook tonite. As I have been reading your blogs my heart bleeds for you. Your continued faith and the miracle of prayers will see you through this tough time. We will keep you all in our prayers. Kendra & Eddie Tallent

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  46. I did a search, and Luke means "light" or "bringer of light". How appropriate. My prayers are with you and your family and your little man with the big light, Luke. God Bless You.
    In Him...
    The Flahertys... Louisville, KY

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  47. He is a very handsome little man. My heart goes out to you & your family. I pray for your son & I also pray that the Lord gives you the strenght to get you thru this hard time.

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  48. I heard some people at work that know you all, talking about your story... Well lil Luke's story... So today I saw that someone had posted the link to your blog page and so I clicked and started reading... I have'nt stopped crying since... Apparently God has big plans for Luke... And I know that each day good or bad that you have with him are the most precious gifts that God can give to you... I hope and pray with all my heart that he will grow to be an old man one day... And that all of this will be a great story that he can share with his kids and grandkids.... I know that you all wish for that same thing... Keeping you all in my prayers and thoughts...

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  49. i just seen those pictures they are beutiful pictures of your son i will remember you in my prayer and request prayer at church tommorrow please keep the faith

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  50. I do not know you all nor do I know the pain that you are enduring but I do know that I have never seen or heard so much faith coming from a person-so I would like to say thank you for spiritually moving me because I think that you and your husband are very inspring people even if you dont realize this. I will be praying for your whole family!

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  51. Hey Kristin and Benson I am so sorry for your loss. st andrews umc jr high youth group will be praying for you and hope he is having a good and holy time in heaven with the lord and angels. But dont worry a lot of people in my family have gone through the same situation that you are going through and rememder nothing is impossible with God -Luke 1:37

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