Our beautiful son Owen was born on August 26, 2011. He shares his birthday with his dad and his heart of both of us.

Unfortunately, on November 13th 2011 he suffered from a pediatric stroke that caused brain damage to his right
frontal lobe. After the stroke we were told that Owen may not be able to walk and would likely lose the majority of movement in his left arm and hand. Owen was working hard to prove them wrong. Attending physical and occupational therapy, Owen began using his hand to show the doctors that he is too stubborn to listen to them.

On January 27th, 2011… Owen went in for a EEG to see how he was progressing since being taken off one of the many dications he is on. During that time we found that Owen was having infantile spasms. Infantile spasms are an extremely dangerous kind of epilepsy that is often linked with developmental issues. Owen now has the tough job of going through a diet and steroid regiment in addition to all of the other work he was already doing. We are confident that Owen will once again beat the odds and show us how tough he his!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Dear family and friends,
I hope this letter is finding everyone in good health and good spirits.  Mike, Owen and I thought that we would take an opportunity to share with you what has been going on in our lives over the past year.
2012 has been a hard year, but it seems to be getting better as we make our way into 2013. This year Owen experienced a stroke, diagnosis of infantile spasms, more than a dozen different drugs, injections, several months at Children’s hospital, and three major brain surgeries. I am at a loss of how to describe this last year to anyone so that maybe you would understand, so we just listed them.  I am not going to tell you how everything happened.  I am not going to tell you how hard this year was for us because this time of year is a time to celebrate, a time to rejoice, and a time to witness miracles.  So this year I am going to celebrate the positive things in our lives.
I will celebrate that although I enjoyed my previous job, I have a new one that allows me to be much closer to home. Mike continues to work and no I haven’t figured out what he does, maybe that will be something I do in 2013. Dora continues to lie on the coach as a coach potato; I think that we desperately need to give her some potatoes chips, a beer, and sunglasses for next year’s picture.  We are also very thankful for both of Owen’s grandmothers who take turns watching him every week.
Owen is a strong willed little boy with so much strength.  He has more determination to do something than I thought anyone ever could.  Owen has set out his own path on when he is going to accomplish things. We are excited with what he can do.  He is not the typical one year old, although he looks it he is. He is very much an independent little boy.  He is currently sitting up, starting to crawl, and learning to stand.  Physical therapy has been working hard with Owen to help him be interested in crawling and walking.  I didn’t think I would ever be so excited to see a little boy walk as I am now.  Owen has had an uphill battle these last few months but I am constantly reminded that he is my little boy showing off the miracles that he has given. 
Owens’s first birthday was very low key.  We really didn’t celebrate; we weren’t really in the mood to celebrate. Although we were out the Pediatric ICU, we were still at the hospital and it was still hard to really celebrate a millstone birthday. The doctors were amazing, brought us some cake and ice cream, and had an amazing dinner from Grandma and Grandpa Murray. 
On Sept 9th Mike, Owen

and I made our wonderful way out the Children’s hospital.  We were so excited, 2 months of hospital food, and getting to go home, our home.  Since being home, our lives have changed again.  Owen as I said before has showed how strong he is.  He is sitting up without assistance, working on lots of tummy time, and is working on walking with PT’s help.  He has been talking up a storm almost like his world had been so quiet for so long, he needs to make up for all the lost talking now. We have gotten looks in stores; can you please keep your baby quiet? I look right back and smile, no!
We have much to celebrate this year, much to be thankful.  Although this year has been hard, I am constantly reminded of how amazing Owen is.  We have been surrounded with family and friends.  And if you have been a part of it, we can’t thank you enough.  If you haven’t I know that you have been thinking of us.  So thank you!! 

I am leaving this letter with a challenge, find and appreciate a miracle. For those of you, who feel sorry for us, please don’t; we get to witness miracles every day!  We are witnesses to miracles with every smile, movement, everything Owen does! We would love for you to find a miracle to witness, I pray that you will see them as we do. Merry Christmas! I hope that next year is a bright year!
Val, Mike, Owen and Dora

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