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Losing a Child: Always Andy's Mom

As a pediatrician, married mom of three biological children and one foster son, my life was busy, rushing off to my office four days a week, seeing patients for three and working as a medical director of a local physician organization for one. I balanced this with rushing off to shuttle my kids to after sports and other after school activities. All of this changed one day in August of 2018 when my 14 year old son, Andy, was killed in a car accident. I felt like my life was over, and in some ways it was over, and a new life was forced to begin in its place. 

Grief is seldom discussed openly in our culture, and the death of a child makes people feel even more uncomfortable. On this blog and podcast, ‘Losing a Child: Always Andy’s Mom’, the topic is approached openly and honestly, speaking to people who have lost loved ones and experts who help care for them. Whether you are a parent experiencing loss or someone who wants to support another going through this tragedy, this blog and podcast strives to offer hope and help.

Apr 11, 2024

What is a miracle? Many people have told today's guest, Freddie, that his son, Randy, was a living miracle. Few would have argued that point. Randy was diagnosed with cancer at 4 1/2 years of age. After conventional chemotherapy and radiation failed to treat his tumor, the family was told that Randy had 6 months to live. They turned to NIH studies, but none of those treatments ever made it out of the stage of clinical trials. His grandfather prayed over him and even instructed Freddie to rub a Bible up and down his spine. Randy was cured by these faith healings again and again. The boy who was never expected to see his 5th birthday saw his 15th and even his 25th birthday. Randy was, without a doubt, a living miracle, until one night, he wasn't.

Randy suffered a seizure and his heart stopped. He died that night and his parents were faced with the harsh reality that Randy was no longer their living miracle. Freddie says that their faith was rocked to its core. They trusted that God would continue protecting Randy, but He didn't. It made no sense and left Freddie with a sense of anger. In fact, Freddie is the first to admit that he continues to struggle with anger at times.

Randy's death, however, does not change the fact that Randy is still a miracle. In fact, after my conversation with Freddie today, my very definition of a miracle has changed. After our recording stopped, Freddie challenged me to think of Andy's life as a miracle as well. I had never thought of Andy as being a miracle. I had always focused on the fact that a miracle didn't happen that night when Andy died. If there had been a miracle, Andy would be alive. Freddie showed me that through this podcast, however, Andy has become just as much of a miracle as Randy is. By listening to Andy's story, people get to know him and feel hope and healing as they suffer their greatest tragedy. In some ways, there can be no bigger miracle than that. Thank you, Freddie, for showing me that even in death, our sons are still miracles, and that in sharing their stories, others can get to know our miracle sons just a little bit.