Update From Dawn

June 12th, 2008 | by Matt |

(Dawn) The past few weeks have been increasingly difficult for me. I think Matt posted earlier that the reality is setting in that Kevin is really gone. The ache I feel is enormous – it is like my arms physically hurt from longing to hold him. This past week we got a call from one of Kevin’s cardiologists. She had a copy of the final autopsy report. We made an appointment to go in and go over it with her.

Basically, Kevin died from complications of cardiac malformations. His heart was severely enlarged and thick. He had early pneumonia in both lungs. His other organs were enlarged as well, which is a sign of heart failure. As you can imagine, we had lots of questions. I was so confused as to how things got this bad without us knowing. He had just had an echo on March 31st which looked ok. His x-ray was somewhat concerning, but no one seemed that worried about it. Dr. Pyevich said that kids will compensate right up until the end, which is what Kev did. We would have found out how bad his heart was had he made it to the cath on May 8th. She also told us that upon examination of the heart they found that there was no surgical fix for what was going on. So had Kevin had a cath 2 months before he died we may have known that his heart was giving out, but the only option would have been a transplant. Kevin’s lungs were in rough shape, so he may not have even been a candidate for a transplant. She also explained that Kevin’s defects were very complex. Along with the structural defect (L-TGA) he had many other defects as well. I knew all of this, but maybe didn’t let myself think about it too much. I have spent the last 3yrs reading about adults with L-TGA and how great they were doing. I thought Kev would be the same. Dr. Pyevich explained that the adults that do well have less complex cases than Kevin did.  I thought I would feel better after going over all of this. I was so afraid that I had missed something and had we caught it earlier he would still be here. Turns out that is not the case, but it really brings me no comfort – he is still gone.

I started back to work at the Quad City Animal Welfare Center. I am just working Monday mornings and the first Saturday of the month for a few hours. It is nice to get out of the house and get my mind off things for awhile. I am so grateful that they offered me the chance to work so few days, it is just what I needed.

We are leaving for Hawaii in a few days. We had planned this trip long before Kevin died. I think it will be nice to get away and relax. Emily is very excited to go, and I think it will be good for her too.

Lastly, I wanted to share a song that Jeni sent me. She knew it would make me cry, but in a good way. It is called Heavenly Day. It truly captures how we felt about Kevin. So many days I would forget about all the health issues that he was facing and take the moment for what it was, pure joy and peace. Jeni told me that it makes her think of a day a few weeks before Kevin died. We and the Tackett’s were in Springfield for the half marathon that Matt and Nathan were running. Once it was done we all decided to go to Sonic for lunch. Jeni and the kids sat in the back of Nathan’s truck and ate their lunch. Kevin thought that was so funny and had a great time. I also remember taking the moment in – everyone was so happy. I know that the pain is so deep because we had so much joy. Every day was a heavenly day.

“Heavenly Day” ( download mp3 )

By Patty Griffin

Oh heavenly day, all the clouds blew away
Got no trouble today with anyone
The smile on your face I live only to see
It’s enough for me, baby, it’s enough for me
Oh, heavenly day, heavenly day, heavenly day

Tomorrow may rain with sorrow
Here’s a little time we can borrow
Forget all our troubles in these moments so few
All we’ve got right now, the only thing that
All we really have to do
Is have ourselves a heavenly day
Lay here and watch the trees sway
Oh, can’t see no other way, no way, no way
Heavenly day, heavenly day, heavenly day

No one at my shoulder bringing me fears
Got no clouds up above me bringing me tears
Got nothing to tell you, I’ve got nothing much to say
Only I’m glad to be here with you
On this heavenly, heavenly, heavenly, heavenly
Heavenly day, all the trouble’s gone away
Oh, for a while anyway, for a while anyway
Heavenly day, heavenly day, heavenly day

  1. 3 Responses to “Update From Dawn”

  2. By Kristel on Jun 12, 2008 | Reply

    The longing, the heartache, is so,so hard for us, I can not imagine what you, Dawn and Matt, must feel. I love the picture in the pickup. So many treasured moments, and the song, is so perfect. Thank you for sharing.
    Love, Mom

  3. By Jeni on Jun 13, 2008 | Reply

    I love this picture and the memories that go with it and how Kevin stood at the end of the truck bed soaking in the sunshine with a big smile on his face, occasionally dancing.

  4. By Shel on Jun 24, 2008 | Reply

    Thank you for updating Dawn.
    I wish there was something I could do or say to make things better, but I know I can not. Just know that we are always here for you, and we love you all very very much.