Told by Minalyn Lane, Travis’ Mom
Almost three decades ago, I was living with the possibility of losing a child to an illness that became life-threatening. I can understand the terror that Travis and Haley are going through as they have to wait and wonder and watch as their little one struggles to survive. I remember sitting in the hospital, wondering what was going to happen. As a mother, I wondered if my baby was going to live. My baby was so precious, so tiny and I felt helpless. All I could do was wait and pray.
Jay and I had just had our fourth child. We could not have been happier. We had been blessed with three beautiful girls and we would have been happy to have either a boy or a girl. Back when I was having babies, you didn’t get to find out what you were having. It was always a surprise. After nine months of waiting, we were so excited to hear the doctor announce, “It’s a boy!”
When he was only 3 weeks old, he contracted pneumonia. After going to my local pediatrician several times, I felt silly when they told me I was overreacting and the baby was fine. Travis had quit eating and was sleeping non-stop. I couldn’t get him to wake up. Finally, we rushed him to the emergency room. I was devastated when I found out what he had and that I should have taken him in earlier. I was so afraid we were going to lose him.
At one point, the doctors told us his heart, lungs, and liver were enlarging. At times, his heart literally would stop. I still remember Jay pulling me aside and telling me he didn't think our little boy was going to make it. I remember Jay telling me that it would be okay; we would get to raise him in the next life. I cried at the thought of losing him. I had a strong testimony of our eternal plan, but I could not let him go. He was my little boy; I had carried him for nine months and I wasn’t ready to let him go. Even so, Jay and I decided we should have Donalyn, Elizabeth, and Vicki come to the hospital to tell him goodbye. I have experienced some painful physcial accidents in my life, but none could ever compare to the pain that ripped out my heart during that time.
How grateful I was to see him recover back to health and be able to lead a life of good health. He has truly been blessed. Travis has always been a optimist and light in my life. He has always taken such good care of his mother. Even as a young man, he doted on me and treated me like a queen. I can remember the “love” notes he would leave for me. One was posted on the wall in the laundry room where he knew I spent a lot of time. I think it stayed up there for years. I never got tired of looking at it. When he was just a boy, him and his best friend Jared Thatcher, invited me and Neta (Jared’s mom) on a double-date. They asked us if they could drive because they weren’t old enough too.
Now the irony of the present day is that I am watching the son I almost lost watch his daughter struggle with life and death. I am not sure which hurt worse. Being a young mother watching my baby fight for his life, or being a mature mother watching my baby as a grown man feel the same way I did so many years ago. I can say I truly know his pain and his fears.
I know this. I am so proud of the man he has grown into. He is handling his situation so well, with so much optimism. Watching him as a baby, I had no idea what a comfort he would be to me when he grew into a man. I only wish I could do something for him to help ease the pain. There truly is no greater pain than to watch your child suffer. The strength of his testimony and his love for his God is a great example and a blessing to everyone. He truly desires God’s will for Ari and accepts this trial with the greatest humility.
Ari has the strength and tenacity of her father. She is a fighter in every sense of the word. She won’t give up until her last breath. What courage she has and what bravery she has shown at such a tender age. There is no doubt she is a special spirit. My prayers continue to be with their family. I love them all very much.