We were visiting this little man on Saturday and his mom Jodi bent down to give her little fighter Karson a kiss goodnight as we were leaving. The lights were off, everything was quiet, and luckily I hadn't put my camera away just yet. She didn't realize I had taken the picture and later she told me that she had whispered in his ear that she loved him, right at that moment. I think we both cried when we first saw this shot.
Please keep this little one and his family in your prayers right now, he can use some extras this week.
Karson was born on April 12, 2008 and seemed to be a happy, healthy, serene newborn. However, by the time he was six weeks old, Jody was somewhat concerned that he didn’t seem to be building the strength that he should. On June 2nd, at his two month check up, the Riggs family received devastating news with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) type I. SMA is a genetic disease that is the number one genetic killer of children under the age of 2. Basically it is the infant form of Lou Gehrig’s disease that affects the infant’s muscles. While mentally he is a perfectly healthy, curious, alert baby, his condition weakens his muscles to the point of being unable to move his limbs much or support the weight of his own head. Particularly devastating is that he lacks the strength to breath well or cough which makes even the tiniest respiratory infection life threatening. Currently, our little buddy is admitted at Primary Children’s in Salt Lake, fighting to just keep breathing.
Darren and Jody believe that our Father in Heaven has a plan for their son, for their family. We all believe that he is on the earth and a part of the Riggs Family for a reason. We have learned so much from him and he has touched many lives in just 4 months already. His patience, his strength and his courage is inspiring. You can not hold this beautiful baby or look in his eyes withought feeling his sweet, calming presence. We believe that someday, after this life, we will see Karson again, in his perfect state.
Facing the eminant loss of a child is something I cannot even begin to comprehend. The sadness I feel as an "aunt" is overwheling, so as a parent it must be 100 fold. Furthermore, Darren is a full time student at Weber State University and up until this point, Jody has been working full time and was the primary bread winner. Because of Karson's need for constant care and since the time Darren and Jody have with their son will be very limited here on earth, Jody has not yet been able to go back to work. As you can imagine, the expenses of having a baby in the hospital for weeks at a time and the need to be with him constantly are emotionally and financially devestating.
First and foremost, we ask for your thoughts and prayers on behalf of the Riggs family. If you would like to make a financial contribution to Karson's support fund, click this button on my sidebar. Our hope is that we may lighten the load for our friends in any small way possible, especially if it means we can help maximize the amount of time Jody, Darren, Karson and his proud big sister Hadley can spend together as a family.
Words cannot express how much I love the Riggs family and baby Karson- they are family to us. We were so excited for him to get here, I already had him dubbed Max's future best friend and partner in crime before he was born(still is!). The night we found out about his diagnosis and sat together in the hospital is a night I will never forget. I realize that I just barely posted about Nie Nie and encouraged everyone to get involved with contrubuting to her cause. Obviously this is out of the ordinary, but because of the recent turn of events with Karson's current hospitalization (he was life flighted last week to Primary's), I felt that this could NOT wait. Any form of support would be greatly appreciated. Thank you SO much.
Stay updated on Karson by checking in on my family blog or the Riggs Family Blog
Learn more about SMA here