We were driving back from Columbus.
Chaia was in her car seat. We stopped in Smithville to pick up our dog Shadow.
Chaia was some shade of blue and was laboring to breathe.
It was very different from the rapid (90 times a minute) breathing she'd been doing all week in Columbus. "It's probably just a little bug", they said in Columbus.
We thought maybe we were just over reactive first time parents.
But here she was having a heart attack.
Now things were obviously not right. We drove to the closest hospital. They wanted to get an IV started to get fluids into her system. Couldn't get it in her arms. Tried her feet. And eventually tried a vein in her forehead. The screams that day. An octave and a volume I'd never heard from the little bean.
2 and a half normal months. Then this.
She was life flighted to Akron Childrens.
I drove our car. Shaina rode with Chaia in the helicopter.
I beat the helicopter by 20 minutes. Sat in the waiting room. Watched the end of the Browns game. They won. You know things were messed up if the Browns were winning.
Akron was great. They knew something was attacking her heart and for a couple days they did everything they could think of to try and stabilize her and keep her alive.
Three years ago this journey of hell and hope began. And one of the small meaningful acts of grace that day that we will never forget when we came into Chaia's room after a meeting.
She had been poked, prodded, jabbed, stabbed, scanned, intubated. She was beat up.
And a nurse took the time while we were out of the room to introduce Chaia to her first hair bow, to clean her up and put her in a little princess bed.
She wasn't an interesting specimen or a medical mystery.
She was our little girl. And we needed that.
We've seen God's hand all over Chaia's story. There has been a great deal of pain and heartache. But even more joy and hope.
Today it's worth remembering:
She's not dead. And God's not done.