ADAM ... Miracle Child
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August 10, 2001
A lot has happened since 4:30 pm, May 24th, when Steven called to leave a message on my voice mail. After leaving the family's house late that night I came home still stunned at what had changed. I closed the website and replaced it with simply a photo of Adam ... the same one you saw when entering the site. Two days later I would add the song by Faith Hill. The story of how that song came to be placed on the opening page is here

I have added another section you won't find on the link buttons (left). This is a collection of some of Daisy's personal thoughts not long after the funeral along with some of my own thoughts. I have also included a poem I wrote which for a time was placed on the wall of the masoleum where Adam rests. The absence of anything from Tony is understandable. Daisy not only knows that I love and cared for Adam very much, she is used to confiding in me when it comes to Steven. Talking to me about Adam came naturally. While Tony and I remain close, we don't have that same relationship so it is understandable I would not be able to reveal much about Tony's feelings. Like most men, we often keep things inside although Tony was the first to share some things with me about what happened in Oklahoma. The difference in how they related these things differed in that Tony kept his emotions inside telling me only the events. Still, I know his heart is broken and he struggles daily with the loss just as Daisy does.  THOUGHTS

What you see below is exactly how this page looked on May 24th.

May 24, 2001
4 am (ET) Daisy talked with Steven who has been keeping unusual hours in order to keep up with Katie's schedule. Adam remains in "stable" condition with at least one parent always by his side. One floor of the hospital is set up like a hotel so Tony and Daisy were fortunate to obtain one of the rooms just a floor below Adam. One of them can get some rest but secure in knowing if anything happens they can get to PICU in just a matter of seconds. Daisy also reported that the incision has not been closed (apparently waiting for the swelling to subside) and she can see his little heart beating. While this may conjure a somewhat gruesome picture, it is probably some kind of comfort for the parents to see Adam's heart doing what it was designed to do. A heart that has been through so much over the past four years ... the heart that for a brief time stopped yesterday  ... the heart that Dr. Elkins believes may now last Adam the rest of his life and never need surgery again. 
2:30 pm (CT) At this moment Adam is undergoing a CAT Scan. It appears they were trying to bring Adam out of his coma and once again there are some serious problems. Adam also is battling a temperature of 102° F (39° C) and his blood pressure continues to fluctuate. Dr. Elkins has advised Daisy not to leave until Tuesday, at the earliest. 

May 23, 2001
8 am (ET) I wish this was good news, but it isn't. The bleeding hasn't stopped and fluid is building up behind the heart. Adam's heart stopped during the night and he was brought back through open heart massage. At 8 am (ET), the last report I had, Dr. Elkins was with Adam and the hospital chaplain has met with Tony and Daisy. If you believe in prayer, Adam needs them more than ever right now. Personally, I don't care if you don't believe in prayer ... do it anyway. This child has fought so hard to live... 
9:30 am (ET) Much better news ... Steven just called me. His mother had called home to say Adam is now in ICU after the doctor had got the bleeding stopped. If she had been told what the doctor found as the problem, Daisy didn't say. Maria reports her daughter "sounds exhausted"
3 pm (CT) Latest update comes from Tony who called home to report Adam is listed in "stable" condition and remains in ICU. By no means, out of the woods, Adam seems to have a much better prognosis than earlier this morning and continues to need your prayers.
9 pm (CT) Daisy called home, so I just got the latest from Steven regarding his little brother. Basically, no new developments ... Adam remains in "stable" condition. Dr. Elkins told Daisy and Tony that if he remains in that condition they may allow him to "wake up", an indication Adam is in a drug induced coma to allow his body to recover from the grueling operation. Whether or not he regains consciousness before Daisy returns home Saturday remains to be seen. Naturally, she would not leave Oklahoma unless there are assurances Adam is making progress. 

May 22, 2001
8 am (CT) Adam is taken up for surgery.This will be the longest six hours Tony and Daisy have ever faced and hopefully, the last of its kind. 
2 pm (CT) It won't be six hours ... Tony calls home to report Adam is still in surgery and should be out by 4 pm (CT). 
4:30 pm (CT) Daisy calls her mother to report Adam is still in surgery after 8.5 hours, but not to be concerned all is going well. Adam is still on by-pass, just a lot of work being done on the little boy. 
7 pm (CT) Adam is reported to be out of surgery and in ICU after 11 hours of surgery. At that time Dr. Elkins had not spoken yet to Daisy and Tony regarding the operation. 
9:20 pm (ET) Steven calls me to say Adam was is NOT out of surgery. Apparently the bleeding and swelling was so great they could not close up Adam's chest and were waiting for things to subside. 
May 21, 2001

At 2 pm (CT) Adam was settled in his hospital room and Tony and Daisy were waiting for Dr. Elkins to arrive. Following their meeting, Daisy called her mother (Maria) and seemed to be more positive than she had been in quite some time. The doctor explained what he would be doing tomorrow and was very positive about the success of the operation. The MOST wonderful news given the parents was that if Dr. Elkins was able to complete all the procedures he intended to do during the operation, Adam would NEVER require another surgery on his heart. That is one reason the normally two-and-a-half hour operation will more than double to something like six hours. One footnote, Adam still faces some other surgeries later, but relatively minor and do not involve his heart. 

May 20, 2001
Steven says Tony, Daisy, and Adam arrived in Oklahoma City around 11 pm (CT), last night. Adam seemed to be bored with the whole airplane thing. Aside from the turbulence on the first leg of the trip, nothing eventful happened except they got lost on the way to the hotel. I couldn't understand that since Daisy had a detailed map to the hotel downloaded from the Internet. I didn't understand until Steven surmised it was probably in her luggage ... and you guessed it! The airline shone through proudly by managing to lose it somehow. They should have had it back by this morning. 

May 19, 2001
It was a tearful goodbye at the airport and it was a bumpy ride for Adam's first-ever plane trip. The short hop from Augusta to Atlanta ran into turbulence from thunderstorms headed toward Augusta. It was the same storm that almost threatened the Travis Tritt concert where I was working. Unexpectedly I was asked to escort Augusta Chronicle (local paper) feature writer Don Rhodes backstage to present something to opening act Charlie Robison as he came off stage. My long-time connection with radio rated a personal introduction to the Lucky Dog (record label) recording artist. I took the brief opportunity to give him a couple of business-type cards with Adam's photo, website, and e-mail. He wrote a personal note to Adam on the back of one and it will be given to Tony and Daisy for safe-keeping later. For those who don't know, Charlie is the brother of songwriter Bruce Robison and husband of Emily Robison (Dixie Chicks). 

Little is said about Tony up to now. Not that he isn't doing anything, or isn't equally important, but Daisy's presence can be overwhelming in such a situation ... but his time will come. In another week, Tony will be the lone parent to stay behind with Adam, completely isolated from his wife, family, and friends in a strange city. Tony will have to become as much of a mother, as he is a father, through a slow recovery. To understand this better ... Daisy has always been like a lioness with her cubs ... protective to the point of dangerous to anyone who interferes. Even the daddy lion can get in the way and suffer an occasional "nip"! I feel sorry Dr. Elkins ... he probably doesn't understand that Daisy's questions before and after surgery will be tougher than the final exam when he graduated med school! 

May 18, 2001
Katie wakes up with a fever. Nothing is more tearing, at a mother, than knowing she has to leave in 36 hours with Adam while Katie, at age 2, may need the comfort of her mother. It would be difficult enough under normal circumstances. The others, Steven, Ryan, and Jonathan have different levels of understanding what is about to change ... Katie has no clue. All she will know is that her mother, father, and Adam are not around for a long time. Although Daisy will only be gone a week ... to a small child it may seem like years. Imagine how she will perceive the time Adam and Tony are gone! 
May 17, 2001

Daisy has been a whirlwind ... more the image of the Tazmanian Devil cartoon character, so by 11:30 pm, she has covered every detail at least a dozen times. The pent-up nervous energy won't go away. This is when Daisy realizes second only in importance to Adam's surgery is the carpets MUST be cleaned before she and Tony head for Oklahoma on Saturday with Adam. Part way through the midnight project, the Rug Doctor breaks down. This is just not fair! 
May 16, 2001

Nothing like a mini-crisis at a time like this. Looks like Katie may have been bitten by a spider. Hopefully nothing major but now Daisy will have to take her to the doctor. The one who is least concerned is Adam who hardly notices the flurry of activity. That's natural ... he is too young to understand where he is going or why. 

May 14, 2001
This is where reality sinks in that by the end of this week, three family members will say goodbye to the other four. But there is no time for emotions right now because there is so much to do in getting everything ready. 

May 13, 2001
It is Mothers Day and Daisy has been feeling the concerns, emotions, and fears this operation holds. Even though it has been in the planning stages for over a year, it has suddenly started to sink in that in just one week she will be separated from the rest of her children for the longest period ever. Steven has been to camp and traveled places with me a few times, but being separated from the other children has always been measured in hours ... never days. Tony is a man, so he has to be the strong one and act brave, even if he isn't. 

MAY 12, 2001
Situation normal! I called Steven to arrange plans to go to dinner and heard screaming in the background. Asking who got hurt, my son assured me it was nothing more than Adam and Katie fighting over a bicycle. Of course it will be Katie who misses her playmate the most when Adam leaves next Saturday.


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