It’s okay Camper, Momma and Dadda get sick too – you are being very brave, now get some sleep, I love you.”
My two-year and nine month-old son, who’s name was Camper, had the best day of his life on Saturday. Two birthday parties – one at the beach and one at his cousins’ house with great friends and family.
The following day, he woke up with a headache. He was very smart and well spoken and told us (my wife and I) that his head hurt in the morning. We assumed he was probably a little dehydrated and just not feeling the well from all the cake and party action on the previous day.
My wife had to see clients that day, so I spent the day with Camper. We watched the movieA Bug’s Life, but he was throwing up and napping throughout the day. I just thought he had a general sickness. My brother-in-law was a pediatrician at the time, so he advised us to make sure Camper stayed hydrated with some Pedialyte. We did that, then put him down for bed that night, which is when I said, “It’s okay Camper, Momma and Dadda get sick too – you are being very brave, now get some sleep. Sweet dreams. I love you.”
And to be honest, I don’t really know if I said “I love you” – I regularly tell my children that, but for the life of me, I cannot exactly remember. It feels better to think that I did, even though he knew that anyway. I told him a few times throughout the day that he was being brave, because he didn’t cry or complain at all.
He never woke up from that final sleep. We ended up taking him, unresponsive, to the trauma room that night. He had an undiagnosed brain tumor that I guess just slowly grew as he got older. Slow enough that his brain could adjust and we never once saw any symptoms. And finally, on that day, it ruptured an artery in his brain and that was the end of his very bright, very full, very short life.
Also, I wanted to add that we were able to donate Camper’s very healthy heart to a little girl that now gets to live on. We know that Camper’s time on this earth was short, but very impactful on many lives.