The Bodkin family: Sam Emily, Peter, Ben, Katherine
Our son, Peter, was born in Lansing, Michigan, on the evening of October 8, 2008 – healthy and happy after a normal pregnancy. Then, suddenly, when he was about 4 hours old, he turned blue. At 5 a.m., he was diagnosed with pulmonary atresia, a serious congenital heart defect.
We first learned about Darren’s situation in March of 2012. He was three years old and living in an orphanage in Shenzhen City, China. He’d been found as an infant in a local hospital waiting room with a note presumably from his birth parents indicating his birth date and that “We hope the kind people can help him.”
It was discovered that he had multiple congenital heart defects. They were able to diagnose the problems in his region of China but couldn’t treat them due to the complexities. It was determined that he had a very short life expectancy without surgical intervention.
Our son Colt had been sick for a few weeks. What doctors initially thought was migraines was getting worse – he was suffering from painful headaches and vomiting, and he seemed to be stumbling a lot. We took him to our local emergency room, and what we learned there was beyond anything we’d imagined. A CT scan identified a large tumor in his brain that was blocking his fourth ventricle. Colt was diagnosed with a medulloblastoma, a fast-growing, high-grade tumor. He was just four years old.
We were devastated. We thought it was a death sentence for our little boy.
I remember the doctors sat us down and told us they needed to operate to remove the tumor the next day. My husband and I looked at each other, and we knew we wouldn’t be comfortable having anyone other than the pediatric neurosurgeons at University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital caring for our little boy.
NOTICE: Except where otherwise noted, all articles are published under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. You are free to copy, distribute, adapt, transmit, or make commercial use of this work as long as you attribute the University of Michigan Health System as the original creator and include a link to this article.