Monday, December 29, 2008

MY Heroes of the Year


















(The pictures of the visits with the wounded here just happen to be from The Daily Mail)



















Yes, President Bush is one of MY Heroes of the Year! No, I am not talking about his politics, or his policies. President Bush is one of MY Heroes of this Year, and any other, for a couple of major reasons.

The big reason I name President Bush a hero of mine is because of his unstinting - tireless - role as "Comforter in Chief." Oh I know his IS the Commander in Chief of the United States military, and goodness knows the msm has taunted him mercilessly about his decisions regarding his deployment of our men and women in the Global War on Terror. For what it's worth, I believe that history will vindicate the President in his decisions. However, whilst the media has continuously badmouthed, been downright insulting, and ignorant, in their treatment of the President, they have missed what I feel is a side of him that more than a few of our military heroes, and their families, have seen. Whilst the media has attacked the President at every turn, like a pack of rabid dogs, he has been quietly visiting our wounded at Walter Reed and BAMC and in many other places. Of course, the media hasn't documented the many hours he has spent at the bedsides of gravely wounded, or hugging the grieving Gold Star Families. I see two reasons for that. One, the media wasn't usually invited; for the President, and those he visited, these were private moments as he paid his respects. Two, even if the media had known about these visits, I doubt they would have reported on them. To do so, the media who spent so much energy tearing him down, would have had to admit that the President has been doing the honourable, morally courageous thing: facing the troops, and their families, who HE sent into harm's way. How do I know this? Because I am blessed to know some Gold Star Families, who have shared their meetings with the President, AND I have bothered to inform myself. There are more than a few internet 'blogs out there, that have pictures of the time that President Bush has spent with our heroes and their families. From all I can tell, for them, and for the President, the time he spends with them is personal, and never about the political. He has done it because it is the right thing to do.

Just last week the President was at Walter Reed visiting some of his troops. No, you didn't see it in the msm, but I found it, and I can bet that the soldiers he visited, will not soon forget that their 'Comforter in Chief' made the time to visit them:

President George W. Bush shakes hands with U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Kyle Stipp of Avon, Ind., after presenting him with two Purple Hearts Monday, Dec. 22, 2008, during a visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center where the soldier is recovering from wounds suffered in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Looking on are his wife, Megan, and father, Mitch Stipp. White House photo by Eric Draper










THE PRESIDENT: Every time I come here, I get amazed at the quality of care, the professionalism, and the courage of our troops....

And so this will probably be my last time coming here as the Commander-in-Chief. It gave me a great pleasure to thank all those who serve here, and all those who serve throughout our military, military medical facilities. You know, I oftentimes say being the Commander-in-Chief of the military is the thing I'll miss the most, and coming here to Walter Reed is a reminder of why I'll miss it.

Thank you very much. (pictures and text here)

President George W. Bush shakes the hand of U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Neal Boyd of Haynesville, La., after presenting him a Purple Heart during a visit Monday, Dec. 22, 2008, to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where the soldier is recovering from injuries received in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Looking on his SFC Boyd's wife, Joyce. White House photo by Eric Draper










The top picture is one of my favourites of the President. I forget where I found it, but to me it encapsulates the essence of the man. While the msm mad dogs are raining down venom and vitreol upon him, he is laughing at them. Just what it says to me anyways!

I recently came across a quote attributed to President Bush:

As US President George W Bush prepared to leave office he told ABC News: "I hope
they feel that this is a guy that came, didn't sell his soul for politics, had
to make some tough decisions, and did so in a principled way."

From where I sit, Mr President, that you did. That you did, and you ARE one of my heroes of the year.

President Bush is not my only Hero of the Year, although he is the most high profile, the most well known. My long-time readers - all two of you - will remember that last year I included the Iraqi children as my Heroes of the Year. During this year, those of us involved in the military support community have heard first hand from our troops, how our Iraqi children have made enormous progress as they have grasped the literally once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that their fledgling democracy has brought for them. We KNOW of the huge leaps born from tiny steps that have improved the lives for the brave Iraqi people, men and women, boys and girls. They are ALL heroes in my view.

In another theatre of this Global War on Terror is another group of brave heroes. As everybody must know, this war IS Global (and it is not two wars as some of the msm insist on calling it.) A story came to light recently about a group of Afghan girls who had acid thrown in their faces as they went to school one day. As we all know, up until recently, girls were not allowed to go to school under the Taliban regime, and even though some brave women held clandestine schools in private homes, it is only since the Taliban has been routed, and a government installed, that girls are free to pursue a formal education. As our troops hold back the Taliban so that the Afghan people can reconstruct their society, the thugs have renewed their attacks on their own people, in the hopes of intimidating them back into the old ways. Then comes this story of some incredible girls:


Atifa Bibi, an Afghan school girl, recovers in a hospital after two men on a motorbike threw acid on her in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Nov 12, 2008. (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)

Do you remember this story?

Afghan girls sprayed with acid in 'desperate' attack

Updated Wed. Nov. 12 2008 9:49 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

The head of the Canadian army in Afghanistan accused the Taliban of acting in "desperation" after a grisly acid attack by unidentified men on a group of schoolgirls and a suicide bombing that killed six people.

Two men on a motorcycle hurled acid at a group of eight Afghanistan school girls Wednesday in a shocking attack that is making headlines around the world.

The girls were walking to Mirwais Minna Girl's School in broad daylight in Kandahar when the attack occurred.

"The men on a motorbike were apparently unarmed but nobody stopped them," The Globe and Mail's Graeme Smith reported Wednesday from Kandahar Air Field.

Three of the eight girls were hospitalized with serious burns and others have been treated and released. U.S. military spokesmen said at least two of the girls still in hospital were blinded.

Two girls who were wearing full-length burkas were not harmed.

Video of two of the badly burned girls shows them both in a state of shock, with one barely able to open her eyes.

"This beautiful brown eyed girl will never see again," Smith told CTV Newsnet.

Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie, head of the Canadian army, said the Taliban is reverting back to the "pure terror tactics" that was more commons a few years back. "For a while they tried to take us on... now they're going back to terrorizing their own population," said Leslie.

Bibi Athifa, one of the girls who suffered acid burns to her face, said she and her friends were walking to school when two armed gunmen on a motorbike stopped.

"One guy squirted acid from a bottle on us," she said. "Nobody warned us. Nobody threatened us. We don't have any enemies," she said.

During the Taliban's rule, between 1996 to 2001, girls were banned from schools. They were also not allowed to leave their home without a male family escort.

Bibi Meryam, the aunt of a 14-year-old victim, said the family had not received any threats prior to the attack. However, she said she's considering keeping her girls at home until the security situation stabilizes in the country.

"They acknowledged that they might be waiting a very long time because security is not improving and they know that the move is shifting in Kandahar," Smith said.

Afghanistan's government also condemned the attack, calling it un-Islamic and perpetrated by the "country's enemies," a usual reference used to describe the Taliban.

"By such actions, they cannot prevent six million children going to school," the government said in a statement.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi has denied that the insurgents were involved [here]


These girls are absolutely heroes. Despite the Taliban denying that they had anything to do with this cowardly attack, these girls are determined to face all odds and continue their education:

NBC's Jim Maceda recently did a follow up report on these young heroes:

Defiant School Girls To Taliban: "You Can Spray Us [With Acid] A Thousand Times;We Will Not Stop Going To School"

Students Who Were Injured In A Recent Acid Attack In Southern Afghanistan Are Now "The Faces Of Defiance"

JIM MACEDA: Thirteen-year-old Zahara always looked forward to school, to science class and athletics, until one morning last month, walking to the Mirwais Meena Girls' School in Kandahar with her older cousin Chamsey. Here, just outside the school, her life changed.

ZAHARA: (Through translator) It was Wednesday. We were coming home from school when men on motorbikes drove by and threw something on our face.

MACEDA: Zahara thought it was water, just a prank, until it started to sting.

ZAHARA: (Through translator) My skin became green, then white and I knew something was really wrong.

MACEDA: Her cousin Chamsey screamed and passed out. She and five other girls were hospitalized with burns, all victims of a brutal acid attack by militants. In the eyes of the Taliban, girls are unholy if they go to school....


MACEDA: Most of these kids were back in class after four or five days, but their teachers say the mood has changed. There's still a strong desire to learn, of course, but now that's mixed with a deep-seated fear.

MACEDA: 'We're all afraid,' said principal Mahmoud Qaderi, 'but we don't care. We'll continue to teach and learn here, and that will defeat the enemy.' Zahara admits she's lost the joy to study, but not her dreams.

ZAHARA: (Through translator) I want to be a doctor someday and give something to my country and its children.

MACEDA: Her cousin Chamsey was left partially blind by her acid burns, but her sister had this message for the Taliban.

MACEDA: 'You can spray us a thousand times; we will not stop going to school,' she swore, in tears. Two cousins, both victims of terror, and now the faces of defiance. Jim Maceda, NBC News. (NBC's "Nightly News," 12/22/08)

[For the full video report go here] And.....for a bit of perspective about OUR heroes helping the littlest heroes? Found the following request on SA forum:

school supplies for us to give the local [Afghan] kids here, especially for the girls. At the start of this 7 years ago most of the kids here didn't have any schools and the ones they had, very few girls were allowed to go to school. Now over 90% of all girls and boys are in school. (www.soldiersangels.org)

We take so much for granted here in north America. No little girl is threatened or assaulted because they insist on going to school.

However, be that as it may, our western countries' children face different, more insidious threats. Our children are abused and killed by those closest to them; those they look to for nurturing and love. These children - our smallest, almost invisible citizens - are also my Heroes of the Year, of ANY year.

A few years back, I wrote a column about our smallest heroes. It read, in part:

THIS ONE’S FOR THE CHILDREN

A month old baby died this week, in small town USA. Police are treating the death

as a homicide.

A two year old boy, battered and bruised, is apprehended by Children’s services

in middle America on Friday and taken to a foster home, where he will no longer be

exposed to his crack addicted parents.

A baby is in critical condition in a major Pediatric Intensive Care Nursery, the

result of a shaken baby ‘incident”. ...

A 2 year old girl is still awaiting her fourth surgery as the result of an ‘accident’

in her home months ago. She is now safe in a foster home and the adult involved

in the ‘accident’ awaits trial.

A friend phones me in the middle of the night in absolute panic. She has just seen,

from her safe seat on the bus, a little boy being flung against an apartment building

wall in a neighborhood in one of the most affluent cities on this continent. ...

... if you think I exaggerate, look around your own neighborhoods,

communities. I guarantee in the time it takes you to read this column, at least one,

and probably more, child is being abused in ways unimaginable to most of us.

... Sure, we can read the mortality rates of kids in any third world country and smugly drink

our lattes and call them “uncivilized”, but really, we have nothing to be proud of.

We are every bit as uncivilized as any other country in the world where kids

are ‘lucky’ if they live beyond five years old. To me, it is a miracle of epic

proportions that kids here DO live long enough to be adults. Go to any school.

In any neighborhood, and you will see kids who have gone to school hungry or

abused in other more insidious ways. And still the politicians and the other fat

cat government agencies “study” the issues, and do nothing. ..(c) (sorry about the layout.I can't seem to fix it..)


And yes, some of these heroes have names. Take a look at Peanut. Her story will turn your hair white.:










Little Peanut is just 2 years old. We shall come back to this brave little hero's story in a minute.

Meet little Nixzmary Brown - HERO!





Nixzmary Brown (July 18, 1998 – January 11, 2006) was a seven-year-old abused child and murder victim from the Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn section of New York City, New York. Her death impacted the city's Administration for Children's Services and prompted reforms in the system.


Nixzmary Brown
Jury cries for Nixzmary Brown

Thursday, January 17th 2008, 4:00 AM

The Nixzmary Brown murder trial dissolved into tears right from the beginning, when jurors openly wept over a heartbreaking picture of the dead girl's battered body.

The color photograph - the most powerful piece of evidence in prosecutors' arsenal - provided a stark counterpoint to the defense's shocking blame-the-victim strategy.

The 8-by-10-inch picture showed the 7-year-old lying on a wooden floor, a pair of red sweatpants hanging off her malnourished frame.

Bruises covered her torso. Her half-opened eyes were blackened.

Ugly cuts bore witness to the life of pain that ended in a Brooklyn apartment two years ago,...(here)


And the list goes on and on...and on. All these brave little heroes, standing in plain view for all to see. And America is not alone in the untold numbers of these littlest heroes. Recently in Canada:


Parents Guilty in Girl's Death
Phoenix Sinclair is shown in an undated photo. The 5-year-old girl was beaten bloody with a metal rod and had her face shoved in her own vomit before one final beating left her dead on the family's dirty basement floor, a Manitoba court heard Thursday, Nov. 13. [ 2008]Phoenix’s mother, Samantha Kematch, and Kematch’s former boyfriend, Karl McKay, have been found guilty of first-degree murder.

Phoenix was a hero. She didn't stand a chance, and we can only imagine the horrors in her short life. In court, the gruesome details of her life with the monsters, was detailed and they go beyond the wildest imagining:

WINNIPEG — A five-year-old girl was beaten bloody with a metal rod and had her face shoved in her own vomit before one final beating left her dead on the family's dirty basement floor, a Manitoba court heard Thursday...

McKay's youngest son ... testified that both Kematch and McKay used to beat Phoenix, sometimes with their fists, other times with a metal rod, at their home in Fisher River, Man.

Phoenix was also shot with a pellet gun "just for the hell of it." The little girl was beaten and physically stomped on so much, her fifteen-year-old stepbrother said she just stopped crying.

After one beating, Phoenix's knuckles were cut open and became infected but she was never taken to the doctor, he said. At night, the boy said he could hear her sobbing in the basement through the vents and he would go down to check on her.

There was no heat in the basement and Phoenix would be "curled up in a little ball" without a blanket, he said.

Sometimes, Kematch would laugh while her daughter was being beaten or choked unconsciousness, he testified.

"I would look at their faces and I wouldn't see no tears or nothing," the boy said. "No remorse."

The day she died, McKay's son said his dad beat Phoenix and stomped on her head, as well as her chest. He pushed her and left her on the basement floor while Kematch watched. When the couple left the house to visit McKay's father, the boy said he went down to check on Phoenix and thought she was playing dead.

"I just touched her back," he said. "It was all cold. I put my hand on her mouth. She wasn't breathing."

When the couple returned to find Phoenix's lifeless body, the boy said they didn't show any emotion. He was told to "watch your baby sister. We're going to the dump and bury her," the boy said. "They were both in it together."

When the boy returned to his father's house several weeks later, he said the basement had been cleaned and the floor painted.

Phoenix's body was found in a shallow grave near the garbage dump in Fisher River, Man. in March 2006....[source]

"A hero is one who knows how to hang on one minute longer." - Novalis

While I was writing this piece, I found all too many of these bravest of heroes, who are in lives of epic desperation and horrors.

Kentucky State Police Investigating Baby's Death

Child Died Three Days After Being Taken To UK Hospital

POSTED: 9:37 pm EST December 22, 2008
UPDATED: 9:54 pm EST December 22, 2008

Kentucky State Police are investigating the death of a 3-month-old eastern Kentucky girl last summer.The Fayette County coroner's office said Kaylee Buchanan of Fleming County died from a head injury three days after being brought to University of Kentucky Medical Center on July 20.Trooper Ralph Lockard of the Morehead State Police post told the Lexington Herald-Leader that officials asked police to investigate because the baby's death wasn't "conducive to accidental or natural causes."...
[source]

In England, the list of these little heroes is also long - far too long. Baby P has recently figured large in the British media. The litany of the horrors this precious child suffered is almost beyond comprehension:

Baby P

Baby P's mother was arrested in December 2006, when he was nine months old, after a GP saw bruises on the boy's face. After five weeks in the care of a family friend, he is returned home.

To see the pictures of Baby P during his short life is to look in the face of one of the littlest heroes.

Baby P

In August 2007, police tell the 27-year-old mother that the Crown Prosecution Service has assessed her case and that she will not be prosecuted. A day later, Baby P is found dead in his cot. Investigating officers found the toddler's clothes stained with blood.( I have spared you the most graphic pictures I found)

As two men went on trial accused of causing Baby P's death, graphics of some of his 50 injuries are shown to the jury. These included a broken back, cracked ribs and numerous cuts and bruises. [source for all the pictures: BBC]

Last Tuesday (November 11 2008) a young mother and two men were found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a 17-month-old boy known only as Baby P.

He suffered horrific abuse, but Haringey Council in North London, which was criticised in the Victoria Climbie case, never took him into care.

Baby P
Baby P had a broken back, cracked ribs,
numerous cuts and bruises

Look at that last picture. This precious hero, reaching out to someone, despite the documented abuses he suffered. This child, despite having come to the attention of many local child protection services, was killed by people who SHOULD have nurtured him. This young hero, was also killed by the neglect of the authorities who completely failed in their duty. For a timeline of how this baby boy was abused by not only his mother and her 'friends' but failed by the people whose job it is to safeguard all children, go here. It seems that after his death, there was much wringing of hands, pointing of fingers, as all sorts of investigations were started. Yes, heads rolled and a doctor who failed to see Baby P's injuries just 2 days before he died, was suspended:

The doctor who failed to spot Baby P's injuries has been suspended from practising, the General Medical Council (GMC) has said.

Dr Sabah al-Zayyat, a locum paediatrician, examined Baby P at St Ann's Hospital in London on 1 August 2007, two days before he died.

The GMC is currently investigating the doctor's conduct in connection with the 17-month-old boy.

He died in Haringey, north London, after suffering months of abuse. ..

Dr al-Zayyat, who qualified in Pakistan and worked in Saudi Arabia before coming to Britain in 2004, spotted bruises to his body but decided not to carry out a full systemic examination because the boy was "miserable and cranky"....

Last week, the doctor issued a statement through the Medical Protection Society, which gives professional indemnity to healthcare professionals.

She said: "Like everyone involved in this case, I have been deeply affected by the shocking and tragic circumstances of this young child's death.

"My professional career has been devoted to the care of children. I will co-operate with any investigation to identify whether lessons can be learnt from this case."

Baby P died of his injuries despite repeated visits to the boy's home by the authorities.

The boy's mother and her boyfriend, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and their lodger, Jason Owen, have been convicted of causing the toddler's death and will be sentenced on 15 December.[here]

Too bloody late! As is the suspension of the "Three senior staff at north London's Haringey Council"... Suspended they may be, with full pay, and convicted the mother and her accomplices may well be, but the ONLY hero here is Baby P. The sentencing for the convicted murderers was supposed to be handed down on December 15, but now it seems that has been delayed "for legal reasons" until March or April 2009.

And this abuse and murder of our littlest heroes goes waaaaaaaaay back. It is nothing new. I found a site that actually documents many cases of child abuse being ignored by outsiders who should have done something to rescue these kids from a living hell. From 1874, comes the story of "Mary Ellen".:

In 1874, a young girl known only as "Mary Ellen", was found tied to a bed like an animal, neglected and brutally beaten by her foster parents. In 1874, animals were legally protected from inhumane treatment, children weren't...

The Department of Charities made a decision that would have grave consequences for little Mary Ellen; it placed her illegally, without proper documentation of the relationship, and with inadequate oversight in the home of ....

Etta Angell Wheeler, a caring Methodist mission worker who visited the impoverished residents of the tenements regularly, to check on the child.... She saw Mary Ellen's condition for herself. The 10-year-old appeared dirty and thin, was dressed in threadbare clothing, and had bruises and scars along her bare arms and legs.

This story actually proves the incredible spirit of our youngest heroes, and Mary Ellen lived a long and relatively stable life, having children of her own - and then grandchildren. She died in 1956. You can read her full story here.

This site has many stories like Mary Ellen, some of them much, much worse. [here]

More recently another little hero died by her mother's hand:
Mom, airman sentenced in beating death of child

Fri, Jul 17, 1998 (10:50 a.m.)

Dawn Mathiasen is going to be spending at least six years in prison in the beating death of her 20-month-old baby to death, although it was her boyfriend who killed the child.

Thursday's sentencings of Mathiasen and Nellis AFB Airman Brandon Parish focused on her because the jury that convicted him of first-degree murder already had set his punishment as life in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years....

Minutes later, after she had been described as manipulative, selfish and a liar, Mathiasen tearfully told the judge of the guilt and remorse she feels over the events that led to Samantha Storm's death on April 17, 1997.

"I trusted someone I shouldn't have," she said. "I didn't see the monster he was."

But testimony at the defendants' trial showed she had been told by Henderson police that Parish was believed to have abused Samantha on past occasions. Mathiasen specifically was instructed to keep the baby away from Parish.

But she took Samantha to Parish's quarters at Nellis and left her alone with the 21-year-old airman while going to get some fast food. While Mathiasen was away, the baby was slammed against a solid object.

"I could have protected her and I let her down, I know that," Mathiasen, 21, said as she tried to justify a lenient sentence from the judge. ...

"I don't care about remorse," Bonaventure responded. "Youth is no excuse. The baby is dead."

The judge noted that police and even a Henderson day care center took responsibility by dealing with the original abuse allegations, but Mathiasen didn't do her part.

"The message has to be sent that parents must take responsibility for their children," Bonaventure said before sentencing the woman to six to 15 years in prison. She must serve six years before she will be eligible for parole. [here, here and here]

And it seems that we, the guardians of our most vulnerable heroes, fail again. Which brings us back to my Hero of the Year who demanded (albeit unknowingly) that I write this post.

Peanut.




























The picture on the right is one of the first pictures my friend Don sent to me. That is Peanut with her Aunt Katrina before she became the hero you see in the other two pictures. Don wrote and asked if I could pray for Peanut. Before the story unfolded, I of course said YES! Prayers I can always do. So as you read this, there are prayers being said around the world for this precious hero. Remember the quote about "hero" I gave you above?

"A hero is one who knows how to hang on one minute longer."

Believe me, Peanut IS a hero. This little girl is hanging on, and fighting for her life with every breath she takes. I'll let Don's words tell you what a hero this little Peanut is:

At the age of two months Peanut, now age two years, was placed temporarily in the custody of her uncle and aunt, Rob and Katrina. She lived in their loving home until, at eighteen months, Children's Protective Services ordered her to be given back to her parents.

Due to her mother's mental condition Peanut's father agreed never to leave her alone with her mother. The first time he violated that agreement (late September, 2008) Peanut's mother filled the bathtub with cold water and placed Peanut in it and pushed her head under the water. She held her there until she quit wiggling then called 911. Peanut was revived by the EMTs, but due to the lack of oxygen suffered brain damage and is to this day in a coma.

Progress toward recovery has been slow and sporadic with setbacks coming in the form of pneumonia and bacterial infections, but she has made progress. Though the road ahead is a long one we believe that she will recover and return to Rob and Katrina.

People have come from everywhere to help Rob, Katrina, and Peanut. Most important are the prayers. They come from all over the world; from friends and strangers alike. There have been miracles of all sorts and sizes as Rob and Katrina fight for custody of their precious niece, and though there are still hurdles that custody fight is looking to favor Rob and Katrina.....at least at this point.

THAT is the short version, but Don is absolutely correct. Prayers have been answered in many ways, and despite quite a few setbacks, Peanut continues on the road to recovery. Many of us, strangers to Peanut, and Rob and Katrina, have taken this hero to our hearts. How can we not?

Rob continues to give updates as he can. Did I mention that Rob is a bagpiper? He is, and the bagpipe community has rallied around this family, staging benefits, and numerous other tangible efforts, as the prayers are lifted up around the world.

From Rob, on a Celtic community board he belongs to:

September 30, 2008

Hi Folks,

I'm Robert, and I'm peanut's uncle here in Carson City. She lives in Sacramento, CA. Thanks for your prayers, please keep 'em coming. Peanut is nip n tuck right now, we're prayin for her to live and not die. My wife & I have no tears left... Being a pastor and our faith helps a lot. ...We had peanut from the age of two months when mom 'hurt her' and CPS gave her to us. We raised her from 2 months old to over 1 1/2 years old, when her father came & took her by force. I can't say much since this IS now a criminal case. .. She turned 2 8 days ago. Mom is in county jail on atempted murder charges. I have great sorrow & pity for her, as she literally didn't know what she was doing.

But as Linz, who is one of my best friends said, please send this to anyone & everyone that you know will pray for her. It's across this country, in the UK, Europe, and still growing. I'm begging folks please pray with us. I want this kid my 'peanut' back here in Nevada with us. We raised her longer than anyone else, WE need our girl back.

Thanks for reading. God Bless and Semper Fi!

Robert

October 1

Actually saw her today for about 30 minutes. ... when we saw Peanut, she is OFF the hypothermia, is running a temp of 101.4 due to the infections & pneumonia. THey took her for another brain MRI and I don't have the results yet. But when she was 'woke up' (she's really gorked out) her eyes have tracked sound a few times, and she gripped my finger a couple of times. What a feeling!!! And on my cell phone, I have a copy of a tune that I did for our band's 2nd CD, and I played it for her. I think or at least I like to think she had a response to it. She loves the pipes and loved thumping on our QM's tenor drum....

October 16

She is off the vent and breathing on her own. Good sign #1. Great O2 sats and her little heart is chugging away nicely. She has an IV in her foot providing her with fluids and some meds, as well as a nasogastric tube for nourishment. She is still on some sedation as the say her brain will on occasion ‘storm’ basically meaning its over working. ....Good sign #2, she reacts to voices that are familiar to her, such as her father, Katrina, and myself. When she ‘comes around’ and hears us, she starts to kind of spastically move her arms, feet & legs a little, and move her head a skosh. She also did this when the nurse gave me permission to play my electronic bagpipe. When she was with us, when I’d play it, she’d jump up & down and ‘dance’ to the tunes- she loved it! So I took this as a good sign, as did the nurse. I believe she knew me & Kat were there. We had 2 of the most wonderful hours with her, and it was such a blessing! We praise God for those 2 hours, just us & Peanut. Now, Good sign #3, she is making some noise. When she would hear our voice, she would what would best be described as a cross between a moan or like she was trying to cry. Maybe it was me, but I think she was frustrated in not being able to communicate. Good sign #4, she is over ALL the infections! Hallelujah!! God is answering those prayers y’all!!

We did learn today, that with this kind of injury, it will take a LONG time for healing & whatever progress that there will be to take place. We learned that when Peanut was put in the ambulance, the paramedics spent 20 minutes doing CPR before they got her heart going & breathing again! Thank GOD they didn’t stop! So she was gone for 20 minutes, and that isn’t counting however long it was she was drowned in the tub. It’s a miracle she even came back....

In Rob and Katrina's name I must thank everyone for all of the prayers and support. It has meant so very much to them on the darkest of days. We ask that the prayers for a FULL recovery and FULL custody by Rob and Katrina continue. We have faith that those prayers are heard. God Bless you all.

October 30

...We had learned that the day before (Thursday) that they did the surgery to place a feeding tube into her stomach and abdomen. They said this went well. When I saw Peanut, she was still comatose, but heard that she was making more sounds and had tracked light and sound with her eyes a few times. This did not happen with me there. She did ‘come around’ some and did make more sounds. It’s kind of a cross between a moan and like wanting to start to cry. It is definitely a heartbreaker to hear this. And it lasts for quite a while. She would go for 10-15 minutes then stop for a few minutes then start up again. She would also open her eyes randomly, but again was seeing through me not at me. And it crushing to see & hear this little angel like this and not be able to do anything to make it better...

The biggest blessing was when after combing her hair the nurses asked me if I’d like to hold her. What a blessing- it was like Christmas Easter, July 4th, and my birthday all rolled into one! I sat in a chair and they handed her to me. She was limp as a rag doll. When I mentioned this to the nurse, she responded rather frankly and said “yep she is. But remember she’s still alive and they didn’t expect her to live.” Once again my excitement at her progress was jerked back into cold reality. But I got to hold my Peanut for 1 whole blessed hour, and like the time I held her before she went back to her parents, I cried my eyes out... what a joy....

November 17

The next morning found us getting on the road to Sacramento to see Peanut. We picked up Katrina’s mom who lives in Sacramento and took her with us to the hospital. Not many people there since it was Saturday. And it was just Peanut and the 3 of us! I got to hold her first, then I placed her into her grandmothers arms. What a blessing to Katrina & I to see her mom hold her granddaughter! And it definitely made Katrina’s mom’s day to hold her. She couldn’t hold her long as she is pretty weak & fragile, so I then placed Peanut into my wife’s arms. Again, what a joy & blessing, as this was the first time Katrina & her mom have been able to hold Peanut. Then after about an hour, I held her again, and finally put her back into her crib. ...

Peanut has really improved since the last time we saw her. First is her eye tracking. Before I touched her or picked her up, when I leaned over the bed, she opened her eyes and looked at me. Then she would try and follow the different voices with her eyes....

November 27

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

As I start my day, I want to share with y’all the latest Peanut update. Every time we see her God amazes us with her progress!...

Speech therapy arrived as I was getting ready to play my electronic bagpipe for her. Therapist asked if I would play to her left side to see if she would turn her head that way (against her turning it to the right) to track the music with her eyes or head, WHICH SHE DID! And that’s not all, as I was playing, she actually cracked a smile for the briefest of moments! I was so stunned that I stopped playing, and we were all saying “did you see that” and started cheering and clapping and she did it again! And then again! What a stunner! It was a moment we’ll never forget. Then the therapist did some oral care and showed us what she would like us to do when we come to visit. So far, so good...

I really HAVE edited what I have shared with you all here. But I am sure you can see WHY little Peanut IS one of my Heroes of the Year! Peanut really IS determined to live, and I am convinced that she WILL live, and always surrounded by the love and nurturing that her Uncle Rob and Aunty Katrina have proved they know how to do!

I have shared with you here a few little heroes with huge hearts who were unable to survive past the abuse and agonies inflicted on them in their short, painful lives. There are many more whose voices were violently silenced. It would take me many books to tell you asbout each of them. For now, these few heroes here are representative of the many you and I will never know.

My hero, Peanut, is also representative of the bravest of heroes that I will ever be priviledged to know. Her tenacity, coupled with the love and prayers, has me believing that Peanut's life is going to be long and full - blessed, - with only the most beautiful that life has to offer. If you want to read more about this special Hero, you can go to the board I took the excerpts from: Here. On page 2, you will also find a link to an "Ode to Peanut" which was written by one of the community members. It IS bagpipes - of course - and yes, it IS beautiful.

Almost as beautiful as the soul that shines so brightly from one of my most precious Heroes of the Year: Peanut.

It might have appeared to go unnoticed,
but I've got it all here in my heart....

You can fly higher than an eagle,
'cause you have the wind beneath your wings.

(with apologies - kinda - to Bette Midler!)

Fly, sweet Peanut, fly! You ARE my HERO!


4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Homerun! Touchdown! Five Stars!! How else can I say that this post is outstanding? Excellent job, Brat.

Sylvia

Ky Woman said...

You picked your Heroes well, Brat. As I was reading your story, my mind was fresh with memories of my grand-daughter whom I took home earlier. At the age of 5, she is the love of my life. As are all my grandchildren.
It is beyond my comprehension how anyone could do such atrocities to those little ones. Don't they know how blessed they were to have been given a child from God? From the stories you have researched, it appears not.
May God have mercy on their souls. I don't think I could. Thank GOD that they will have to answer to HIM for all the torture they brought to bear on his children.
Prayers for Peanut from me, too.

Oh, just so you know, I agree with President Bush being a Hero. Sigh...I'm going to miss him.

Much love and hugs from Ky...

Findalis said...

Very moving. In this nation if you are angry with a neighbor and want to harm him or her just call child protective services. You don't even have to give your name. That is why the system is over flowing and can't work. Too many false reports by vindictive people, not enough social workers and too little time. The truly needy child is left out and is allowed to die.

It should be a criminal act to make a false report. For the manpower wasted might kill a child in need.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Brat for a very touching post. Actually, touching is not the word for it. It brought tears to my eyes....wonderfully written, and a powerful message.

I have daily contact with Peanut's aunt and uncle, and it's hard to express how deeply they feel the love of people from all over the world.

Rob and Katrina are marvelous people with now but one aim in life; to bring Peanut home and love her. That's something that cannot be done without the will of God, and the prayers that go up on their behalf are precious beyond words.

Thank you for this post and thank all of you for your prayers. You are the best.

Don