The things I remember

June 21st, 2017

Pie Man Sticks His Toungue Out

I’ve noticed over the last few years I have been compressing all my sadness into the last day or two of Pie Man’s anniversary and you know, I’m sure that’s fairly normal given the whole “life gets in the way” thing.  And can you believe how time has passed?  In September, Wyatt will have been 10-years-old.  Next year at this very time, it will be the 10-year anniversary of his death. 10 years!  I remember the first year anniversary where we packed our house in San Marcos with friends and family to unveil “A Slice of Life with Pie Man“, our 30-minute movie honoring Wyatt’s life and impact on our family.

Ugh, ten years are almost here.

And speaking of remembering things, I have all these little memories.  Just random little tidbits in the overall picture.

So as I reflect on my son’s life (and death), I thought maybe I’d share some of them with you today.  Here it goes in no particular order whatsoever.

  • The night Wyatt truly died (Saturday, June 21st, 2008), I had dinner with my father and his family at BJs Brewhouse.  I have lots of little memories from this night:
    • I was informed by ESPN Sportscenter on the BJ’s tv’s that my awesome pitcher for my baseball fantasy league went on the disabled list (DL).  BTW, I’m still in the same fantasy baseball league (with the majority of the same folks) to this day.
    • My brother’s step-daughter (at the time) who was like 15 told me “he’ll be all right”
    • Parker ran a race with one of the other kids (Steven) and got smoked, like, badly… lol!
    • Afterward, went to a local bar that night with my brother Dustin.  He ordered us Patron silver martinis (straight), shaken over ice, with a salt and sugar rim.  By far the best tequila drink I’ve ever had yet I’ve never ordered that again.
  • I’ll never forget the look of suffering on my wife’s face when she walked into the room after I had just learned of Wyatt’s neurological failure.  It was a mix of disbelief and sadness and yet she was also so miserable due to the process of being worked up as a live donor.
  • Dr. Weiss.  The guy who came down and gave me the news on the lack of Wyatt’s pupil response.  He reminds me of Seth Rogan.  But obviously, when I asked him how we fix this problem, his delivery of “it’s usually fatal” [when referring to Wyatt’s condition] was not funny.
  • There are things about Wyatt’s funeral I remember.
    • I was late to it by a good 10-15 minutes.  Everyone was just sitting there waiting.  I even got some shit for it from the pastor.  Seriously.
    • So yeah, was late to my sons funeral.  I realized before hand that I accidentally left an HDMI cable at home that I needed to project my son’s video montage and I insisted I go home to get it (I’m so glad I did, it literally made the funeral).  Also, the main reason I was so late was because I got on the wrong on-ramp to the freeway (I headed north when I should’ve headed south).  Was very lucky there was one more off-ramp to turn around on (at the military base) or I would’ve been stuck going North on the I-5 at Camp Pendleton where there’s no off ramps for like 10-15 miles!
    • I spoke at the funeral.  I barely remember what I said, but I did take 2 warm tequila shots right before I spoke in front of the 30-40 people who were there.
    • My buddy Bill gave me a bottle of Grey Goose which is what he drank at his infant son’s funeral (his son passed away from SIDS in his crib).  Shortly after, Bill stopped drinking and is 7-years sober.
    • Afterward, we went back to our house and had a poker tournament.  I was really drunk and guilted people into letting me win.  Not really on purpose, but it was what it was.  Thanks to all of you who went with it.  My long-time-friend Dustin later told me how uncomfortable that was.  I get it.  And all I can say is all who participated did us right and we thank you and love you.
  • I loved the Sub-Marina being right next to Rady’s.  I had lots of Italian subs. People would help us by bringing food because the hospital food sucked so bad. One out-of-state colleague bought us Pizza Hut pasta which was quite a new offering for them (it was delicious). And of course, we ate a ton of McDonalds since there was a McDs located within Radys (it’s now a Subway)
  • I spent a lot of time one-on-one with Parker
    • Parker and I fell asleep on the couch watching “Surf’s Up”.  To this day, I not only adore that movie, but it brings me back to that couch.
    • I took him to Sea World one day.  We went on the sky tram over the bay.
    • He and I spent lots of time in the car driving to and from Radys, not really saying anything.
    • One of my happiest moments was when Wyatt was released from Rady’s prematurely and Parker had fallen asleep in his car seat as we waited for him and mom to come down.  Wyatt was strapped into his seat and started grunting and coo’ing at him but Parker didn’t notice because he was out for the count.
  • The day Wyatt officially passed, I asked my mom if we should stay in LA and she advised that we should just pack up and leave.  That’s what we did.  She was right.
  • It was soooo fucking quiet our first night back.  No little baby sounds coming from Wyatt’s room which were a 9-month staple.  Worst. Night. Ever.
  • My wife and I made love in complete despair that first week, almost like a release of stress.  It wasn’t very fun but yet very much needed.  We both agreed in that instant we would have another child (and then we had two!).
  • I completely melted down to my father when we were in the process of getting Trisha worked up as a living donor.
  • The shock of losing Wyatt was crazy.  I remember just sitting in a chair that same day while a butt-load of our friends and family packed up our rented LA house.  Then I was in the backseat of the car.  Then I was home.
  • We took Parker to see the first Kung-Fu Panda in LA one day.
  • I remember the day Wyatt was to be airlifted to LA.  They hopped him up on drugs and he was super goofy, like laugh-out-loud hilarious.  Dr. Newton and all of us had a big laugh at how silly he was.
  • I went to Kinkos to send our real-estate agent the final signed paperwork to close on our 8th St. Louis investment property (damn we did good on that until the economy crashed a few months after Wyatt’s death in 2008).
  • The second or third day Wyatt was at Rady’s, he had an allergic reaction to something and ballooned all over.  Face, lips, arms, feet, etc.  It was utterly horrific (I even have a picture of it and it’s really hard to look at).
  • Parker loved taking the bus in LA thanks to our bus rides to the hospital!
  • The pillows at that LA house were literally perfect.  I’m still looking for pillows that match the quality and balance of soft yet supportive.
  • I remember coming back to sign paperwork on that fateful day (Sun, June 22) and seeing Wyatt’s body.  It was completely purple and lifeless.  Like straight out of a movie.
  • When Wyatt had passed, Trisha held him in her arms and we must’ve said “I’m sorry” at least a hundred times.  We tried so hard to prevent what happened and couldn’t and to this day I’m still so sorry for all the pain and suffering he went through. As his dad I will be forever haunted by not being able to protect him the way he needed to be.  It’s not right that he was so tortured physically.  I kinda wish he just would’ve passed away in his sleep the first night.
  • If you look at our hospital pictures and videos, the majority of them have Wyatt smiling or sticking out his tongue.  He was so happy and loving and trusting toward us no matter how many needles, pills, machines, etc. bothered him.  He was sick, jaundiced, covered with rash, etc. yet was clearly as in love with and trusting in his family as we were with him, literally until the last week of his life.
  • My aunt Judy’s horror when I told her about what was going on (she was the first to hear from me that Wyatt was probably gone after my chat with Dr. Weiss).
  • My brother-in-law Andrew breaking down and saying good-bye to a lifeless, yellow Wyatt as Trisha held him (he’s the only person I have a vivid memory of saying good-bye even though dozens of people came through to do so).

I could go on-and-on.  I love and miss you Wyatt.  And I’m so very sorry.

–Corey

Just Re-Read my Blog from 8 Years Ago

June 21st, 2016
Pie Man Sticks His Toungue Out

Click Photo to Read May 22-Jun22 2008 Blog Chronicling Wyatt’s Story

I don’t have a ton to say here, I realize the world has moved on from 8 years ago and you are far more worried about Trump vs. Hillary, Guns and Massacres, Trannies in bathrooms, Lebron bringing a trophy to Cleveland, etc.  But on the 8-yr anniversary of the evening that I’m pretty sure I witnessed the death of my 9-month-old son, I decided to re-read the blog posts I added to the interwebs at the time to try and make sense of it all while keeping people updated.

Knowing what I know now, the optimism portrayed by these “suckers” posting the content on the blog almost makes me nauseous but the 8-year removed realist (and relatively happy man) in me understands better what truly happened to this family.  And yeah, I’m older, wiser and probably a better human being because of it all if that doesn’t just reek of irony and just-injustice.

Regardless, I am utterly heartbroken how the shoe just completely dropped on my family from post #1 on May 22 through the final announcement on June 22, 2008 and now we have to try and grapple with our loving memories of Wyatt every year while cursing the fates and knowing what it’s like to see the curtain of stability pulled out in front of your eyes by some fragile Wizard just pulling the strings.

Wyatt would be 8 years old today.  He’s not even known by his younger twin brothers other than a set of 1’s and 0’s making up a beautiful digital image displayed on our 5th gen Apple TV slideshow.

And yet, there’s something so real, and physical about him that resides in all of us that I just can’t help but break down into an emotional mess around this time of the year.

That’s all I have, but feel free to see the attached for what an incredible journey it was to follow along in 2008 as Wyatt met his demise at the hand of all of us who didn’t have the will to protect him and keep him safe from the harm that was headed his way.

Godspeed Little Pie Man, I miss you with every waking moment of my being.

Love, Dad.

Click Here to Read the Blog from May 22-Jun 22 2008

 

Here comes Wyatt’s birthday (2014)!

August 30th, 2014

DSC01723The thing is, I’m not excited about my sons birthday.  I’m pretty upset about it this year.  This year, it feels more like the anniversary of his death than the day he was born into our lives  Not sure what has changed, not sure if there’s one specific thing that leads me to this feeling, but overall, I’m just flat out bummed about it.  That’s not to be mistaken for the happiness I feel for spending time with my family at Disneyland which we’ve continued to make the annual tradition on his birthday since the day we lost him.  But I don’t know, this year, we’re going on a “sick day” from dad and barely spending any time acknowledging this amazing moment in our lives (the birth of our second son).  It’s feeling a bit formulaic this year.  Kind of like “hey, remember when you had that son named Wyatt and this was his birthday, you should probably acknowledge that!”  All the while, life is occurring all around us (work for both the husband and the wife, kids school, financial hardship, new dog, diabetes, etc.)

So why Disneyland?

The fact of the matter is, when Wyatt passed on June 22nd, 2008, we only had a few months to figure out how we would handle (celebrate) his birthday.  We chose Disneyland as the destination to remember and celebrate his life and at the time, only Parker would accompany us to the “Happiest Place On Earth” to remember his brother which I’m not sure he remembers much of considering he was only 3-ish years old at the time.  The hard truth is we needed an escape and damned if Disneyland didn’t provide it for us.  Thank the all-mighty it did because who knows what crazy thing we would’ve invented to remember such a tragic, horrible story that led to Wyatt’s passing.

You know what though, it happened.  We had fun.  We realized that we could celebrate Wyatt’s life that day and I look forward to a few days from now when we can celebrate him again and put our own lives on hold so that he can remind us of the wonderful things he represented.  He was such a beacon of joy and it carried through on his birthday when we headed toward Anaheim California to the Happiest Place on Earth regardless of whether he was tphoto-2here with us in person.

I miss Wyatt.  And even many years later as we also have to “celebrate” Parkers diagnosis of diabetes (which happened as we arrived in Anaheim to celebrate Wyatt’s birthday in 2011), I can only say that that it helps to go back to the “scene of the crime” and be there with the fam as we cruise down Main Street toward the Pirates of the Caribbean in anticipation of the thrills we get being a part of the perfect theme park that has masqueraded as our escape from pure grief on the day Wyatt was born and Parker was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

In the end, I don’t have much to say.  I just want to recognize that Wyatt has never been missed more and that this year, for whatever reason has been harder than most.  I can’t wait to get to Disneyland to help me channel that sadness into more of a celebration for my son.

It’s so needed.  It’s so overdue.

Happy birthday Wyatt.  Happy diagnosis day Parker (better than losing you).  Now lets rock all the rides and get our fun on!

–Dad (Corey)

 

 

It’s a Mystery, When Did Pie Man Leave Us?

June 21st, 2014

I can’t blame you for not reading this post.  I certainly can’t blame you for not sharing it.  For the most part, this post is for me and my family but I publish it publicly because maybe someone, somewhere will be brave enough to read, brave enough to feel, brave enough to cry, and brave enough to let it affect them in a positive way, even if it’s to hug their kids or think twice about taking antibiotics for an ear infection.

Lets get started.

Taken June 21, 2008

Taken June 21, 2008

So if you know Wyatt’s Story, you know that he had an allergic reaction to Amoxicillin (the most common antibiotic prescribed for an ear infection), went into liver failure, was sent through a 30 day nightmare of hospitals and uncertainty (from May 22nd through June 22nd, 2008), then finally, ended up needing a liver transplant while under the care of the UCLA Medical Center which was in the top five “best hospitals in the country” in 2008 according to U.S. News.

What you may not know without reading the full, detailed story I wrote the day after he died, is that he was in line for a life-saving transplant that was certain to turn it all around but everything changed six years ago, the evening of June 21, 2008.

At this time, my wife Trisha was being prepped for being a live liver donor (which in itself is a crazy story we’ll need to share some day) so she was out of commission when it came to being with Wyatt at this point in the process.  She was going to go under the knife and save her sons life and this meant that she could not be there for him in his last few days.

My Dad and I were at the hospital to see Wyatt finally have to be “intubated” which is essentially, putting him under and giving him a tube down the throat to ensure he can breathe freely.  Keep in mind, he’s 9-months-old and his Father (me) and Grandfather (Grandpa John) are going to have to see this through by his side.  But something went very, very wrong and while it seemed at the time that things were corrected, I now believe that this moment quite possibly could’ve been the thing that cost him his life.  Here’s what I write in “Wyatt’s Story:  A Father’s Retelling of How the Health System and one of our Nations Best Hospitals Failed a 9 Month Old in Need of a Liver Transplant“.

“From what I understand, it is standard procedure to take an MRI of a patient who is recently intubated. But as they worked on getting him prepped and moved over to the portable bed, something began to happen. The nurse suddenly became very determined and focused. The help from the rest of the staff all began to closely monitor his numbers on the portable machine. The air was thick with tension. Something was wrong.

Wyatt’s oxygen saturation levels were dropping and they didn’t know why. They began fidgeting with the tube in his throat talking aloud about what could be going wrong. Several additional staff members began circling his area and it wasn’t long before he was being watched by a good half dozen staff members of the PICU, if not more. I just sat there, I felt the features of my face become that of someone who was in utter shock and horror. All the while, Wyatt, even though he was heavily sedated and continued to get a bunch of meds pumped into him in rapid succession, continued to move and jitter, almost as if he was trying to fight whatever it was that was bothering him.

It’s very hard for me to know exactly how much time had passed. It felt like hours, but probably wasn’t more than maybe a half an hour, maybe even less. There was something else… when they attempted to move him back to his bed, I remember seeing a moment where the staff held his body and lifted but his head was not supported. His head dropped quickly as it was very limp and heavy and I honestly don’t remember if it had hit anything, but I do remember thinking “yikes, careful!” One of the nurses said something about it, but didn’t seem all too concerned with the incident. But it definitely sticks out in my mind and little did I know that it would come full circle in the near future.

Finally, things began to calm down a bit. Wyatt was back in his bed (still not resting very peacefully, his hands and feet were continuing to move lightly yet sporadically). The doctors finally had a chance to tell me what was going on. Basically, for some reason he was now bleeding into his lungs. This is a problem for patients with acute liver failure because the liver controls clotting of the blood (among other things) and when the liver has failed far enough, internal bleeding can happen spontaneously or can even be caused by the littlest irritation.”

Remembering Pie Man before the hospital

Remembering Pie Man before the hospital

I now look back on this moment, this day six years ago and I’m pretty certain that THIS was the day Wyatt passed away although there’s no way I could ever prove it.  This was the moment that caught up to the Doctors at UCLA who for some reason, continued to run just ever so slightly behind the curve compared to Rady’s at San Diego and his family who continually advocated that the situation was more dire than it always seemed.  Reality had finally caught up to them in the form of blood in Wyatt’s lungs which I believe led to too much medication in attempt to try and save him which ultimately led to a neurological failure that we and “most” of the staff weren’t aware of until morning (and I won’t even get into the conspiracy theory stuff that we saw this night and the next, maybe a future post).

To conclude, I can’t prove it.  I never will.  But June 21st, 2008 will go down in my own memory and experience as the true day that Wyatt passed away.  The day that the Doctors finally caught up to what we were telling them but by then it was too late.  And while someday, I may tell you all the story of the smoke and mirrors they played with us that led to us realizing his fate on June 22nd, 2008, I will never forget the horror and fright we felt as these people fumbled and stumbled over Wyatt’s intubation on this evening six years ago.

To this day, I will be haunted by this event.  Haunted by dinner at BJs afterward.  Haunted by the chilled Patron martini I drank that night afterward with my brother.  Haunted by the feeling that this was the moment that the #3 best hospital in the U.S. completely imploded and lost my son right before my eyes as we hoped and dreamed of his life-saving transplant that never materialized the next day.

June 22nd, 2008 was the day we said good-bye, but I truly believe, June 21st, 2008 was the definitive outcome for WHY we had to say good-bye on June 22.

I sure love my Pie Man, I really wish he could be with us today.

–Corey

 

These people cost a little boy his life and didn’t even say “sorry”…

June 14th, 2014

DSC01294If you follow the Wyatt Leamon Foundation or our family on Facebook, then you know that the anniversary of Wyatt’s passing is nearly upon us (June 22nd, 2014 is the 6th anniversary of his passing).  For us, it’s always a time of reflection and sadness and my next post will probably revolve around the meaning of dates because that one’s long overdue.  But in the meantime, I had a conversation with some co-workers and friends the other day that I thought I’d share.

We were discussing how my friend had moved into his brand-new house and how his new washer and dryer set had been delivered with a huge gash on it.  Upon dealing with the back-and-forth damage claims process, he was pretty outraged that the delivery guys claimed no responsibility for it.

It got me thinking… on a much more devastating level, the doctors at UCLA, the insurance company and the Pediatrician who prescribed the deadly antibiotic that conspired to take my sons life were like these delivery guys.  From the story he told, these guys weren’t evil people.  They were just doing their jobs, being human and probably, having to “tow the line”, corporate-style.  The time wasted, the anger from the dishonesty and the lack of ownership of the negative outcome took a toll on my friend which resulted in a pretty bad couple of days.

Zoom out to the scale of our tragic story and you essentially have the same story just at a different altitude and impact.  If you don’t know what I’m referring to, you probably want to check out Wyatt’s Story online to better understand what happened to our family and our little “Pie Man”.  But here’s the bullet-based cliff notes:

  • Wyatt had an ear infection and was prescribed an anti-biotic by his Pediatrician (he subsequently went into liver failure because of an allergic reaction to the medicine)
  • He was declared in need of a liver transplant in San Diego but his insurance company refused to cover the operation in SD and he had to be transferred to UCLA Medical Center
  • The UCLA Doctors essentially ignored the treatment history that took place in SD and started over, costing my son precious time to save his life and ultimately, he passed away under their watch before a liver transplant could take place

IMG00146The crazy part is, just like the story of my friend and his washer… the people who were responsible never ever said they were sorry!  Yes, you read that right.  Not once, not from our Pediatrician, our insurance company or the Doctors who watch Wyatt slowly whither away and die in front of our eyes never, ever once said that they were sorry.

Why?  Why why why why why???

I’m sure there’s some sort of liability protection bullshit that went on here but all I can say is that our family was left devastated.  A happy healthy boy ripped from his beautiful life and his devastated family watching it all happen despite the faith and trust they put into these people and the system that employs them.  And we didn’t even get an “our bad”, “I’m sorry”, “mea culpa”, “oops”, “we made a mistake”, “if only we had known…”.  Nothing.

In the end, we’re six years removed from the passing of our little Pie Man and this experience has given us so much to question, so much to consider, with a deep perspective that now shapes our new world in ways that no one could understand without having been there.  And out of the ashes I can’t say that we haven’t gone in great directions, with big victories and happy days for our family that I am proud to say could’ve been a pipe dream had we let these people destroy us given the circumstances for how we (and Wyatt) were wronged.

That being said, whether it’s a few bad days from a damaged washer or whether it’s a lifetime of sadness and reflection year in and year out due to this sad, preventable tragedy, the least these people could’ve said was:  “I’m sorry”.

I have a feeling we’ll be waiting a lifetime to hear those words from those involved.

–Corey

 

 

Lost My Shit Today… Here’s Why

May 21st, 2014

So even though no one likes to have a bad day we all do, that’s life right?  I kinda had a bad day but for the most part, it was #1stworldproblems type stuff (tough work day but in the end, give me a break, I love my job and am very fortunate to have the kind of job I have).  Still, I did not enjoy today and look forward to erasing that shit from my existence and making something really good out of it.

So why the hell am I so damn sad today?

Well, if you know Wyatt’s Story, you know that in a couple days, we start our somber period where we basically re-live the 30-days when Wyatt was hospitalized and then ultimately passed away (May 22-June 22).  Now I ain’t gonna mince words.  That period was the fucking worst nightmare any parent could ever live through and it changed me deep down to the core.  But hey, this is the 6th year anniversary and it should be a hell of a lot easier right?

Not exactly.

Pie Man and his Tools!

Unfortunately, for the first time since he passed away, this is the first anniversary where I don’t have any outlet.  No major videos to produce, celebrations in his honor, websites to launch or projects that will honor and cherish him.  Every year before, I had that thing that would take this terrible, terrible experience and turn it into a positive, something that would help others.

Don’t get me wrong, I will love, remember and cherish Wyatt in the next month in my own personal way and with my family and I will always express how deep that love goes any chance I get.  But the reality is that life is in the way.  We do have wonderful things in the mix including a brand-new diabetic pup, a couple of twins turning (OMG) FIVE, Parker just turned 9 and lots of great things going on both personally and professionally.  Plus, we have some great things for the WLF simmering until the time is right (maybe later this Winter, we’ll see).

Fast forward to six-years later and I’m finding a new, sad, but ultimately necessary level of grief that doesn’t include a major “Wyatt” project on the agenda to be ready by June 22.  And you know what?  I need to be ok with that.  It doesn’t mean I’ve “moved on”, or that “time heals all wounds” or even that I’m just in a better place (or not).  It just means that I will have to love and remember and grieve a difficult anniversary for my beautiful little Pie Man in a different way and that emotion has bubbled to the surface a bit early this year due to that uncertainty for how this goes.

Anyway, I know tomorrow will be a new day and I’m going to accomplish great things and be with great people that help shape the great outcomes I’ve been thankful to experience so far in life.  But in the meantime, this year, I’m going to just have to accept how much I miss Wyatt and be ok with channeling that into alternate energies as I continue to live and be happy just like we chose to do so even weeks after he passed.  I know he wants that happiness for us and I wouldn’t trade this next 30 days for anything if it meant I couldn’t have ever had him in my life.

The takeaway?  I’m cool with losing my shit today.  And in the next 30 days, I may lose my shit again once or twice.  But you know what?  I’m going to do some amazing shit too.  And Wyatt’s going to be there guiding me either way.

–Corey

Would we rather have Wyatt or our Twins?

April 7th, 2014

This is one of the craziest questions that our family continually deals with.  What am I referring to?  I’ll recap…

Parker and Wyatt

Parker and Wyatt

In 2008 our family lost a little boy named Wyatt.  He was our 2nd child and was a beautiful addition to our family that we could never ever replace.  But as fate would have it (and trust me, we don’t believe much in fate around here), his light would burn out and our lives would never be the same.

Wyatt was our 2nd and final child.  In fact, I was discussing a vasectomy with my Doctor when Wyatt was about 6 months old.  For whatever reason, I ignored the call from my Doctors referral (I was in an HMO at the time) and never responded to the message on my voicemail.  I basically told myself that once Wyatt made the one-year mark, I would talk to them again.

Alas, it never happened.  Wyatt passed away at 9-months from an allergic reaction to Amoxicillin prescribed to him from his Pediatrician for an ear infection.  You know Wyatt’s Story and if not, click here to read about it before moving on.

But here’s the thing.  If you know our story, it didn’t end with Wyatt.  A year later we were pregnant with twins!  Our little guys Morgan and Warren were born in 2009, a little over  a year after Wyatt passed away and as you can imagine, our lives were never the same.  I did finally get that vasectomy and after having 4 boys, we’ve been completely fulfilled.  But damn the crazy questions remain about what would’ve happened and what could’ve been…

Now, it’s 2014 and our twins are almost 5.  We’re heading into a great year and damn, finally, our twins are the beautiful blessing in our lives that we always dreamed of.  At first, they were hell, don’t get me wrong.  Having twins is a jacked up situation that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.  Very difficult to raise and feed and sleep and live while twins are demanding your care and attention.  But ultimately, by the time they turned 3 to 4, that’s when the turn for the better occurred and I can honestly say our twins were just such a wonderful part of our lives.

And here we are.  On the verge of a 9-year-old Parker and 5-year-old twins, Morgan and Warren.  And Pie Man would be 7 this year.  And we love all of them so much that as I write this, I’m tearing up.

But where does Wyatt fit?  The truth is, if Wyatt hadn’t passed away, I wouldn’t be writing this.  He would be nearing seven this year and the twins wouldn’t even be a footnote in our lives, not even a figment of our imagination.  They never would’ve entered our lives because I would’ve had a vacectomy and it would be us and Parker and Wyatt.  That would be that and I’m sure our lives would’ve been awesome.

But that’s not how things went.  And now we have the spirit of Wyatt who will always be our 2nd child and we love him so much.  But could we imagine giving up our twins to still have him with us?  Wow, what a tough thing to ponder!  I can’t even remotely give you an answer.  There’s a part of me that thinks that maybe there’s some crazy universe where Wyatt didn’t pass away and we had an “oops” we’re pregnant afterward that led to twins and now it’s four-boys.  Parker, Wyatt, Morgan and Warren, totally consuming our lives!  And wow, how awesome would that be?  But the truth is, it’s so highly unlikely.  The twins came after we lost Wyatt and they came after a corner was turned with the passing of my little Pie Man.  The honest-to-God-truth is that we only had the twins because we lost Wyatt and decided to try one more time for another child.

The Leamon Family, Corey, Parker, Morgan, Warren

The Leamon Boys, Corey, Parker, Morgan, Warren

Here’s the thing.  I miss Pie Man so much.  I miss him with every little part of my being.  At the same time, I love my twins and the life we’ve created since.  We are such a better family having learned the lessons that Wyatt taught us.  Whether it involves the food we eat, the healthy lives we’re living, the new friends we’ve made… everything we do today is owed to a little 9-month-old baby who touched our lives and made us the people we are today.

I don’t have an answer.  Would we trade a life with Pie Man alive and well versus the life we lead today with our newfound lease on life and a set of twin boys we could never live without?  I just don’t know.  I just can’t fathom what that would be like even as I yearn to have that little boy with us today.

I guess, somehow, we try to live with all of the above.  Wyatt is gone physically, but he’s here spiritually and emotionally and he drives us through our lives with the family we have today and I guess that’s our answer.  We have what we need and continue to move forward, live our lives and love every minute of it with the cards we’ve been dealt.

As always, we appreciate that you’ve spent the journey with us and follow our story.

Love and thanks from the Leamon clan and we’ll keep checking in with these amazing questions and lessons that we have to offer as we live out this adventure we share with each other..

–Corey

A New Leamon Boy…..

April 4th, 2014

As some of you may know, our oldest boy, Parker (Wyatt’s older brother), has Type1 Diabetes.  He was diagnosed at age 6, about two years after our little Wyatt passed away.   Parker and Wyatt share the same Autoimmune “family” of disease that has plagued our family.

Toward the end of last year, we got serious about a new venture in our lives.  We decided to put down a deposit for a “scent-trained” service dog which will help alert us of Parker’s high & low blood sugars.

After an amazingly successful Fund Raising Campaign for this new addition to our family, we are proud to announce that we are scheduled to pick up our puppy on Easter weekend.   Parker and mom are scheduled to DRIVE (!!) to Salt Lake City, UT to get this amazing little dude that we know will change our lives in so many ways.

So many of you have followed our journey of life after losing Wyatt so I wanted to share what this new family member means to us.   Unfortunately, when Wyatt’s little body turned on him from an allergic reaction to amoxicillin, we had no option but to respond “reactively” to his autoimmune hepatitis diagnosis.   Sadly, there was not enough time for our boy.   And while we do not adhere to the “things happening for a reason” philosophy, we do believe in the importance of learning from our experiences.

For our Parker, this scent trained dog (who will be able to help us detect highs & lows in his blood sugar based on the scent of Parker’s breath) will be another one of those “Proactive” measures to help Parker live a happier, fuller life!   Parker has been on an insulin pump for about a year and we have plans to get him on a continuous glucose monitor soon.   This new pup will add to the list of life-saving efforts that we are committed to in our family.   Even with all these allies to combat Type1 Diabetes, we will still see swings in Parker’s blood sugar.  It’s just the nature of the beast.

Thank you for all of your support~we are thankful to share our journey with all of you!

-Trisha

What is the WLF Mission?

March 9th, 2014
Wyatt "Pie Man" Leamon

Wyatt “Pie Man” Leamon

We’ve gone back and forth, up and down, and all around on this.  What is the mission of the Wyatt Leamon Foundation?  And you know what, I think on any given day it’s been several different things.  Here’s a list of some of them…

  • Educate the public on the dangers of antibiotics
  • Help parents understand natural alternatives to ear infections
  • Preach the power of Chiropractic for kids
  • Dangers of our food system
  • Dealing with the loss of a child
  • Organ donation
  • Etc.

But here’s the thing, it’s none of the above even though all of the above factors into what we have to say to people.  And as much as we love talking and educating about all of those topics, the thing that we have to offer as our mission above all else is an amazingly tragic story that can truly help others.

So what is the Wyatt Leamon Foundation mission?

It’s simple: Our mission is to tell the story of Wyatt “Pie Man” Leamon which tells the tale of a 9-month-old boy who was prescribed a common antibiotic for an ear infection and subsequently died of liver failure because of it.

How all of you apply the lessons learned from this tragic story is entirely up to you.

For more info, please visit the Wyatts Story page and watch or read about this unbelievable little boy!

–Corey

Where’d the WLF Go?

March 3rd, 2014
Corey at CalJam 2014

Corey at CalJam 2014

So I admit.  We kinda fell off the face of the Earth since my last post which was what, a year and a half ago?

A LOT has happened since then.

  • We launched a huge website called Wyatt’s Wellness World.  (It totally bombed btw, more below and in the future)
  • We spoke at Cal Jam 2013
  • We got word that maybe, just maybe Wyatt will be featured in a future wellness / health documentary
  • We have been dealing with Wyatt’s big brother’s continued management of diabetes
  • I got a new job managing our online product at Intuit TurboTax (shameless plug, www.turbotax.com)
  • Trisha got a new job (while working a full time online class schedule for her Family Therapy credential)
  • The twins somehow grew into big boys right before our eyes
  • We fixed 6 years of tax / IRS craziness thanks to a dumb tax attorney who epic failed us about a year after Wyatt passed
  • We became obsessed with Thirty Seconds to Mars and actor Jared Leto who just won an Oscar for the best movie of 2013 (Dallas Buyers Club), woo-hoo!
  • We somehow became integrated into one of the coolest music scenes in Las Vegas

So yeah, we’ve been busy.

But you know what, busy is not what kept us offline for the WLF.  We still have so much passion and desire for our little foundation.  And as we sat in the audience for Cal Jam 2014 this past weekend, I realized that we just hadn’t come to grips with the fact that our Wyatt’s Wellness World project crashed and burned (in short, we jumped too big and too quick into an industry that is already fully locked and loaded and our message was lost) but it didn’t mean we couldn’t do amazing things with our story and subsequently, our foundation.  Regardless, coming to grips with where we went wrong for the WLF is what kept us off the scene for a while.  Sure we made appearances, but we’re definitely hungry to do so much more.

So starting today, we’re gonna take it old school.  Keep it simple.  Move forward with the basics.  What we have to offer is an amazingly tragic, but critical story.  Something to share with other people that can help them better the lives of their kids and families.  We are living proof of what that looks like and we believe that simply rallying around telling Wyatt’s Story as loudly and proudly as possible will help others do the same.

That’s all for today, but rest assured, there’s more to come and we’ll start posting a bit more frequently.  Less about politics and more about Wyatt’s Story and the impact it had on our lives.

Stay tuned!

–Corey