Archive for the ‘Anniversary’ Category

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.


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


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.




Introducing Wyatt’s Wellness World!

June 22nd, 2012

After almost a year of planning and with an amazing team effort, the Wyatt Leamon Foundation is proud to share with you a true labor of love. Introducing, a health portal allowing parents to not only learn the lessons taken from the loss of Wyatt “Pie Man” Leamon’s story, but helping them take the steps necessary to choose safe, natural alternatives.

Wyatt's Wellness World

Wyatt’s Wellness World, BETA site launches on June 22nd, 2012 in honor of the passing of Wyatt “Pie Man” Leamon 4 years ago due to an adverse reaction to Amoxicillin

Wyatt’s Wellness World serves mainstream parents who are concerned about the safety of modern-day medicine and offers a three step process for an alternative path. The first step is to learn more about natural, safe ways to help the body fight sickness and disease without the use of pharmaceuticals which can have harmful side effects. The second step is to apply that knowledge when choosing all-natural health products and supplements, assisting your family in boosting health and the immune system naturally. The third and final step is to seek a second opinion (and eventually a first) from an alternative, holistic provider who practices the art of natural healing for the body (unlike your doctor and pediatric doctors).

Wyatts Welness World will accomplish this goal via its “Wellness Wire”, a collection of articles educating the public about natural and alternative causes. Couple that with a robust product catalog of all natural vitamins and supplements for sale on the site (in which all net proceeds go back to the non-profit foundation) and a business directory offering Wyatt Leamon Foundation partnered holistic health services from all over the country, and you have a one-stop shop for the first line of defense against sickness and disease for your kids and family without having to worry about the harmful side-effects of modern medicines, “drug first, ask questions later” philosophy.

The website is now open to the public in beta format which means we’re still working out the kinks, loading content and products, and signing up new natural health providers every day. But during this time, we hope to see you checking out the site, offering feedback and advice, and supporting the mission of the WLF by sharing the link with everyone you can.

On the 4th anniversary of Wyatt’s death, as the pain and memory of his tragic loss fills our hearts, I’m so thankful for the help and support from our friends, family and business partners. Being able to help others while cherishing the memory of our little “Pie Man” is about as best a situation a parent could ask for in the face of such a terrible, preventable tragedy.

Once again thank you so much for your support and please tell everyone you know about Wyatts Welness World!

Remember Pie Man on the 3rd Anniversary of his Death

June 22nd, 2011

My family and I would like to cordially invite you to a viewing of “Slice of Life with Pie Man”, a 30-minute movie that tells the story of how our little boy touched the hearts of his family, even within such a short period of time.  The story is told through personal video footage of Wyatt with his family as they celebrate good times, holidays and find plenty of reasons to laugh and play together.

I created this film in hopes of capturing the good memories at a time where our experience at the hospital was so dominating, especially in the year after he passed.

So now we invite you to watch and remember Wyatt as he should be remembered, full of life, full of love and full of laughter.  So without further ado, please visit the page we’ve dedicated to the film, Slice of Life with Pie Man.