A heavy heart . . .

I woke yesterday to the news that one of my favorite trach babies passed away in the evening on Wednesday. Tommy won a special place in my heart with the first picture I saw of him. He was always happy and smiling and seemingly blissfully unaware of the danger his little body was in. He was not only a trach baby, but also a heart baby. Tommy needed one more open heart surgery to repair his tiny heart, but on Wednesday, after going into respiratory distress his heart couldn’t go on. He would have turned two next month.

My heart is so sad for Tommy’s mother, Rene. She, too, found a special place in my heart. Though our personal circumstances were different and we lived half a continent from one another, here was another mother of boys who suddenly found herself thrust into an unknown world of doctors and specialists and medical terms. Each day, I enjoyed reading about Tommy’s successes and Rene’s hilarious stories of raising her boys.

As you know, raising a child with significant medical needs can be a financial strain. There are many things that insurance and government programs do not provide. These things aren’t luxuries, they are necessities and often they are very costly. Rene and her husband Rob have struggled over the past two years to meet every one of Tommy’s needs and also the needs of their other children. Often at great sacrifice to themselves.

Today, a memorial fund has been set up to help this family meet Tommy’s final expenses. They live in South Carolina but their hometown is in Kentucky and they are working to come up with the funds to assist the family in their travel to and from Kentucky so that they may lay Tommy to rest in a family plot.

I ask that if your circumstances allow that you consider a small donation in honor of Parker to the fund. There are two options:

Paypal my account (suzanne@suzanneuptonphotography.com) and on Sunday or Monday I will contribute the funds together from Parker’s friends.

Or you may mail a check to: First Federal Bank – Thomas Lee Dereksen Memorial Fund PO Box 118068, Charleston, SC 29423-9910

Thank you.

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1 Response to “A heavy heart . . .”


  1. 1 Toby Kraft January 12, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Thanks for the blog article. Really Great.


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