John Aiden Warren overcame so much in his brief nine months that his miracles were getting routine.
There was the time doctors gave him a day to live unless his kidneys started working again. The next day, he had a wet diaper. Another time, his mother caught him jabbing at one of his toys with his left arm, defying the left-sided paralysis a stroke had inflicted several months earlier. And who could forget those big, toothless smiles that flashed through the pain?
“He loved proving people wrong,” his mother, Allison, says.
When prenatal tests showed that their second son would be born with a debilitating heart defect, Allison and John Warren started mentally and emotionally preparing themselves for the tough road ahead.
The Jacksonville couple knew their fragile child would need immediate surgery for a chance at life. They accepted that Aiden – he was known by his middle name – would require two more grueling procedures to survive his toddler years. And they had come to terms with his ultimate prognosis: After all those heroic medical measures, he almost certainly would die by the time he reached middle age unless he received a heart transplant.
But there was still something neither they nor Aiden’s team of pediatric experts had anticipated: swine flu.
Aiden died in his mother’s arms on Sept. 3 at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. The doctors and nurses who had tried everything to save him over the previous three weeks surrounded the dying boy and his mother, having nothing more to offer but tears and quiet reverence.
In Florida to date, he is the second-youngest swine flu victim and one of only three children under 5 years old to die. His death, though, was more than just the heartbreaking denouement of a life full of obstacle-smashing – it underscored the peculiar dangers that the swine flu, technically known as the H1N1 virus, poses to certain high-risk individuals.
Read the rest at the link. When we hear of a person succumbing to swine flu, we rarely get any details. These details are heartrending.