Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Story Of "Thomas The Brave"


This is a very special month for me.

Five years ago this month, my son Thomas was born 16 weeks premature.
He weighed only 1lb 3oz at birth.


Thomas - 12 Days Old
He was so tiny that his eyes were fused shut and instead of skin, he had a translucent membrane over his body.  

He could fit head-to-toe in the palm of my hand. 

Holding Thomas for the very first time.
During that time I witnessed some remarkable medicine, some incredible neo-natal practitioners, and a whole lot of love.

It was almost 3 months before I could hold him, 31/2 months before he was able to cry out loud, and 5 months before we could bring him home.

Thomas' NICU home for 5 months.

We took a room in the "Family" residence wing at the University of Iowa Children's Hospital and moved in.

Megan started Preschool in the hospital's Pediatric Cancer Wing and we watched three seasons come and go from the window of his NICU room.

Ready To Come Home - Dec 2009
On Christmas eve 2009, we took our son home, along with a plethora of wires, tubes, monitors, and tanks.  It was a cold snowing Christmas, but beyond joyful for us.  We were finally able to be a family.

Thomas was back into the PICU 4 times before we celebrated his first birthday, but in August 2010, he reached a milestone that we thought we'd never see.

Thomas turned 1 year old.

Thomas - 1 year old
Life has been a series of ups and downs for Thomas, but never a moment passes when we are not profoundly grateful for having him in our lives.

Thomas - 2 years old
 Over the years he has grown into a glorious little boy. Funny, energetic, and perfectly unique.

Thomas - 3 years old
I could ramble for hours about the joys and sorrow we have had to deal with, but space is limited.  

Thomas - 4 years old
Thomas' health has been fragile over the years.  It took him 2 years to get off oxygen, and he has fought set-back after set-back with incredible courage.

He battled hearing loss, vision loss, eating difficulties, kidney problems, and lung issues...to name a few, and in late 2012, he was diagnosed with Autism.

Thomas The Brave


Today he is a healthy, happy, beautiful little autistic boy, and on Sunday the 10th, he turns 5 years old.

It's such a wonderful time for us as he has bought so much happiness into our little family and made us all better people.

And that is why he is known as "Thomas The Brave".


To celebrate his birthday, I am taking $10 off ALL my online classes (not including 21 Secrets) for the entire month of August. 




Hug your children and be grateful for all that you have.

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by. xx 

33 comments:

  1. How nice to see what a handsome young boy he has turned into! HAPPY BIRTHDAY THOMAS!

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  2. How handsome he is! YAY for you Thomas! Have a wonderful HAPPY BIRTHDAY! ♥♥♥

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  3. He is the perfect miracle!!! Happy Birthday Thomas!!! Congrats!!

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  4. Happy 5th birthday to Thomas! Thanks for sharing Dion - just makes us love you even more! :-)

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  5. What an incredible journey Dion. Thank you for sharing your story. It's good to have reminders to just how lucky we are...and to appreciate it all.
    The photos of Thomas are incredible. Your love shines through.
    Thomas I wish you the best Birthday ever xoxo

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  6. Thanks for letting us get a peek into your incredible journey and letting us know about Miracle boy.He is adorable and I wish many more joyous birthdays and milestones to come.Much love to Thomas.He is so handsome!

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  7. Here is a warm teddy bear hug for each of you!!

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  8. Happy Birthday to Thomas! What a miracle!

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  9. Awesome. Congrats and happy birthday. Streaming tears of joy right now. Have a wonderful birthday week of celebrations.

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  10. happy birthday! amazing thomas!! i had a premie too...they are our miracle gifts everyday!!

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  11. happy birthday Thomas the brave you are a brave little boy with a beautiful smile

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  12. Happy birthday to Thomas and cheers to you , your husband and Daughter for your eternal love and kindness in raising your Thomas the Brave.

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  13. Thanks for sharing your story and your beautiful family. Happy Birthday Thomas! Dion - you are simply amazing - your love and courage always shine through in your art and teaching.

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  14. HAPPY BIRTHDAY THOMAS! Your smile melts my heart. I sure loved watching you create with paint. Tell Mom to make another video of you painting and your sister. It was truly "enjoying" the process which we could all learn to do better without dwelling on the flaws that we see in our work.

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  15. Happy Birthday Thomas The Brave! You are beautiful and truly brave, what a wonderful gift God gave to both you and you parents. Thanks for sharing your story of amazing unconditional love.lt Brought tears of joy and happiness to my heart. Now I know why I love you art and why you have such an amazing way of teaching. You are truly blessed in ways most of us will not fully ever know.

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  16. I never would of thought that such a put together artist would have such a current uphill battle. You are brave too, and a great family together! Your children are both adorable. I always love your art as well!!! I have had my share of struggles with our children too, nothing quite as physical though. Yesterday my niece gave birth to a little boy with only one kidney, for now he is doing well. He will see a specialist soon to make sure everything is working. Oh praise God for the love of a mother! HUGS, Sanna

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  17. What a journey - everyone has one and I thank you for sharing yours. Happy Birthday to Thomas the Brave - he is truly a miracle - and you are his family and should also be known as the Brave, since you have had to swim in dark waters with no life jacket. You are all blessed to have each other.

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  18. Happy Birthday to Thomas The Brave, and best wishes to the entire family. Dion, it's quite a struggle you all have been through and maybe still are facing. My son were a premature too (6 weeks) but that counts for nothing compared to what you've been through. It felt real enough though 29 years ago.

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  19. He's beautiful, and you are all brave traveling the journey with and for him! Happy Birthday, Thomas The Brave!

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  20. Best wishes to all of you including Thomas, The Brave. Actually, all of your family are brave. Thank you for sharing. We hold you in our thoughts and prayers.

    To any of you who are considering signing up for your first Dion class...I say "DO it." The lessons are top-quality (as good as instruction I've had from teachers at art colleges), fun, and easy-to-follow. The fees for the classes are so reasonable! Dion presents interesting techniques and also suggests alternatives. You will enjoy the lessons.

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  21. I salute you all and wonderful Thomas the Brave! You all have been very courageous and patient and loving! What a precious gift our children are. Our James was a 2 month premie, now a loving man of 40. Happy Birthday Thomas!!!

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  22. Beautiful and deeply touching...heartfelt post..thanks for sharing ! Happy B-day to Thomas!

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  23. Happy Birthday to Thomas. Beautiful and heartfelt. Much love to your family. <3

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  24. what an amazing journey you have been on as a family... loved seeing those photos and seeing how happy and healthy he looks now is just amazing... xx

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  25. Happy Birthday, Thomas. Each miracle is a joy shared, we are all emboldened by your strength and courage and that of your family. xo

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  26. Una preciosa lección de amor y valor! ¡Muchas felicidades, pequeño - gran Thomas! Happy birthday!!

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  27. a very happy birthday to Thomas the Brave, I wish him all the best from the bottom of my heart!!!


    I don't want to get too emotional (it's difficult to find the right words in a foreign language), so I'd only like to tell you that as a mother of my joy - a wonderful autistic boy (now almost 9) - I do understand your feelings!

    best wishes for the whole brave family!!!

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  28. Happy Birthday Thomas! What a powerful story to share. Love and blessings can conquer all! Thomas, you are the perfect combination of both of these. I hope your birthday is a super as you are Thomas!

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  29. Happy day to all your family! Thomas the Brave and Handsome.

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  30. What a boy! You must be so proud of him. My daughter, too, is turning 5 in a few days, and though it took a long time for me to become pregnant and we'll have to live with the fact that she'll remain our only child, I couldn't have had an easier pregnancy and birth. I had tears in my eyes when reading your post. I wish you and your family - and especially Thomas - all the best for the future. Be happy and comfort each other every day!

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  31. What an amazing story! Thomas is so lucky to have a mom like you! You and all of your family are courageous travelers!

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  32. Wow, an amazing story! Hope this gorgeous little boy had a wonderful birthday. Hugs, Kelly xxx

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