On April 11, 2016 my wife Tia and I were excited to welcome our third child, a daughter named Victoria. Our older children, big sister Alexus and big brother Vincent, couldn’t wait to meet their little sister. What should have been a day of tremendous joy suddenly turned into an unexpected nightmare. My wife suffered an amniotic fluid embolism during the delivery. The doctors and nurses were quick to respond and delivered our healthy baby girl via emergency Cesarean section. Tia however, suffered severe complications including cardiac arrest, massive bleeding and strokes. While she survived against incredible odds, she was left with a severe anoxic brain injury. She has remained in a coma since that day.
My career and training as an U.S. Army veteran, current reservist, and working with at risk youth certainly taught me how to manage extremely stressful situations however, nothing could have prepared me for this. The first several months were unbelievably difficult as I had a newborn baby, two school age children, a demanding job, and was trying to learn everything I could on Tia’s condition. Since we live in a small rural area and Tia’s condition was so dire, she was transferred to a hospital far away from home which made being with her extremely difficult. Then, came the bills and navigating insurance coverage.
At times is can be so hard to stay positive. I have missed being able to talk with my wife and to hear her laugh. I miss being able to share in the joy of seeing Victoria and our children do new things. Our holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays our spent at the hospital. The kids miss her so much and it breaks my heart all over when they ask for her. My family and friends have tried to share our story to help raise awareness for AFE as much as possible. My mom even won a radio contest and got to meet Garth Brooks and his wife Trisha Yearwood and shared our story.
On March 14, 2019, Tia was called home to God. She went on her own terms and is now peaceful. Tia was the most important person to me, she was the center of my universe. I will hold her forever in my heart until the day she can be in my arms.
Thank you to everyone was has stood by Tia, prayed for her, and supported our family. She was loved immensely by all and will be missed.