Thursday, November 13, 2014

Heartbreaking story of a blackbird angel

Trigger warning: maternal death, infant death, prematurity

These kinds of stories always stun close to home.

Ashley Elizabeth (Wood) met her husband Chris Picco while they were both volunteering at Ground Zero after 9/11. After birthing their relationship in the ashes, they got married in 2007. Ashley worked at the Loma Linda Children's Center and earned her nursing degree, providing lactation counseling to young moms.

She gave birth to a baby boy via emergency c-section at just 24 weeks (the same gestation as my son Christopher)...he was due on February 22, 2015, but was born on November 8.

Doctors and nurses were concerned about Lennon's lack of movement and brain activity...which often happens to the smallest of preemies. I'm not sure what the current survival rates are for 24 weekers, but when Chris was born he was given just a 50% chance of survival.

Ashley often felt Lennon moving to music during her pregnancy, so Chris brought in his guitar to play for his son, including this gorgeous rendition of "Blackbird."

The next day, Lennon died in his daddy's arms, but it's clear he was deeply, deeply loved, and I know he felt his daddy's love through his music. Heartbreaking.

Chris has set up an Ashley and Lennon Picco Memorial site, where you can leave condolences or make a donation.

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