JOSH + KELLI'S STORY
"On November 3, 2016, my husband and I were given devastating news that our unborn son had a condition that was 'incompatible with life' at our 20 week ultrasound. Until that point, there was no indication that this was anything other than a normal pregnancy. As we nervously anticipated seeing the latest pictures of our boy, whom we had already named Jude Samuel, the doctor's face quickly changed as unfamiliar and confusing images filled the screen. We knew something was wrong.
Our son was missing one kidney and the other was cystic and non-functioning. With no renal function, we were told Jude would not be able to make amniotic fluid necessary for healthy growth and critical to lung development. He would likely be stillborn, and at best live no more than a few hours. We were given the option to terminate the pregnancy, but as terrified as we were, we had resolved to fight for his life as much in the days to come as we would have before we knew of any complications.
Things happened very quickly after that appointment. Through a series of events that can only be described as miraculous, we ended up in Ohio as part of an experimental treatment program that involved surgery for me and amnioinfusions three times a week. Eventually, I was admitted to the hospital and was on bedrest for the final weeks of the pregnancy.
Jude Samuel was born on January 7, 2017, and our perfect baby boy brought with him more joy than we could have ever imagined. Born two months early, his lungs were still just too small. After 24 incredible hours with him, Jude passed into the arms of our great God.
We were told that we would probably never meet Jude and that he would not cry or be able to breathe. Jude breathed on his own, and his cry was the most beautiful sound we have ever heard. In our eyes, he will always be perfect. His name means 'Praise! The Lord has heard,' something we didn't even know when we chose it. Every day we are so glad that we chose LIFE for our son. Jude Samuel's short seven months in the womb and 24 hours here have reached thousands of people and changed more lives than we could have ever imagined, and we are two very proud parents!"
- Kelli & Josh #standforlife