child photography in gwinnett countyA year ago February 20th, AJ had his first febrile seizure.  Because I had no idea what was happening, I left him on his back, afraid to move him.  I saw his lips turn blue and the color leave his face as he slipped away.  My baby boy, the thing on this earth I adore more than anything.  It was the most horrible experience of my life.

At that moment, firemen burst through my front door and laid him on a stretcher in my foyer.  I ran upstairs to put on clothes while they loaded him into the ambulance.  I was hysterical and not allowed to sit with him in back.

I spent about an hour of my life believing my son had died.  As we approached CHOA, I heard him start crying, and I was told he was going to be ok.

I know that without the efforts of three firemen from the Duluth Station 7, my son would have died.  Three men: Long, Layton, and Keough.

Tomorrow, we’ll go to the station to visit them for the first time.  I had meant to go earlier, to thank them…a few weeks after the seizure.  For AJ’s birthday in July.  Around Thanksgiving.  Christmas.  I know I’m not in an emotional state to hold it all together and more time isn’t changing that.  So, we’ll finally go tomorrow.  My Dad, who was there that day, will join us.  A sweet and talented friend of mine, Jenna, will also come to document our visit.  I’m so grateful for that.

I have never gotten over that day.  For some reason, a little part of my brain lives in a parallel universe where he died.  When he’s particularly cute or goofy, I mentally pinch myself – this moment wouldn’t exist in that other universe.  I think of all the joy and love he brings to my life and I can’t shake the thought that it could’ve been so different.

I cry whenever a firetruck and ambulance race by with sirens blaring.  I tear up often, as I pass station 7, at least twice a day.  We pray for the firefighters every time we drive past.

I’m hoping that all of the terrifying images of that day will be replaced by wonderful pictures of our visit tomorrow.  Hopefully, it’ll be a time of gratitude and healing.

AJ had another seizure in July, while we were at my parents’ neighborhood pool.  He was next to me when he drifted off and the seizure began.  The second time was easier than the first, because I knew immediately what was happening and what to do.  We did take another ambulance trip to the ER.  I hope he never has another one.

The picture above is a little more contrived than what I usually go for.  But I like the symbolism of the reflection – the way I still live partly in a world where he died.  But maybe that’s ok.  It keeps me grateful.  Every day, I give thanks that I still have my boy.  For those men who saved him.  I haven’t forgotten the pain of that day, and maybe I never will.  But maybe that’s ok.  But tomorrow we’ll say finally thank you in person.

To read my account of that day: The Day I Almost Lost my Son

To read more about what I did wrong and what I learned soon after that day: Febrile Seizures

To see pictures from Duluth Station 7’s visit to my kids’ school, including when I saw Firefighter Keough and a photo of him: Fire Truck Visit from Station 7

To learn more about my friend Jenna, who’s so sweet and generous to offer her talent and time to our family tomorrow, visit her website: Atlanta Wedding Photographers and Videographers (Her and husband Evan are We Two Photo | Video.)

Thanks for reading and stopping by.  For more of my photography, you can visit my main website: Family Photographers in Gwinnett County | Crane Creek Photography