Each year Cole’s Closet donates numerous items to hospitals that will ensure a more comfortable hospital stay for all children. In addition, we donate thousands of new toys, books, gift cards and care packages to seriously ill children and their families.
“He’ll live three to four years max” the neurologist
uttered as he turned and walked out of the room.
June 14, 1999 our son Cole Stephen Tomczyk was born. Our excitement turned to any parents worst nightmare within hours. He suffered from episodes of apnea; twice turning blue in my arms. After things stabilized we were sent home. One neurologist thought he would be fine but could not give us a reason for his problems so soon after birth. This was the beginning of the end.
Our first stay in the hospital lasted nine days. His longest stay was an entire month at Fairfax. Out of the 186 days Cole lived 74 were spent in different hospitals and 2 months at home with hospice. Eye blinking started shortly after we came home from our first stay at the hospital. We ended up at Children’s Hospital in D.C., where it was determined these were seizures. Seizure control became our main goal. After returning from our stay at Children’s Hospital Cole began making funny sounds with his vocal cords. Later it was determined they were paralyzed and an emergency operation was performed to insert a trach. He was also forgetting how to suck and in order for him to receive proper nutrition a NG tube was put in place. Never again did Cole suck a bottle. In October we brought Cole home with hospice. At this time we just wanted our baby comfortable. Our door revolved daily as 18 hour nursing care was provided. We also had hospice coming twice a week and a physical therapist twice a week. She came to work on Cole’s limbs so they did not stiffen. He was on three seizure medicines that were minimizing the number and severity of seizures but not completely stopping them. Eventually concentrated oxygen was utilized to keep him comfortable. A definite diagnosis was never reached. On December 13, 1999 at 11:15 a.m. Cole died in his mother’s arms.
How do you measure the importance of a person’s life? Is it the number of days the person lives or in the number of lives he or she touched? Although our Cole Mighty was a mere six months when Jesus called him home, he reached out and touched many lives in the community. We are only wishing to carry out that which Cole began.