April 7, 2007 – February 28, 2015
Diagnosed: April 2014
Written by Garrett’s Parents
Garrett turned 7 on April 7, 2014, and in a matter of two weeks went from perfect to having issues walking, being very tired, and slurred speech. Easter Sunday he told me he saw me twice, which prompted me to take him to his pediatrician the following morning. I explained my concerns, and she began a neuro exam, which he failed. His left eye was not tracking at all. She then asked me to follow her to the hall and she began to tell me she thought he had a mass on his brain.
The pediatrician moved heaven and earth to get him an MRI that day. Within an hour of leaving her office, he was on the MRI table. A few hours later we were told he had a golf ball size mass on his brainstem. That was all they said, and they would be sending us by ambulance to OU children’s hospital. Once we arrived they began him on dexamethasone. His pediatrician called me around 5:30 to see what they had told me. After repeating what the doctors had said, she then told me the size wasn’t good, the location wasn’t good, and she didn’t know what to say to prepare me for what the doctors would tell me the next morning.
I sat up all night worrying about his fate… Praying for God to let me take his place, and asking God to spare him from all of this. I prayed they would tell me it was all a mistake and he was fine. The next morning, 20 doctors came in the room. Then two asked to speak to us in a private room. That’s when they told us he had DIPG, an inoperable, incurable brain tumor. They expected him to live 9 months, and we should go home and make memories with our oldest son. We were devastated, heartbroken, and completely numb.
We decided to do radiation, which he soared through without any problems. After 6 weeks of radiation, he had a month off and then began Avastin. After a 10 month and 7 day battle, Garrett gained his wings and left behind a huge legacy for his three younger siblings to follow in. We were very thankful for those 10 months with him. He got to go on his Make A Wish trip to meet the Duck Commander men, he became an honorary Junior Deputy and got to be in a parade with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, meet a PBR bullfighter, PBR bull riders, and so much more. He is our sweet angel, and he always lets us know he is right here with us. He gets us through each and every single day.
The pictures with the balloons are from his celebration of life party where over 1000 people showed up to celebrate his amazing 7 years. He is the life of the party . . . the sweetest, most caring Momma’s boy who loves God and Jesus, and an ornery little cowboy. He loved being outside fishing, hunting, riding horses, and taking care of all the animals on the ranch. He is missed more than ever… June 28, 2015 will be 4 months without him.