I still remember the first time I met Marck. We were in the pharmacy and Amy and I were talking to his Mom to decide whether or not he would be a good candidate for our Formula Program. For me, it was love at first sight. Marck had a giant afro and his hair was so soft. In Haiti, it's uncommon to see people with afros, normally their hair is braided and in tip top condition, but Marck was the exception to the rule. As I weighed his frail little bottle, I noticed that every bone in his body was visible. Laying on our scale, in nothing but a diaper, Marck was full of energy and grabbing at everything!
I remember later that day telling my friend Tori that we had a new formula program baby that she would absolutely love. A month later, Tori was able to meet him for the first time. She also feel in love at first sight. There was just something about that boy that pulled everyone in. Unfortunately, our appointment with Marck and his Mom went down hill fast. It quickly turned from a routine Formula program visit, to hours of Tori, Amy, Jenn, and I desperately trying to save his life. We worked hard and took turns suctioning him, holding the oxygen mask to his nose, and comforting his Mom. The four of us barely knew this precious little boy, but we were all nervous. One thing through this kept us all strong, Monia, his Mom.
When Josiah was sick recently, I was a mess, however, Monia was a rock when her son needed her to be strong. She sat there for hours holding her little boy, singing to him, praying over him, and rocking him back and forth. Seeing her care for her baby and ask God to watch over him as well, was something new to all of us. We had all taken care of babies during their last few hours. We've even had babies die in our arms and have prepared a lot of bodies for burial. But none of us had ever experienced this fight when a parent was in the room. We didn't speak it out loud, but we all knew we would do everything we could to save this little boys life.
Marck made it through the night and he and his Mom ended up staying the next several months with us at COTP. This was not the only time we had to fight for Marcks life. On far too many occasions, his oxygen stats would drop down into the 50% and he would turn blue. We were always surprised when he pulled through as that is scary low. Each time his stats dropped, we'd hold our breaths, say a prayer, Monia would sing, and we'd wait while they'ed go back up ASAP.
During his time at COTP, his Mom continued to be a rock. She stayed by his side constantly and since Tori and Amy taught her how, she ended up providing most of his medical care for him. We fell in love with not only these two, but their entire family. Monia was so amazing, that even after Marck left our care, we knew we couldn't let her go, so we hired her on to work as one of our nannies! She has done amazing ever since.
Because of Marcks severe heart problems, he has always struggled to grow and gets sick easier then other kids.
He and his Mom came to visit us three Saturdays ago. Marck looked good and I was as excited as always to see him. On that Tuesday night I heard Marck was sick and had a fever. I sent one of our yard guys on Nicks moto to take him some infant tylenol, hoping it would help. On Wednesday I was told that Marck passed away.
I didn't believe it at first. I had to clarify several times. This was the last thing I wanted to hear. I knew his Mom would be having a difficult time with this. I went and told Nick, and at that point wasn't able to keep the tears away. We hoped on his moto and headed straight to Monias house.
As I got there, Amy was preparing him to be buried. I helped her put on an adorable little white suit. Marck has always had good style and loved to wear his best for church. His hair, the thing that made me fall in love with him in the first place was neatly braided. I stroked his head and said goodbye to him.
About that time, Monia realized I was there. As soon as she saw me, she started weeping again. I walked inside to try and help comfort her. I didn't know what to say, so instead I just stood there and hugged her, her limp body leaning up against mine as she sobbed on my shoulder. This lady who had been a solid rock for the past year since learning about her sons diagnosis, was finally letting it all come to the surface. I rubbed her back and said nothing, what could I say?
Nick and I stayed at their house for a few hours. We learned that they had taken Marck to the hospital that morning, he had been put on oxygen, but still didn't make it. His friends and family gathered around and told stories of this little boy.
Everytime one of our children passes away, I always say the same prayer, "Lord please help us be better people for knowing this child." I didn't have to say this prayer for Marck, I know fully well that I am a MUCH better person for the time I spent with him and his family. He changed my life. I prayed harder for Marck then I ever have for any other baby. I loved him. From his room at COTP, you could look out the windows and see our playground. Eventz and I would visit him daily, and I'd constantly tell both Marck and Monia that when he was older and healthier, he and Eventz were going to play on the playground together. I wanted them to be friends. I wanted him to make it!
But God has other plans for this little boy. He wanted to take him home early. Monia and Mackenson, his parents, had always hoped that he would be a pastor when he grew up. Even though this dream was never fulfilled, I still believe Marck lead people to Christ and helped strengthen others spiritual relationship. Its crazy that a 8 pound baby could impact so many people in such a profound way, but Marck was capable of just that!
Please pray for Monia and Mackenson as they are grieving the loss of their son. Please also pray for their newborn son, Mickenson, that was born a few weeks prior to Marck passing away. He is a healthy beautiful little boy!
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