This was my first story I did through Fotolanthropy- CLICK HERE. Please check out the story there as well and other inspiring stories of other families. You can nominate other families there too! I will have another story coming up on there very soon!
Meet Daniel Jackson, an amazing 2 1/2 year old boy. His story is so incredible and I feel extremely fortunate that I had the chance to meet such a faithful family. They are a family who has so much love in their home and especially for their sweet happy little boy. This is the story of Daniel Jackson. A joyful 2 1/2 year old boy with a kind heart and a smile for everyone he meets. I thought it was best to hear Daniel’s story from Jaci, his amazing mother…
“On Wednesday, April 7th, 2010 I found Daniel completely limp and blue in color after riding in his car seat while picking up my son Sam from baseball practice. I immediately called 911 and they brought him to Children’s Hospital at Legacy in Plano, Texas. Upon arrival, we were transferred to the ICU at Children’s Hospital in Dallas, Texas, where we were told Daniel may not make it through the night. However, Daniel did make it through the night, and during this initial 35 day hospital stay we found out that Daniel has pulmonary hypertension.
For the first 15 days after finding out that Daniel was so gravely ill, I sat next to him in the hospital not able to look at him without crying. On the 15th day, I prayed something like this to the Lord, “Lord, you are going to have to help me. I want Daniel to know ME. Not me defined by his disease or prognosis, but me. I want my kids to still have me. Please help me to be me, to be joyful, to laugh, to enjoy Daniel no matter how short or how long his life is. Help us to live.”
On the eve of Daniel’s 2nd birthday, I made this video. http://www.youtube.com/embed/UqAw60puppk In looking back that night, God’s faithfulness in answering the cry of this mommy’s heart was undeniable. Through tragedy and heartache and a grave prognosis, God had continued to answer my prayer to give All of “ME” to all of my kids. And the same has been true through today. And I know it will be true tomorrow as well. God is so faithful.”
I was able to spend a few hours with this incredible family for their portrait session and could not stop smiling at Daniel. He is so filled with joy and it is very contagious. There is a light that radiates from Daniel, it is impossible to ignore. This family is one of the most loving families I have ever met. Daniel’s parents are so courageous and full of faith in God who is ever mindful of them. What I saw from this family was pure selflessness from Daniel’s parents and siblings. They love him dearly. Daniel is always smiling and loves to give his family lots of hugs and kisses. He loves his pillow it makes him so happy if you just say “Daniel, where’s your pillow?” It was so adorable and was some of my favorite portraits.
Some of the photos show Daniel’s “Beads of Courage”, they are all glass beads, some of then being hand blown. His total number of beads is over 2,200 and each bead represents some sort of medical procedure Daniel has gone through. For example, 1,500 of these are black beads, which represent every poke he has received. 21 of the beads represent a life-threatening situation. On each string is a name or nickname of Daniel. When you see all the beads and feel the weight of them you really start to realize how much he has been through. Imagine the strength and courage this tiny little 2-year-old body must have to earn those beads over the last few years.
Jaci had some amazing stories to tell of Daniel, but one thing I loved to hear was how after a full day of work, without fail, at the exact same time each night his father, Brent, mixes Daniel’s IV medication for him. Brent has continued to be a rock for his family, by displaying a complete trust in the Lord and an unwavering life of service to his family. Jesus is their rock and they really do cherish their time together.
Amidst all that Daniel has been through and the uncertainty of his time here on earth, they have found Romans 15:13 has become a reality in their life everyday. “May the God of all hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Please keep Brent, Jaci, Drew, Sam, Abby, Lizzy and Daniel in your prayers. She has told me they really do feel each one of your prayers for their little angel.
Job 42:5 – “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee”
Please check out his website to give their family support and encouragement. http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/danieljames/mystory