"Each breath counts. Just keep breathing."
Zaire Corvell was born October 22, 2015 to Felica Turner-Walton. Zaire went to have what seemed to be a routine 4 month old checkup. He was fine and gaining weight at a great pace. I had taken Zaire along with my then 12 year old son to their appointments. I could never imagine what I was going to face the very next day. Neither myself nor my family was prepared for what we were up against in the many years to come.
March 3, 2016 was like any other day in our house. We got up and I prepared for the workday. I dropped Zaire off at the babysitter and went to work. I was scheduled to work a partial day as I had to take him to his scheduled routine appointment. I stopped to pick him up and we headed to the doctor's office. When the nurse gave Zai his shots he let out a blood curdling scream along with a cry that I had not ever heard from him. We went home after about 15 minutes of waiting to see if he would have an allergic reaction to the medications before we left. During this time Zai went to sleep.
The very next day, less than 24 hours later Zaire would be admitted to the America's Family Children's Hospital in Madison, WI. He would eventually pass away there on March 7, 2016.
The Healing Journey:
One of the ways in which Zaire's life continues to have impact is through the Healing Our Hearts Foundation, Inc (HOHFI). I am the founder and CEO of HOHFI. Our mission is to support grieving families by offering a safe space for families to discuss their loss, connect, and mend while celebrating the life of their loved one without worry. Our commitment is to provide a culturally appropriate understanding of grief and loss centered around black and brown bodies. We strive to increase awareness and understanding of grief and loss while supporting those who seek to mend their hearts.
Being in the space to help other grieving families has helped me in my own healing journey. While my ultimate goal is that we have no one experiencing child loss, I strive to offer support to those that have been forced into loss. If there is one bit of advice I would share with other bereaved families it's that each breath counts. Just keep breathing.
Submitted with love by Zaire's mom Felica Turner-Walton