Kooper was born on January 10th 2011. Everything about his life and health were routine. He was the fourth addition to our family. His older brother Kyle, by three and a half years, couldn’t wait to be a big brother! They were best friends! Kooper loved to watch Kyle play football and was his biggest fan. They would wrestle and read stories together, sell flowers in the backyard, and snuggle up to watch tv together. A mama’s boy, Kooper always loved to dance in the living room. We would sing and dance together. Kooper loved to help me put away the groceries. He was also his Daddy’s little buddy. He loved to play ball and cars with him and ride on his back. His Nana and “Daddy-Daddy” were special to him too. Riding their tractor was a favorite past time of his, as well as spending the night at their house. He loved to play and wrestle with his Uncle “Dody” too. His Pappy and Mamaw had a big pool that put a smile on his face when he could splash around.
Kooper loved and Kooper lived! Rarely a tear in his eye, but always a smile on his face! He giggled and laughed and made others do the same! My little skipper, he would prance everywhere he went. In his short life, he was able to experience many new places. We visited family quite often. He got to travel to other states and explore all kinds of fun things. He loved to go camping and stay in the Cabin. And he loved it even more when Boo-Boo would greet him at Yogi Bear Park! His favorite vacation…Disneyworld. Kooper loved Mickey! He loved the lights and the music! And he loved the food!! Kooper loved to eat. My bottom-less pit, I never knew where all that food would go.
Kooper was surrounded by so much love from our family, church family, and friends. I am thankful for the last two weeks of his life. We spent so much time together. A camping trip, snuggling in the bed, riding on his brother’s back, and swimming in the pool. Two days before he passed we celebrated his big brother’s 6th birthday and were surrounded by all our family and friends!
On Father’s Day, June 16, 2013, we celebrated like any other day. That morning I made a card for Kevin, including Kyle and Kooper’s footprints, along with a poem. We attended church and ate at our favorite local diner. We came home and I put Kooper down for a nap, unknowing life would never be the same again. I laid him down and kissed his forehead. He asked for his Mickey-Mouse, the last sweet words he ever spoke, as he snuggled up with his doll and drifted to sleep. A few hours later his brother and I found him breathless. I attempted CPR, along with my neighbor until paramedics arrived. I will never forget the look on Kyle’s face as he stood over me watching his brother’s life slip away. Or the paramedic running through our bushes with Kooper, his little bare feet dangling from his arms. Despite hours of hard work from doctors and nurses, they were unable to revive him. An angel of grace had already taken Kooper’s tender soul up to heaven. Doctors were baffled by his sudden passing. Months went by and there was still no cause of death. We were finally told he passed away from a febrile seizure, a diagnosis not all doctors are in agreement upon. After much research we stumbled upon SUDC (Sudden Unexplained Death of a Child) and learned more about these children, all passing away the same way. We are so thankful to have the support and help from the SUDC Foundation and for their resources and the relationships being built with other parents who lost their children in the same mysterious way.
While we mourn his death, and always will, we don’t want his memory to be on how he died. We want to it to be on how he lived! Kooper loved every day on this earth and I know he would want us to do the same.