I lost my son when he was just six weeks old. Liam was born prematurely at 29 weeks due to a placental abruption. His lungs were never fully developed and he battled RSV and bacterial pneumonia in the NICU for nearly five weeks. We were thrilled when he was finally released.
But three nights later, he stopped breathing while he was in my arms. I cannot describe the depths of my hurt and despair. I have to admit, I got mad and blamed God when Liam died. I’d been a good Christian all my life, and couldn’t understand how this was happening. How could God have allowed this?
Two weeks after Liam’s passing, I got very sick. I contracted meningitis and my kidneys started to shut down. I found myself in the hospital fighting for my own life. And ironically, that is where my life totally changed.
While sedated, I had an incredibly vivid dream where I was holding Liam in my arms and we were in the most beautiful place I’d ever seen, where there was a stream of water that glistened like a collection of diamonds. We sat down on a log under a magnificent tree, and a man walked up, sat down, and told me that Liam had a bigger purpose; that he was put on earth to help other kids. This man told me that I needed to trust him, and that I was to immediately start a nonprofit organization to help children battling major illness. He told me all of the needs to do this would be met.
When I woke up in my hospital bed, I told my attending nurse I needed to leave immediately to start a nonprofit. She looked at me strangely, and announced I wasn’t going anywhere because I was still too sick.
But the dream was so vivid and real, I was determined to follow through. So the first day I was released, I went to Walmart, bought a good amount of fleece fabric and started making blankets. I was going to auction off the blankets and give all the money to parents with hospitalized kids. And I made these during my recuperation.
When I recovered, I went back to my job as a waitress and split my tips; I earmarked half my tips for me and my son to live on, and the other half I put aside to give to families in need. One day, a man came in to the restaurant and somehow, he knew about Liam’s plight. He asked how I was doing and I told him what I was doing with families with sick children and how I was called to start a nonprofit along those lines.
He left me a generous $100 tip. Later that day, I got a call from a lawyer. I initially thought I may have done something wrong and was being sued. But he said a man contacted him and put up all the money for me to start a nonprofit. I realized at that moment that God had His hand all over this and that I was just his vessel to help make it happen.
And that’s how Liam Changed The World, Inc. got its start. We help parents pay for medical treatments for their child that they might not otherwise be able to afford. We’ve also paid for headstones and funeral expenses for people that couldn’t afford the sudden expenses of losing a child. We’ve been able to help so many people during these difficult times. Every kid we help stays with me in my heart. I lost a son but I’ve gained so many other kids to love.
We want our foundation to become well known in the medical and insurance community in Tennessee. So when a child is facing mounting medical bills that insurance may not cover, they can call us and we help pay for these procedures that can save kids’ lives.
When we need help meeting a certain need, I’ll post it on Facebook. Even though I don’t have that many followers, it just takes off and people share it. Hundreds if not thousands of times. I’m amazed how every need is taken care of. Further evidence of God’s hands in this.
And we also do random acts of kindness. Every day. This is how I keep my son’s memory alive and honor him, by blessing someone each day. And kindness doesn’t cost a penny. You don’t have to have money to be kind.
Liam gave me so much joy in such a short amount of time. Whenever we help someone, I get an opportunity to share my faith. I tell them Liam’s story and how God has worked in my life. I can tell it touches them and gives them some hope.
Every good deed I get to do reunites me with Liam. I truly feel it is my son doing it from heaven. And for me, it’s a way of keeping Liam alive. I did not want his life to have been lived in vain. I didn’t want Liam to be forgotten. My son did not come into this world just to suffer and die. There must have been a bigger purpose. And I have found it by getting the opportunity to bless others.