anniversary gift

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

today is our wedding anniversary. this time last year we were living large in las vegas. what a first year we have had!

we received a wonderful gift today. we found out that cooper's eyes were used to help two children. One of his corneas went to a child in guatemala and the other to a child in syria, so he truly will be able to see the world!

i am glad that we were able to help two other children, but my heart still aches for my precious, sweet cooper and would give anything if i could have him back in my arms.

hope you all have a wonderful new years eve!

all quiet on newberry ln

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

my parents left this morning, so it is jamey and i and the dogs. after having family around for almost a month, the house is very quiet.

we are trying to establish a new rhythm, but we arent really sure what that looks like. so far this morning we have played an intense game of golf on our new wii.

i guess it will be day by day for a while. Jamey is off of work till march, benefits of being in the landscape business, which will allow us to work through our grief together. We are planning to go away for 2 weeks at the end of the month, a little skiing and beach getaway. it will be good for us to have something to look forward to.

we have set the date and place for cooper's memorial service, May 2, 2009. I will send out more info later, but wanted those of you traveling from afar to have the date so you could look at plane tickets.

our sadness seems to come in waves. we are ok one minute and then grieving the next, but i guess that is part of the process.

thank you for all your donations in cooper's honor. I know that they will be able to help many families here in rochester and that means so much to us both!

long days

Saturday, December 27, 2008

We hope you had a merry christmas. We survived. It was nice to have family around and to be together but it was a very difficult day for everyone.

Before Cooper went in for the surgery, we began to establish a rhythm to our days and now there is no rhythm at all. The days seem to last for an eternity and I anxiously await night fall so that I can go to bed and not have to miss Cooper. In those hours of sleep my heart doesnt ache and for a brief moment I can forget how much I miss the sight, smell, sound and feel of Cooper. But reality hits like a ton of bricks the moment I open my eyes and I begin counting the hours till I can go back to sleep.

I just dont know how to even begin to put my heart back together.

We have decided to have Cooper's memorial service in May. This way we can have it outside among the flowers. We will let you know more as we finalize details.

I cant tell you enough how much all your love, support, thoughts and prayers have meant to us and they truly are what helps through each day.

christmas eve

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

when the mailman came yesterday there were so many cards that she had to bring them to the door, because they wouldnt fit in the mailbox. thank you!

Cooper had the ability to touch so many people in his short life, and many of you did not meet him. his hair was so blond that it glowed, almost like a halo and knowing how he impacted people i know that is was true.

jamey and i are putting one foot in front of the other and are thankful to have each other. All of my family is here which is good. i have left the house the last couple of days for brief periods, although difficult, good for me i know.

we should know by next week about coopers eyes, but i had a conversation with the director of the transplant center and feel good they will be used to help someone. We also had Coopers cord blood stem cells collected and stored and i am working on having those donated as well, they collected over 700 million stems cells, and it helps us know that his stem cells might someday help save a life.

this is certainly not the xmas i had imagined but we are finding comfort from those family and friends, both near and far.

wishing you a warm and peaceful holiday

another day

Monday, December 22, 2008

we have somehow made it through another day, although there have been times when i didnt think it was possible.

i have never felt pain so raw or deep before, my heart is in a million pieces and it feels like it will never go back together. i keep thinking that it is all a bad dream and that i will wake up and have cooper back in my arms.

i never knew how much i was capable of loving until cooper and it seems so cruel that he was taken away. there are times that it is more than i can bear.

we decided to donate cooper's eyes, hoping that he can help someone else's child and that he will still be able to see the world in his own way.

thank you all for your love, we feel the collective hug that has been wrapped around our family. we are blessed.

trying to survive

Saturday, December 20, 2008

thank you for all your calls, emails and messages. our grief is overwhelming and pretty much all consuming, but we find comfort in knowing that we and cooper are so loved by both friends and family.

we had our first big snowstorm yesterday, the snow is so clean and pure almost as if cooper was trying to wash away the ugliness of the previous day.

jamey and i are trying to function. the waves of sadness and anger tend to be constant with a breif respite in between, usually provided by our two dogs. they seem to be trying to absorb our sadness for us, as much as they can.

we have decided to have cooper cremated and will spread his ashes in a couple of places at a later date. At this moment we just cant comprehend having a service, but will have mike, my uncle, come do one in a couple of months. we dont know yet know what that service will look like.

in the meantime, if you want to do anything you can honor cooper by sending donations to one of the following two places or you can send them to us and we will get them to the appropriate place. This would mean more to us than flowers or food.

1.Ronald McDonald House Within the Hospital
601 Elmwood Ave
Rochester Ny 14642

make check payable to Ronald Mcdonald house and put a note that it is in honor of cooper austin snyder gerenski

2. Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit
Golisano Childrens Hospital
300 East River RoadBox 278996
rochester ny 14627

make a check payable to golisan childrens hospital with a note that funds should go to pediatric cardiac intensive care unit and that it is honor of cooper austin snyder gerenski.

we will continue to post updates here, so that you all know how we are doing. it also helps us with the grieving process, i think.

thank you again for all your love and support, we do feel it.
lucinda and jamey

my sweet cooper

Friday, December 19, 2008

After a brave fight through surgery, we lost cooper yesterday morning at 10:20 am. No one seems to know what went wrong, his heart just stopped working.

We are completley devestated and trying to make sense of the blow we have been dealt. He was very loved in his short 21 days with us.

please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

trying to rest

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

it is about 9 pm here in rochester and jamey and i are going to try to get some rest. We are staying in the ronald mcdonald house which is in the hospital one floor above where cooper is staying. So we can check on him whenever we want.

Cooper is doing well. He is heavily sedated and will be until they close his chest and take him off the ventilator. jamey and i have been encouraged to get some sleep tonight, there are many highly talented people watching over cooper as well as a few guardian angels.
i dont know if we will be able to sleep, but we are going to try.

This has been the hardest thing either one of us has had to go through, but we are thankful to have each other, as well as such amazing family and friends.

we will continue to keep you posted.

much love
lucinda jamey cooper

out of surgery

Cooper is out of surgery...... we saw him briefly as they were transporting him to the PCICU.

We are waiting for the surgeon to come and talk to us while they get cooper settled.

The surgery was a little more complicated than we had hoped, but it went well and Cooper is doing fine. HIs right ventricle was a little smaller so they had to put in a shunt in order to get his 02 levels where they wanted them. He is currently in the 90's which is great. He came off the heart and lung bypass machine beautifully and his heart began beating on its own and in rhythm, which eliminates the need for a pacemaker.

Due to the length of the surgery and the additional procedure, his chest is still open, although covered. Hopefully they will be able to close it by Monday at the latest. This serves as precaution and back up plan, in case they need to get to his heart in the next 48 hours. This will makes Cooper's recovery a little longer and a bit harder for him, but he is strong. we will more than likely be here for more than 2 weeks.

we are anxious to see cooper and i cant wait to hold him, but that wont be for a while.

It has been a tense day and we are pretty tired, but very happy that he came through the surgery which was the first hurdle, the second is the next 24-48 hours.

i will post more later once we talk to the surgeon and are able to see cooper.

thank you all for your messages, thoughts, prayers and calls. They mean so much to us!!
lucinda jamey and cooper

surgery underway

Just wanted to let everyone know that surgery is underway.

we woke this morning to a winter wonderland which is great for the holiday mood, but not so great when your surgeon is driving in from syracuse. we arrived at the hospital by 8:15 and then waited till about 10 for the surgeon to arrive. Cooper was quite cranky since he had not been able to eat since 3 am and he was not to be fooled by the pacifier.

we met Dr Alfieris around 10. He is a rock star. interestingly enough he is greek, both his parents are from greece. he explained the surgery and he risks, signed the consent forms and then they took Cooper away, which was so painful, like someone ripping your heart out. I know he is in good hands. Dr. Alfieris said that every time you brush your teeth, he is performing heart surgery on a child.

It is 11;15 and Coopers cardiologist just came in to let us know that the surgery is underway, the first hour is for setting up and and prepping Cooper for surgery. We dont expect for things to be finished until 2:30 or 3:00 and then there will be a period of stabilization before they move Cooper to the PICU.

so we are now just waiting.......

more later.....
lucinda jamey and cooper

cooper surgery scheduled

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cooper Surgery Scheduled
Posted Dec 16, 2008 3:23pm

We went to the Cardiologist today for our weekly appointment. Cooper has been doing great at home and has gained some weight, he is weighing in at 8 lbs 5 oz. But his O2 levels have started to fall. As a result, both the cardiologist and surgeon want to go ahead with surgery. So it is set for tomorrow morning.
The surgery will take about 4 hours and he will more than likely be in the hospital for about 2 weeks.
Mom is here and dad will be here tonight. Jamey and I will be able to stay with Cooper at the hospital, first in the Ronald Mcdonald House and then in his room once he is stable.
i will be posting updates here, so I dont have to be on the phone.
We are nervous, but know that Cooper is in excellent medical hands.
please keep us in your thoughts/prayers.
more later
lucinda jamey and cooper