Our precious daughter Emily Hope was born on 10 October 2005. She came home to our family in November 2005 through adoption, and passed away on 03 January 2010 at the age of 4. Our hearts will ache forever at her loss. Here is her story…
Emily was born a fighter and a winner! She was born with Congenital CMV, a neurological virus that left her with impaired hearing. As she grew her hearing worsened until she was completely deaf in her right ear and had little hearing in her left ear. But she never let her lack of hearing slow her down in the slightest. She was bright, happy and adaptable in everything she did! Her mischievous green eyes were always flashing with enthusiasm!
Emily had a vivacious spirit and was loved and adored by all who knew her. She was full of life and full of laughter. She loved life and loved everyone she met. Emily attended a deaf-ed preschool program weekday mornings and she adored her teachers and therapists. She was never without her backpack and loved to sneak mommy’s cell phone in there too!
Emily was the light and the joy of our family. She was doing so well since her Cochlear Implant in August 2009. She was beginning to talk and would sing her favorite nursery rhymes she learned at school. She loved to dress up like a princess and ride her little tricycle up and down the street and around our house. More than anything else, Emily loved being outdoors and going places. She would pick and “collect” leaves outside every day and store them in her backpack. She just loved to explore!
On January 3, 2010, Emily woke very early in the morning and very quietly got out of her bed and managed to unlock the front door to our home. She got on her little tricycle that was on the porch and went for a ride……something she had done a million times before with supervision of those who love and care so much for her….but on this morning she was alone.
Within minutes, my husband and I were outside looking for her and on the phone with 911 and the police. Afraid that she had wandered to the front of the subdivision or through the neighborhood gate (we lived in a gated community) we were frantic. After what seemed an eternity,but in reality was probably only minutes, it was discovered that Emily had entered the neighbor’s backyard through an unlocked (open?) gate and my husband found her floating and unconscious in their backyard pool.
Two hours of CPR and efforts by the doctor’s to revive her were unsuccessful and our darling little girl was gone. Emily was tragically taken from us when her life was just beginning and the loss is tremendous. Our hearts and minds can hardly comprehend that she is now in the arms of Jesus. Our sorrow is so deep and the pain so staggering, we are groping our way through these days and weeks and months since her passing.
It is my belief that laws need to be changed. The Mason Alert is a wonderful beginning. The police in our case responded quickly and immediately began searching our residential neighborhood even on the way to our home. They were looking for Emily not only on the streets but at the playground and jogging path. We found her before they even arrived at our home, but we are thankful for their efforts. Laws also need to be in place requiring residential pools to be not only fenced, but locked and properly secured. There are so many dangers in the world for children in general, but for special needs children especially and they need to be protected! It only takes a second for an intelligent, active child to wander away. And it only takes a minute for them to lose their life.
We know that our precious Emily is safe with Heavenly Father and though we miss her more than words can express, we are thankful for our faith in the Lord and the knowledge that we will one day be with Emily again. The day simply cannot come soon enough!
Rest well, little angel…..we love you!