And then as if all that wasn't enough to deal with, my brother AND a dear friend of mine both started fundraisers for us.
On top of that, my brother went and started spreading the word all over everywhere that we needed help.
Our initial reaction wasn't the best.
People started donating their hard earned money to us. People who were probably living paycheck to paycheck just like us. Friends, Family, total strangers, someone named anonymous just kept giving and giving.
Like we ever did anything to deserve that. I mean there are people out there in the world who are starving to death but someone is donating us money. We have a house, a car, food on the table, clothes, and more toys than my kids know what to do with but people are donating to us?
Once we calmed down a bit and accepted the fact that people were going to help us whether we wanted it or not, we began to recognize how much we did need it.
Those donations gave us one less thing to stress about as the medical bills started piling up. We were able to focus on choosing the best possible care for Matthew rather than worrying we wouldn't be able to afford it. One of my friends mentioned at the time, whenever you add an additional title to a doctor's name you add an additional dollar sign. And we were seeing some long titles.
When the time came those donations paid for Matthew's funeral. We had lots of help with the funeral costs. Family donated a plot to us in the cemetery where Matthew is buried surrounded by family. The funeral home also waived any commission.
While I was in the hospital, my brother and dad took one look at our car, marched in and demanded our keys, and took it to get four new tires. One of the tires had been patched the year before and we had bought a small air compressor that plugged into the cigarette lighter. We were filling up that tire every day with air until we finally burned out the air compressor. Then we went back to quarters at the gas station on the corner. All the tires were bald, one had a nail in it and the one we were filling up every day, had a gash that looked like it came from a box cutter. (It had been there when the tire was new but as it wore down it seemed to crack deeper.) Getting new tires, or at least replacing the leaking one, was on our to do list in the month we thought we still had before Matthew's birth. Then he came early.
On top of the financial help, we had so many people praying for us. I believe in the power of prayer, but I can honestly say I never experienced it before in such a powerful way.