The Sugar Doodle Kids story first starts with a little baby boy named Cole. Cole was born on November 4th, 2008 in Salt Lake City. He was the second little boy born to us and we were so excited for the adventure that waited for him and his older brother, Drew, in the years to come. We imagined them sharing the journey of life together and hoped they would grow to be best friends.
Cole was so beautiful and perfect in our eyes including his two clubbed feet. He instantly touched our hearts with his powerful and magnificent spirit, which brought us great joy. Cole was born 3 weeks early, however that was just the beginning of his struggles.
Because Cole was born early, he was instantly sent to the NICU to make sure things were okay. He was constantly being pricked and prodded as the doctors and nurses checked him over. The poor little guy would be snuggled down asleep only to be woken abruptly to have an IV adjusted or blood drawn. We weren’t allowed to hold him and were advised that too much stimulation might bother him. After checking in with his nurses and doctors, we gave Cole kisses and went home for the night for some much needed rest planning to return in the morning.
Then it happened, we received that dreadful call in the morning from the hospital indicating that we needed to come to the hospital immediately because there had been some complications with Cole. He had a seizure during the night and they needed to speak to us immediately. It was clear that the discussion with the doctor was going to be serious and wasn’t appropriate to do over the phone. Chills rushed through our bodies like it does on a cold winter day and the sickening feeling suddenly set in. Something wasn’t right with our newborn baby boy.
When we arrived at the hospital, we immediately spoke with the physician who had been overseeing Cole’s care. We were shown Cole’s brain scan which showed he had some brain damage. To what extent they didn’t know at the time. The results of the brain damage could range from a learning disability to cerebral palsy. They were going to finish some more tests and then talk to us again. Cole’s doctor came out a short time later and informed us that something was not right and Cole was being transported immediately up to Primary Children’s Medical Center. Like a tornado things started moving fast. Doctors and nurses were surrounding him trying to transfer all the tubes and wires that were keeping our son alive. One nurse asked us if we had had the chance to hold him yet. When we told her that we hadn’t; she quickly had us hold him for a short time while they continued to move the tangle of wires and tubes. One nurse even took a quick picture of us. I noted that probably wasn’t a positive sign and suddenly we were on our way in the ambulance.
At Primary Children’s Medical Center, Cole's new doctor stated that the test results and the way that Cole looked didn’t match up. Cole looked just perfect so he was going to re-run the tests. We hoped that somehow there was a mix up and our little guy was just fine; but we knew better.
We gathered in a small room, a very small room. We were surrounded by our family and a team of seven specialists. The results were in. Cole was terminal. While he was in the womb, a small blockage had occurred in his aortic arch blocking blood flow to his brain and the left side of his body. The damage was irreversible and not repairable. All hope was lost. There was nothing we or anyone else could do for our sweet baby.
Feeling so lucky to have had him in our life, we quickly gathered our family so everyone could meet him and say good-bye. Like any new parent, we were so proud of him despite his complications. His soul was precious and it filled the room.
On Monday, November 10, 2008, our sweet baby Cole passed peacefully away in our arms. Though he is gone from us now, his spirit still lives in our heart and home. We couldn’t have saved Cole. No one or nothing could have. But in our short time with him, we learned the importance of family, hope and the future. We couldn’t give Cole a future but we want to help give another child one and continue sharing Cole’s inspiration to others.
This is our start, this is our story of Cole and this is the beginning of the Sugar Doodle Kids journey thanks to the inspiration of our baby Cole. We hope that you will join us in this journey.
Nick & Janessa Whatcott
Founders of Sugar Doodle Kids