October 21, 2012 (Yukon) – Olympian Zach Bell and his wife Rebecca recently suffered the heart-breaking loss of their newly born son, Paxton Michael Bell, and we join the cycling community in reaching out to them and their family and friends during this difficult time. Zach wrote a touching blog about the tragedy and in his words… “I think it is message worth sharing.”
Nothing is Harder
I am writing today with a whole new outlook on life. On the things that can be considered hard.
On October 13th, 2012 at around noon my wife gave birth to our first born son, Paxton Michael Bell. He was a beautiful perfect little boy. But when he was born he was not breathing. He was taken away from us as quickly as he had arrived. My family was moved to BC Women’s Hospital and Paxton and Rebecca began receiving the most amazing care I have ever had the privilege to witness.
Over the next 2 days the doctors and specialists cared for Paxton and worked around the clock to try and determine what had happened. In the end they came to us with the most terrifying news I have ever received in my life. During the labor there was some sort of problem that prevented the umbilical chord from delivering the things it needed to him, specifically gases like oxygen. They think it occurred somewhere in the 2nd half of the labor process and was prolonged enough that Paxton suffered an acute, severe brain event. There was no part of him that was not impacted. Our perfect boy, a perfect pregnancy for my wife, had grown just the way he should have and had everything robbed of him.
The Doctors then told us he was unlikely to survive and that they did not feel there was anything more medicine could do for him. Late Tuesday we had to make the life shattering choice to take Paxton off of vital supports to see if he had enough function to even support his vital operations. After a fight that seemed to last an eternity it was obvious he did not and he passed quietly cradled in his mother’s arms. The perfect picture of an infant that never had the chance to show his true colours.
Rebecca and I love him with all our hearts after only a short time. Even though he never had a chance with us here we got to know him and his personality over the last 9 months. He has forever changed things for us. Cycling and its challenges seem small compared to what he fought against. We will miss him.
I am writing this because I know there are many who were awaiting his arrival. I know many of you saw him and my wife at the Games and may be wondering when he might greet the world. But mostly, I am writing this as a proud father of a little fighter who never had the chance. He had no one to defend him in his moment of need.
Telling this only highlights the emptiness that my wife and I feel but I think it is something that needs to be told. I think people need to know that, no matter how perfect, life is precious. Anyone who is reading this is blessed with so many more gifts than they are thankful for and I think people need to understand that. Simply to have the chance to participate in something as beautiful as life, to enjoy the food of the world and ride your bike through the country side just one time is a gift that could have been taken away from any of us in an instant.
I hope this encourages some to take the time to be with loved ones and cherish what you have. I hope you can all do this to honour the potential Paxton held for our family and those moments he will never have even though he had all the chance in the world.
A fund at BC Children’s Hospital has been set up in Paxton’s name. The care we received there is something that you can’t possibly understand until you have seen it in action. The compassion and professionalism was breathtaking and I can’t think of any organization that deserves our support more.
Please, make a donation in Paxton’s honour by going here.
From the drop down menu please select “newborn icu” and in the message area, please make sure to specify that you would like to make this donation on behalf of Paxton Michael Bell. I hope everyone who reads this can give something and do so every year on Paxton’s birthday Oct, 13th.
Put it in your calender because every year there will be a child fighting for his or her life, and fighting for the chance to experience all the things we take for granted.