Friday, January 25, 2008

Family New Years Card

I finally finished our family Christmas Letter, turned it into a New Year's Letter , and am sending them out to some friends and family. We hope you've all had a great start to this new year and here is a copy of our card and letter so you can learn a little about Mason's family.

Happy New Year
from the…

(Summary of 2007)

S Skiing and sledding are definitely Kaitlin (9), Preston (6 ½), & Braiden (4 ½) ‘s favorite winter activities. They ski with friends and cousins and Alta and have a blast.
T The annual July trip to the So. California beaches is still our families’ favorite vacation. Ammon (2 ½) even enjoyed it this year. He thought sandy Doritos was a great snack!
R Running after Ammon 18 hours a day along with trying to meet everyone else’s needs was the only marathon Summer ran in this year. (Boston was postponed. No official marathoning while pregnant and puking permitted!!!)
I In the “locked up” house. Summer hired a locksmith to save her sanity from Ammon’s busy curiosity and escaping skills. Now every door and pantry are bolted shut . (Mark says we live in Fort Knox.)
C Completed the Oceanside ½ Ironman in March 2007…That would be Mark. He did great. Way to go Dad!
K Kicking soccer goals was what Preston and Braiden did best this fall. They both had a great time playing soccer this year.
L Living by wonderful neighbors and near loving and helpful grandparents, aunts and uncles is one thing for which our family is very grateful.
A Ammon’s progression has been amazing this year. He finally walked at 26 mo. & at 27 months he was running and earned himself the nick name of “Hot Wheels”. (He never stops!)
N Nursing Degree…Mark and Summer took a six week crash course in Cardiac Nursing at Primary Children’s PICU. ( Explanation will follow.)
D Dance competition, gymnastics, softball, tennis, & seeing Hannah Montana in concert were some of Kaitlin’s highlights this year.
S Santa brought us an early Christmas gift this year… A wonderful gift of love and joy. Mason Andrew Strickland was born on November 30, 2007.

Our Christmas letter (which I had written before Mason was born) was put on hold this year when little Mason was 3 days old. On Dec. 3 , the morning after we brought him home, my mother’s intuition took over and I knew something was really wrong with our baby. He had struggled through the night to breathe, stay warm, and eat. We took him to our pediatrician whom immediatley called an ambulance to take Mason and I back to the American Fork Hospital ( Mark followed us). At this point he was 88 degrees and the Dr. could not find a pulse!
We were at the hospital for about 30 minutes when our little Mason “crashed”. The nurses paged Code Blue through the hospital and numerous doctors and nurses ( it seemed like 100 people) came running to revive him. This is a moment Mark and I never wish to relive! At this time… our lives changed. After about 20 minutes( the longest 20 minutes of my life!) they were able to stabilize Mason. Then he was sent by Life Flight to Primary Children’s Hospital in SLC.
Soon after arriving they diagnosed Mason with a very serious heart defect. He has a variation of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, which requires 3 open heart surgeries. But, he was so sick upon arriving there the cardiothoracic team was worried he wouldn’t make it through his first surgery. And this is why we now call him Miracle Mason, because he recovered remarkedly well from his “crash” surprising all the doc’s!
On Dec. 10, at 10 days old, he had open heart surgery. The recovery had its ups and downs, but 1 month after surgery ( when he was 6 weeks old) we finally brought our Miracle Mason home. He will need his next surgery at about 4 or 5 months old and his 3rd at about 2 years old.
At this time we are so grateful for life, supportive family, wonderful neighbors and friends, incredible doctors and nurses, and all the prayers said on Mason’s behalf. Those prayers have all been heard and we have been showered with blessings!
We wish all of you a very Happy New Year!!
We love you, The Stricklands

(If you would like to be added to my Mason update e-mail list please e-mail me at

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