Cody's Story (Little Angel Boy)

Little Cody was born on January 8, 1999 and went to be with Jesus on April 20, 1999.  We only got to keep him for 3 short months and 12 days, but we will always cherish the time we had with him.  His mom and dad are Keith and Christel Payne, and he has one brother, Keith Lee  and they live in Bradshaw, West Virginia.  He was my nephew and I would like to tell his story.

He had the prettiest blue eyes and he always smiled.  When he came home from the hospital after he was born, he didn't cry very loud it was just little whimpers.  His mom had taken him to his pediatrician for his one month check up and this was when his doctor noticed that Cody wasn't  moving his legs and arms like he should so he wanted her to take him to a specialist  for a lot of tests.

So  Cody's mom and dad, my other brother Roger, and Cody's grandma Payne took him to Duke University, Durham, N.C.  The doctor there examined him and set up an appointment for him to come back one week later for the results of some tests they had performed.  At this time, the doctors there didn't tell the family what they suspected was wrong with precious little Cody.  My mom called us from Durham, N.C. before they left to come back home to tell us what they had found out and my brother Roger remembered seeing the words RULE OUT WERDNIG HOFFMAN DISEASE on the top of some of Cody's hospital papers,  so my sister, Cathy and I immediately started searching the internet on this and it listed all the symptoms that Cody had - trouble sucking his bottle, not moving his arms or legs, not being able to hold his head up, and then it went on to say that this was also called SMA Type I.  We had never heard of this disease.  My sister and I just looked at each other and we said oh my god I hope not.

After they got back home with him, we told my mom and my brother, Roger what we had found on the internet.  We all agreed not to say anything to Cody's mom or dad.  The next week was so frightening because of not knowing for sure  and we were praying that what we suspected wasn't true.  During that week his little voice got weaker and he couldn't take his bottle good at all.  But he would always smile at you and he was so alert, his little eyes would follow you all over the room.

I couldn't hold without crying because in my heart I knew that my worst fear was going to come true.  He was such a brave little boy.  So when they took him back to Duke University on that next Friday I went with them.  When we all went into the doctor's office, myself, Cody's mom and dad, and my other brother Roger I just stood back behind everybody.  The doctor came in and ask had anybody ever heard of Werdnig Hoffman Disease or SMA and Roger and I just looked at each other and said yes we had.  The doctor told us  this was what Cody had and there was nothing they could do for him and for us to take him home and give him a lot of love for    the rest of the time he had.  Tears was in the doctor's eyes  and he said that was the hardest thing he ever had to do was tell us that.  We all began to cry and hold Cody closer.

We brought him home to love him and cherish every second with him until Jesus called him home.  His breathing was getting worse and when he would try to take his bottle, we would have to give him a little bit and stop for a few minutes.  His pediatrician got him an APNEA monitor and oxygen at home so he could be more comfortable. It was at this time his mom and dad decided to have the feeding tube put in  so he could get more of his milk.  This was done at Duke  University.  Again we all went to be with him in Durham, N.C. for his surgery.  Myself, Cody's little brother Keith Lee, his Uncle Roger, his Uncle Rusty, Grandma Payne and his mom and dad were all there.  He came through the surgery real good but when they moved him out of intensive care to a regular room his oxygen level started staying real low, so they sent him home with oxygen around the clock.  He had such a hard time breathing on the way home, it was a four hour trip to their house.

Then on Sunday after he came home from that trip he had to be taken to our local hospital because he was getting worse.  He was admitted.  They kept oxygen on him all the time.  I stayed with him the night before he past away.  When I got ready to leave at about 5:30 A.M. on the 20th of April, he was smiling and I remember taking a picture of him before I left.  That night Keith and Christel called and said he was getting worse.  He went to be with  Jesus that night with his mom on one side of him and his dad on the other side holding him.  My brother Roger, always called him little angel boy and he surely was an angel that God must have needed in heaven.  I am so grateful for the three months and twelve days that I got to hold him and love him.  Cody you will always be in our hearts and we will love you forever.  You are no longer suffering and struggling to breath or suck your bottle.

I can't imagine the hurt his mom and dad went through because I hurt inside and their pain was so mush more.  But God wanted an angel and he chose Cody.                                 

Story By:  Susie Payne (Cody's Aunt)