RACE FOR JACE
And for Tami and Trent Pederson, it did. June 16th began as a normal day for this couple, but ended in an unthinkable tragedy. The day included a routine check-up with Tami’s OBGYN. Tami was seven months pregnant with their first child—a boy. Tami (29) and Trent (31) had been married for two years. They had a house in Fergus Falls, MN, and had put the final touches on the nursery to welcome their baby boy home. They were ready: diapers stacked in tidy rows, clothes folded and hung in size order, shampoo, lotions and ointments ready to be smeared. Tami even began a baby book for her unborn son. What a treasure. The baby boy she’d longed to hold. Nurse. Rock. Protect. Love. They were excited and ready for their lives to change. But not in the way it did.
Their simple lives took a tragic turn, when at 4:30 AM Trent heard Tami call his name. He jumped out of bed to find Tami on the bathroom floor. “She must be in labor,” Trent thought. He tried to help her change positions and asked, “What’s wrong Tami?” She answered, “I don’t know.” Then she vomited and stopped breathing. Trent called 911 and Tami was air-lifted to Sanford Hospital in Fargo. Loved ones waited and paced... hoped and prayed. By 10 AM the neurologist and his nurse delivered the first blow. Tami had suffered a massive brain aneurysm. Nothing else could be done. Tami was brain dead. Trent fled the room, desperate for air and to wake from this unimaginable nightmare. Tami was being kept alive only to deliver their baby and then for organ donation. Accepting his fate and his responsibility, he mustered the strength and began methodically, deliberately, stoically, and courageously making decisions for Tami and their son. Trent was absolutely broken. Torn.
Baby Jace was born by cesarean-section, but he was very sick. During Tami’s medical emergency, Jace’s brain was deprived of oxygen and he is severely brain damaged, as the result. Jace Owen Pederson was his given name, but that too, changed. Tami’s name was Tami Jo. So Trent changed his baby’s name to Jace Jo. Tami’s features are etched into Jace’s face and now his name bears her resemblance, too.
In one evening - just one day before Father’s Day - Trent Pederson became a new daddy and a widower. The course of his life has changed, forever.
Trent and Jace have a heroic battle ahead. Caring for a handicapped child will be difficult as a single parent. Their families and friends help to provide support and care, but Trent must return to work to provide for his child and himself. Specialized child care for Jace will be both hard to find and expensive. Unfortunately we cannot erase the pain caused by Tami’s death. We cannot bring Tami back to Trent and Jace. We cannot make Jace’s brain function like it did before June 16. These shortcomings hamstring us.
They say “It takes a village.” Let’s be Jace’s Village. Together we can shower them with the kindness and love of strangers. Here’s how you can help: pray, run/walk, donate. First, prayers are always necessary. Then, consider participating in the Fargo Mini-Marathon on October 20. Join the team: “Race for Jace.” Click on the link below to register. Then, we humbly ask you to donate to Jace’s Foundation, through this PayPal link. Trent needs financial help. The cost adds to his fears of adequately providing for the proper care of Jace.
Individually and collectively, we will make a difference for Trent and Jace. May they feel the force of our community and know they’re not alone. Not ever. Thank you.