Little Warrior

If we haven’t been through enough. The apnea test needed a certain number difference on his CO2 levels. Want to know what it came back at? THREE points short of being able to legally declare him brain dead. Honestly?

So we were faced with a choice. We could repeat the test in a few hours or we could stop treatment. If we stopped treatment we would have to pull his tubes and wait for him to go. If we let his heart stop, he would only be able to make a tissue donation. Because of his age, that only includes his heart valves. He would be minimized to the same donation a pig can make. This isn’t good enough for our little warrior.

Do we wait for another apnea test and risk his heart stopping on it’s own? Or do we let it go and only have his heart valve to give? We fight on!

Who knew that when we selected names .. Owen would be so fitting. It means Little Warrior.

Our sadness turns into a fight .. A burning deep within to find a way to make some good of this. We prayed for a miracle and we are getting many. Liver, kidney, lungs, heart, donations to the Children’s Miracle Network from those who heard our story on the radio. Then multiply that out to the other sick kids who will feel the warmth from the Children’s Miracle Network?

How messed up is it that we have to jump through hoops to do something good? The longer we wait the more he deteriorates and the more chance of his organs will be gone beyond donation. We asked what we could do … He must live on.

There is another test. A flow study. They inject radioactive fluid into his brain and study it to see if there is any blood flow to his brain. It was the fastest way we could get a legal statement. So we fight on.

He’s having the test right now.

My prayer has changed and I feel guilty. I pray that we get a brain dead statement so we can move on. So we can continue in the hope of others. Many others. This is a bigger miracle than we could have prayed for. We asked for one and the Lord gave us many.

Tonight we go home to sleep. We could stay … but by going home, we can make an impact … an impact on our boys. Staying here with machines doesn’t give any value. The first baby step back into the world. We will come back tomorrow morning for his surgery and to hold him one last time. The donation center said they can give us updates as the surgery is going on. So we’ll get updates as to what is viable as it’s happening.

Perhaps a family who will get a donation from Owen is reading this. If you are, we already love you. Your baby has many great things to do in life. Know that they will have a little warrior in them.

Love, Mel


  1. Mel- owen is a fighter & so are you & your husband. Owen will live on in others & that’s a miricle in itself. My heart still mourns and its shattered.I’m sorry your going through this. My God watch over you & protect you & know hes taking care of owen. We love you!!!


  2. i don’t know you.
    my heart is aching for you and your family.
    please know we are fervantly praying for your hearts and wounded hurting places.

  3. I stumbled across your blog through another, and I am so heartbroken for you and your family. I will be thinking and praying for you, and for all of the families your wonderful little boy will be blessing.

  4. Mel,
    I don’t know you… only came across your story via a friend of mine on facebook and I am so glad that I did. You have amazing strength – and though you probably feel at a time like this you don’t have a choice – the truth is, you do – I admire you and the fact that you took time to write and tell everyone what has happened and what you are feeling and going through… I tell people often that I am thankful for the four boys that I have but yet I never take a moment of their lives for granted. Thank you for letting us into your life and sharing your story, your sadness and know that my prayers tonight and tomorrow will include you and your children and your husband – I will pray for continued strength and endurance and patience to get through all of those tough days and questions ahead of you. Thinking of you tonight…. Sue

  5. I am sorry to read of your loss. I am very saddened as I read your last post, but I am also encouraged by your positive and loving attitude towards others during this really hard time. Many people will be blessed because of your big heart. Not just by your baby’s donation, but by the example you have been to others. God bless you and your family.

  6. Your blog was posted by two friends on my FB. I am a mom to four little ones and can’t bear to read stories of loss. I stay away from stories like yours, but something compelled me to read yours. I am in tears reading your posts. I just want you to know that you are an amazing mom with an amazing family. Your faith and strength with what is happening to your sweet child is immense. You truly have the deepest and purest love for your child. I am praying for you and your family.

  7. Your family will be in my prayers. The loss of a child is always horrible… but when it’s the loss of a multiple child, it just makes it so much more difficult in so many ways. I can’t imagine your pain.
    You are an inspiration – and little Owen will certainly live on in others who he helps physically- but also those of us who have read your story and are touched by your little man.
    prayers for you all.

  8. A friend sent me a link to your blog while asking for prayers for your family. My heart has broken reading your story andmy tears and prayers have been with you.
    My brother recived donated heart valve’s when he was 6mo old from a family in your situation.( he had rejected the pig valve’s and donation was his last hope )I morn the loss of that child but feel the blessing of the gift his family gave to mine every day when I see my brother. In the 17 years that has passed there is not a day that goes by that we dont think of that child and that family. You are giving a blessing to many others and they will always think of your family and love your little Owen. For he will be giving life to their child and he will live on..
    thoughts and prayers with you and your family

  9. Mel,
    You don’t know me but like many others, I too, heard about your story through facebook. As a fellow mom of multiples I felt a deep connection to you and your family. I have read through your blog from the beginning and have laughed and cried. My heart aches for you and your family and for your little warrior. Nothing can replace your beautiful son but I am so glad that you were able to make the courageous decision to let him live on and help give life to others. What a joyous occasion in heaven it will be when Owen arrives. Though none of my words may be of comfort, I will keep you, your husband and Owens brothers in my thoughts and prayers in the days to come.

  10. Mel,
    I don’t know you, but my heart aches for you and my prayers are with you and your family. You are such a strong mother and person. I truly admire your strength and your attitude through all of this. Owen’s legacy will live on in others, not only with his donations, but also his spirit as it is passed onto others. Know that you have touched many lives and I hope that in each day you are able to find joy and live the way that Owen would want you to. God bless!

  11. You don’t know me, nor I you, I have seen you at church though. Just wanted you to know we have been and will continue to pray for you and your family. We have cried for you and hoped with you. You are unbelievably strong and a true testament to faith. Thank you so much for sharing you journey with all of us. (It must have been very tough). If there is anything we can do to help please let us know.

  12. Oh Mel…. How my heart breaks for you. For the choices that you have to be faced with. For just having to deal with this at.all…. I have shaken my fist at God, challenging Him to bring Owen back…. whole and complete. I have told him that this.isn’t.fair….. And I have told Him that no matter what, even if He decides that Owen needs to fly to Him…. That He is still perfect and Holy.

    I soooo hate this…. these decisions that need to be made…. these “getting ready’s” that have to be done….

    And I think of the Moms and Dads that are getting phone calls… or are getting ready to get those calls….. Telling them to get their precious
    fighters ready….. Giving them a hope for the future.

    And I can see His Holiness shine through this tragedy. Even through my own tears for you and your entire family.

    Please know that we will be holding you up before His Throne. Pleading for His mercies and grace. Knowing that even while bouncing Owen on His knee, He will be shedding His tears for you as well.

  13. The power in your words astound me. I am so very moved by your family and the fact that you are able to see that you will be giving a gift to many other families as well. THAT is some faith! I am not so sure I could say the same for myself. Know this, you are a complete encouraging force to those of us who want to do so much to support your family but feel helpless as we read your blog. Seems backwards, but I thank you for sharing your story and all of it’s details. Owen is a champ and I know that he is very blessed to feel your love and passion. I am praying for you all, you’re an amzing family!

  14. Oh how we have been praying for your Owen and your beautiful family….We always will have a light on for your little Owen as we keep them on for ours. There is no easy answer and as David and I were talking, tonight, about what you are going through- we cried. Owen is a warrior and whatever choice you make…will be the right one. Continued blessings for you and yours.

  15. So at the time you wrote this blog, my Sami was picking out socks for this wknd…she found baby socks(she is 4)…I want to give this to the baby…Lydia…No…Kenzie….No the sick baby Owen in the hospital…Honey he went to heaven to be with Jesus…oh well then he is up there(her bedroom light)…we left them on her window sill so he can see them.
    We are praying for you all.

  16. Melissa… I prayed for the babies before they were born and after their birth as well. (6th floor gang from work)
    My heart aches as I try to put into words how sorry I am. My prayers are with you and our family.

  17. Hello Mel & Bissing Family:

    I read your blogs & sobbed for you!! I can’t imagine what you feel or what you are going though! I have 2 little girls of my own & can’t bare the thought of losing any of them!! My heart is bleeding and so sad right now knowing he has passed on & I envy you for trying to donate his organs so that he helps others and lives on! My prayers are with you & your 3 boys!

  18. The strength you show in this post is beyond words. I am so unbelievably sorry for what you are going through. My heart aches for you. I lost one of my triplets and am hear for you whenever you need me.

  19. Your little warrior will live on and fight in other brave little children whose lives will forever change for the better tomorrow. You wrote earlier that you will look at children now and wonder if they are carrying part of your son…you may never know, but what you should know is that by sharing your story in the amazing way that you have, we are all now carrying a little part of Owen.

    A friend of mine recently lost her 3 week old son. While there was very little to take comfort in, she took some measure of comfort in knowing that because of the brevity of his life, he had only known love. As she put it, “how many among us are lucky enough to have lived a life only filled with love?” Owen certainly only knew love, and will continue to feel your love for the years to come.

    Your story is heartbreaking and uplifting. What a special family you have. I will be thinking of you all.

  20. I, like the many others that written to you, do not know you. However, I am so moved, touched, and saddened by your journey. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family. Although my daughters are grown up and married, I cannot imagine losing them. I can only imagine your sorrow and my heart breaks. Thank you for sharing your story. I know that you and Owen are making a positive difference in this world.

  21. Another person you do not know in real life, but my heart aches for you and your family. Sending thoughts and prayers to you and your boys.

  22. Dear Mel,

    My heart breaks for you and your family. I’m lifting you and your family up to God and sending lots of prayers and hugs to you all.

    Lots of love.

  23. God Bless You! God Bless You! I am praying hard for you, your family, and little Owen. Prayers that your little warrior lives on in the lives of others. From one Triplet mom who lost a son to another. My thoughts are with you.

  24. I am mom to 14 month old GGG triplets. Found your blog via a FB friend. Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. My heart is breaking for you…

  25. I to have ran across your blog through other mom’s of multiples and as a mom with 3 beautiful 7 month old triplets, I can only imagine what you and your family are going through. With reading your blog, you have taught me not to take my children for granted and to cherish every moment- not matter how big or small. Although I can not offer words of wisdom, please know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.
    I told myself when we found out we were having triplets, that God would not give me more than I could handle. And I strongly believe this!
    I only know of Owen through pictures off your blog, but can tell he is a little warrior and will live on.

  26. Mel,
    You don’t know me but Jen Barth has been sharing your blog. My heart aches for what you are going through. I, too, lost a baby back in 20o1. She was 3 days old. I know you are probably going through all kinds of emotion right now. I want you to know every emotion you feel is completely normal. The anger, the hurt, confusion…..Owen sounded like a great fighter, The Warrior, as you mentioned. He will forever watch over you and your family. What a precious gift you are giving other families by letting a part of Owen live on. I wish that we could have been given that chance with our Anna. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers as you grieve. I wish I could give you a hug…..with time, it does get easier, I promise. I found this quote shortly after my Anna left us, and it brought me comfort, and I hope it will to you too: “An Angel in the Book of Life wrote down our baby’s birth, and whispered as she closed the Book, ‘Too beautiful for Earth’ “.

  27. Bless you and your family for taking your fight for Owen’s life into a life for the lives of so many other children. I am in awe of your strength and compassion for others at a time when most would crumble. Please know that there are so many of us (who don’t even know you) that are here to hold you up when you are ready to crumble and need someone to find for you.

  28. Mel, I haven’t written sooner, because I truly couldn’t express my feelings in words. Our grief has been immense, yet could never compare to yours and that of your family. Yet here you are keeping us informed, keeping Owen in our hearts. The strength you and Doug have demonstrated through all of this is amazing. In Ireland the name Owen means – “born to nobility, young warrior.” True nobility is not a title gained by birthright, it is something that exists within some of us and is demonstrated to others through our actions. I absolutely agree that when you named Owen, you named him appropriately. The family and I will keep you in our hearts and prayers.

  29. Dearest Mel,
    I am a friend of Gina Zimmerman’s. My 9 year old daughter, Grace, just received a kidney transplant at Children’s of WI this past February after being ill for 2 years. Her kidney came to her from a deceased donor. She had a very difficult time getting through the transplant, with more serious complications than most. I remember living within those yellow walls like the ones in Owen’s room and thinking similar thoughts. Your writing makes my soul remember how it felt.

    As the mother of this precious girl, I want to let you know that donation is the most incredible gift you can bestow. Our family’s life has been touched by another in a way few can understand. We have our Grace back. Her little sisters have her back, and I know this is true only because of another family’s loss.

    Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your Owen.
    Angie Burgess

  30. I’m so sorry for your loss but completely inspired by your faith, courage and strength. I can see the heart of Jesus in your words and actions. I am so so sorry for your loss but God’s glory is shining bright. I will continue to pray that He holds your family close and that the surgery tomorrow goes better than expected, offering the gift of life and the gift of hope to many children through your little warrior. Owen has touched the lives of so many.

  31. I am a stranger to you. Someone who has found you through a friend, through another friend, etc. I feel the need to reach out to you. I am a mother of 3. 8 year old girl and twin 4 yo boys. My first daughter was stillborn at 38 weeks. I held her after I learned when I woke from my emergency c-section that she was gone. I too know what it is like to look at your child’s vessel and feel the emptyness and desperation. I cannot imagine the magnification of that pain after having the memories you do. But, cherish those memories. Look at his brothers and know that he has given a part of himself to them, so that they can be more. You and they will have an angel in heaven watching over you all. My Josie is with me always. I pray for you and send my little girl to greet him at heaven’s gates. All my love and prayer.

  32. Just found your blog this morning. I am so very sorry to hear about Owen. Thinking of you and your family today…

  33. Dear Mel,
    You don’t know me, and I don’t know what words exist to tell you how my heart just crumbles reading about what you have been going through. I could try to say so many things, but they would be inadequate.
    You are my hero. I’ve never seen such grace and strength before. I believe that only one of the strongest women on earth could have been picked by God to be Owen’s mommy, knowing what she would have to endure in order for his life to multiply into many lives through the miracle of organ donation, and God chose you. I imagine there are thousands of moments where you don’t feel like you are strong. You are. Maybe you don’t feel heroic. You are. Hearing your story has literally changed my view on my own motherhood of two little ones.
    Please, just never underestimate the impact both you and Owen make on the world.

  34. Dear Mel,
    You do not know me. I came across your blog through one of my friends. I wanted to let you know my heart goes out to you. I read through your blog entries and you have truly inspired me as a mom. You remind everyone not to take one second with their child for granted. Your strength as a mom has inspired me to be a better mom and reminds me of what is important in life. Remember Owen, You may only be someone in the world, but to someone else, you may be the world. May God Bless you and your family

  35. You and your family are truly one of the most beautiful, strong, and amazing people I have ever heard of. Your story brings me to tears and just makes my heart ache for you, but you are turning such an unfair thing into many miracles. I have been praying for you since Monday when I heard about your story, and I continue to pray. Your faith has been incredible and you are really a model of what people should strive to be. I am so inspired by you and your family, and I pray Owen brings many miracles. He is so young, but loved by so many and his memory will live on forever as will his story. I have never met him, but I truly love him and pray for him everyday. Bless all of you for you are amazing. Sending prayers and love.

  36. Dear Mel
    I’m another stranger but we have friends in common at Kohls. I search for words of wisdom and can’t find any. Know that you and your family are in our prayers. No parents should have to lose a child but the road you are taking to help other children and families in your time of grief is so generous. May God watch over you as you continue on in this journey.

  37. i don’t know you either, but i couldn’t sleep at all last night thinking of you and your family. you are so amazing and beautiful to me, and i have never met you. please know that you, owen, and your family are in my heart.

  38. With tears in my eyes and a heavy heart I want to tell you I think you and you family are amazing. In your saddest moment you have found a way to have strenght and doing an amazing thing. Owen will live on in others and he will continue to be amazing. I will one day tell my triplets the story of Owen a triplet in heaven.

  39. Im soooo sorry for your loss. I cant even imagine how hard this has been and will be for your family. I came across this blog and your story this morning. Im not only soo touched by your strength by feel like I need to help you. I will be posting this blog on my blog and offering a $25 gift card to one of my readers who donates over $10 for your family. You are so strong.
    Thinking of you, Marissa

  40. God is who HE says HE is
    God can do what He says HE can do
    I am who God says I am
    I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength
    God’s Word is alive and active in me

    Grieving with you and your family, take comfort in knowing that he is safe in the arms of our Savior. Continuing to lift you and your family up to the Lord in prayer.

  41. You are an amazing and gracious mother. May god bless you tomorrow and grant you with the strength you need to get through the day.

  42. Mel, We (as the 6th floor gang) are following your story and adding our prayers to yours. God gave you this beautiful gift X3 and you are a true example of excellence as a Mother. God bless you in your journey and thank you for your blog that enables us to follow along with your journey.

  43. You all have been through enough now. Praying that God will release all of you today into healing, to supporting His miracles, to embodying His work, to receiving His love and peace.
    Phil. 1:3

  44. Mel,
    You wouldn;t even believe how much I thought of little Owen yesterday when I got home from work. I was just praying please god let him be ok. it hurts my heart so much to hear they have to run yet another test to determine if he is brain dead, this has got to be just one of the saddest stories. Owen you are a warrior. Please fight it for Mommy, Daddy, and brothers who want you back at home. Gdo bless this family with all the strength in the world at this difficult time in their lives

  45. I can’t even tell you what an amazing mother and person you are. You are able to see the miracle in such a tradegy – and I don’t think I would be able to do that. Your faith and love is an inspiration.

  46. Owen and your entire family are in my prayers. I’m abiding with you and thinking of you and hoping for peace in the minutes, days and weeks to come.

  47. We’ve kept you all in our most sincere prayers since I read about your struggles. Many hugs to you and your family during this most sad and difficult time.

  48. Dear Bissing Family,

    I came across your blog through MOST on FB. I am praying for peace for you in the coming days and months. I do not know the pain of making these decisions, but do know the pain of losing my infant son. He was 7 months old. We wanted so very much to donate Danny’s organs, but it was not an option.

    You will find the words to tell Jaden and you be amazed at the wisdom that this little guy will have. Just keep talking and listening. Your other 2 triplet boys will know their brother. They will know him through your stories and pictures. My son has always known of his brother. The day we took down his crib was the day the picture of the two of them went up in the nursery. He is almost 11 and still has a picture on his nightstand.

    When you are ready, I would be happy to connect you with other families that have walked in similar shoes.

    We have never met, but I have come to believe that when we are connected here on earth our loved ones in heaven are somehow also connected. Please know that Owen will have a friend in my Danny up in heaven. I am going to the cemetary this AM to do some gardening. I will say a prayer for Owen and your family while I’m there.

    It’s been 11 years since my son earned his wings. I will always cherish his smile. Know that Owen smiled for those he loved. He knew who is mommy was. He knew who his daddy was. He knew his big brother. He knew he was very much loved.

  49. I do not know you but am holding you so close to my heart. I cannot let myself imagine the hurt and pain you are going through. However, I assure you that your sweet baby is with Jesus himself now. I want you to know that my cousin received a heart in 2005 from a selfless family just like yours. She is now a nurse and saving lives daily. You are such a gift to this world!! I will continue to pray for you and your sweet baby. Your boys are very lucky to have you!!

  50. We have never met, however your strength is amazing. Our hearts go out to you and your family. God has a plan for your little Owen and the faith that you are showing proves that you understand that. Owen will be able to be an angle to many children and families. We are praying for your strength to continue and we will be thinking of you. God Bless You

  51. Mel,

    I don’t know you, but was referred to your story from a friend who knows you. As a mom of multiples, I admire your strength and determination to do what is right for Owen and for your other children at home. The love of a mother (and father) is the most powerful force I’ve ever come to know. I’ve been thinking about you and your family and praying for you to get through this. You are amazing! God bless!

  52. You are amazing woman to go through such unspeakable heartbreak and yet be doing all you can to heal as many other families out there that you can. I’m thinking of you and your family and praying for God to give you the strength to get through all this.

  53. I came across your blog from a friend on facebook.
    May God grant you His consolation and strength;
    may our prayers help you to accept His will,
    and to bless His Holy Name.
    May God the Father of all consolation,
    be with you in your sorrow,
    and give you His light and His peace
    Your son, your strength and you have touched my heart, and I pray for your peace and your light.

  54. Mel,
    I am also a mother of multiples. I found your blog via the Herrin Twins on FB. I have a set of twins, the HERIN twins.

    I wanted to tell you that you are an inspiration to me, and I am crying not only for you, but with you. What an amazing gift you are giving, through the life of your little Owen. Though I do not know you personally, I love you and your family. May God walk with you, and hold your hand through the journey that you have been given. Your children are very lucky to have you.


  55. You have been through alot an just stay strong for your other children. You and your family are in my prayers. Owen will be looking down on you an saying that’s my mommy she did the best that she could do for me an let me go to god an she know’s that I’m in a good place now.

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