September 1 2014. Monday. I woke up in Luca’s hospital room at CHLA this morning and waited for Megan and her parents to make their way over for the daily morning nurse switch.
Today marked my first day back to training after spending the last 4 days in the hospital. I left this morning feeling as if I was making the right decision. I’d only be gone for a couple hours, but I wanted to get out of the hospital for a little and there was no better place to do that than the soccer field. Back on the training field I felt refreshed and I needed that because Luca was scheduled to be in the hospital for his first couple MONTHS of life. Each day would bring something new, and we felt as if Luca would take one step forward and two steps back. So for myself during these last few days I felt no news was good news because Luca was stable on life support.
At the time I was happy about the decision to get back out there but now it’s one of my biggest regrets. My biggest regret was not spending every second of his short life with Luca. I wish I took more photos and more videos and created more memories with my son. I envisioned doing so many father and son things. I feel shorted of my time with him. Not until months later did I become thankful. Thankful for the week I did have, thankful for the relationships I’ve made from him, and thankful for the beautiful daughter he gave us. I understood how I had an opportunity that so many other families who had kids with congenital heart defects didn’t get to have.
My other regret was not letting every person who came to the hospital go and see Luca, in person. We didn’t want people to see him under the conditions he was in, and didn’t expect for him to be gone so soon. To all my friends and family who did come to the hospital and were unable to see Luca, I’m sorry. I know he was able to change a lot of lives and it happened to be lives of people he was never able to meet. Sharing his story we hope to continue his legacy and name as we hope to help other families in the same situation we were and are in.
After training that day i rushed back to hospital. During the hours I was gone, I knew any phone calls were probably going to bring bad news. My phone did ring on my drive back and it was Megan, who again just needed me. It’s hard to watch your son lay lifeless for 5 days and you can’t help but feel so helpless. There wasn’t much that we could do, we couldn’t take his pain away but if I could I would. We wanted to make him feel as comfortable as possible by talking to him, reading to him, kissing him, and just sitting there holding his little hand. We laid his stuffed animal dog on him for comfort and one time he actually reached out and petthe dog. We have a dog named Diesel and we couldn’t wait for the day to have them meet and grow up together. So seeing Luca pet a dog, though it was a stuffed animal was fulfilling for us to see.
The day had come to and end and me, my dad, and father in law had been switching night shifts and staying and sleeping in Luca’s hospital room. Megan needed to sleep in a actual bed to help her with her recovery so she never had the opportunity to stay in the same room overnight with Luca. They never got their one on one mother son time. Spending those nights with Luca are moments I cherish. My dad cherishes. And Megan’s dad cherishes. Sleeping in his room meant you probably weren’t getting much sleep with all the various machine noises and nurses coming in and out. But as a father and for Luca’s grandfathers it was an opportunity to bond one on one. I’d sit at his bedside til the early mornings. My dad would even show Luca the Raiderettes, the cheerleaders of the Oakland Raiders.