Sammy and Autumn
Sammy is a true medical miracle! Sammy is not my biological son. I know the deep piercing bond a son
from my womb can bring. I love my Sammy just as deeply.
Sammy was born a full four months early at the fragile weight of 17 ounces when his birthmother's placenta burst due to her addiction to methamphetamine s and landed her in the hospital. When he tested positive for
methamphetamines, Sammy was taken into the custody of Children's Services; his mother's rights suspended
until she tested negative for the drug. His premature delivery meant his organs were not developed enough
to sustain his life. His lungs were so underdeveloped; he couldn't take his first breath. His brain and nervous
system were so undeveloped they couldn't remind him he even needed one. He survived for the next 14 months in the hospital under the care of medical personnel utilizing mechanical ventilation and IV drips, while he fought his
mother's drug addiction. He rapidly produced hundreds of hemangiomas on the outside of his body and thousands more on the inside that impeded the natural function of all his organs. This subjected him to several years of chemotherapy.
To the amazement of hospital staff, he endured seven abdominal surgeries and survived four close-call
resuscitations. Sammy was continually pricked with
needles. He was so troubled he slept sitting up. Afraid to relax into dreamland, he posed for his next onslaught of cold painful medical procedures delivered by sterile hands and blue scrubs. (see Photo at web site http://www.angelainwaitingUSA.org)
Against extraordinary odds, Sammy continued to fight for his life, alone, without the emotional support of a
nurturing mother. The severity of his illness and grim prognosis prompted doctors to request a Do Not
Resuscitate Form be signed by the appointed court judge. Thankfully, the judge refused, and Sammy
continued to make use of the hospital's personnel heroic resuscitation efforts. Miraculously, and to the
continued amazement of the nurses, therapists and physicians charged with his care, he stabilized enough to be discharged from the hospital.
He was placed in a group home for medically fragile children where he was able to bond with other children who were fighting incredible fights of their own (see Alexia's Story from our web site). Six months later, after a long career in child care, the owner of the group home was to retire. She was frightened that if Sammy ended up in the local institution he was slated for, he would shrivel and die.
She called me on Thanksgiving Day when she'd heard I was a veteran NICU and pediatric nurse and now
certified as a medically fragile foster parent. Convinced Sammy wouldn't make it without a vital infusion of love and heartfelt dedication, she urged me to take him into my home. Several days later, he crossed the threshold of my doorway and into my heart, infusing me with the wonder of his survival.
In less than three years, Sammy has moved from indwelling catheters, feeding tubes and numerous daily
medications to being tube and medication free. He is a brilliant, cognitively gifted and active seven year old boy
who enjoys and celebrates,every aspect of his precious life Sammy has an exceptionally gentle soul.
In 2007, my husband and I adopted Sammy, securing his promising future and enriching our lives beyond
the expectations we mused over when we started this journey of safe-housing tender souls.
Sammy is doing Wonderful he will turn 8 years old on the 31, He is Happy and Healthy.There are so many other
little boys and girls just like Sammy. While we cannot adopt all of the little Sammy's in waiting, we have opened our home to heal as many and love as many as we can and help them move on to loving homes of their own; and so the birth of Angels in Waiting and our determination to affect as many lives as possible.
Thanks for reading.
Linda West Conforti RN ( Sammy's mommy)
Founder, Angels in Waiting