Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dakota's Story

I know so many are calling and texting wondering and worrying about our sweet little Dakota. It has been too hard right now to answer you all back so I thought it would be easier to post on the blog all that is going on and let you know as well how much we appreciate all of the calls, texts, emails, and especially the prayers and the fasting that is going on for Dakota. He means the world to us and it means so much to us that so many people care so much about him. Our heart is SO full of gratitude for all of you. We have truly and honestly felt the strength from your prayers and I know our Heavenly Father is aware of every prayer that is offered in our behalf.

So to get to the hard part…

We came down to AZ for Thanksgiving the Monday before Thanksgiving and were having so much fun. Dakota LOVES to come to AZ and always talks about coming here. It was honestly like Christmas day every morning that he woke up. He would wake up earlier then normal (no matter what time he went to bed) and would just be so bright eyed and smiley and say, “Let’s go to Papa’s house. Get up!” (My parents have a little guest house attached to their house so that’s why we had to “go” to Papa’s house when actuality we were there.) Thanksgiving day was so fun and Dakota had a blast with his cousins. They all got to go on a hay ride with Uncle Riley. He had so much fun that when it was time to leave my sister’s house that night he told me, “I’ll be sweet. I’ll stay.” (Which is what he says whenever we leave him somewhere…so basically he was just telling us to leave and he would stay there.)

Friday morning we got to work setting things up for my brother’s reception that was in my parent’s backyard. My mom had a few friends over helping. My sister Annie and her kids were there so we could help my mom. Zach, my brother, and dad were all outside helping as well. I had been in the house cutting up food and Dakota was outside playing with cousins. I went out to check on him and that is when I found him (hardest thing in the world to see). An aluminum fence that was leaning against a built in fence was on top of his little body. He was completely unconscious and not breathing. We immediately called 9-1-1 and luckily (not really luck, I know she was guided by the spirit to do so) one of my mom’s friend’s had stopped by unplanned to help who knew CPR. She immediately started and the ambulance arrived soon after that. He was taken to the closest hospital which is like a mile away and by that time they had gotten there his heart got going again and breathing with help. They then life flighted him to the county hospital that deals best with trauma injuries and this is where we have been since then. It has been a VERY difficult time for us but we know God’s hand is over it all and miracles are happening.

The first report we got from the doctor here that day was not good. They believe that something on the fence had cut off his airway and that he had been without oxygen for 26 minutes (which is similar to a drowning incident). The doctor did not think he would survive the first 24-72 hours that is when the brain swells from the lack of oxygen and if he did there would be definite brain damage. Well, our tough little guy defied all odds and not only survived but has stumped all the doctors. His brain had much less to very little swelling then they were sure that they would see. His heart was not damaged at all which it should have been, and the blood vessels in the back of the neck that they thought would surely show signs of damage were not. All of these things are what you typically see from a lack of oxygen and all of these were spared. We know that God has protected him and His hand is definitely evident in this whole thing. One of the doctors even mentioned to us that he has been a doctor for 31 years and freak things like this make him believe that there is a God.

The tests have shown some damage near the brain stem but miraculously the outer part of the brain that is normally damaged first from lack of oxygen has shown no signs of brain damage at all. Because Dakota’s condition is not the norm the doctor’s are not able to tell us how he will recover from this all. At this point it is all a waiting and watching of Dakota to see what he does over the next days, weeks, and even months. The doctors believe there is a chance that the brain may be able to compensate for the damage that has been done but there is no guarantee.

We know that it is all in the Lord’s hands as it always has been so we will continue to pray and have faith in our Heavenly Father’s will. We thank everyone for their prayers and all we ask is that you continue to pray with faith in our loving Heavenly Father. Dakota is such a tough boy and is teaching us sooo much.

Thanks again for all your love and prayers. Zach and I are completely amazed at the unselfish and sincere love and kindness that has been offered to us by so many!!! We love you all!!!

For all you parents out there…hold your little ones so close to you! They truly are a GIFT from God.


  1. The news of Dakota has broken our hearts and strengthened our faith in our Heavenly Father, all at the same time. We are praying for your sweet family and wish that we could do more. We love you all so much and I am sure that the Lord will provide miracles that we have seen with Dakota before. He is such a sweet spirit and a little fighter. We will continue to pray for the recovery of Dakota and know that you are in our thoughts and prayers every day and we love you!!!!

    Love The Morgan's

  2. Gratefull for the good news you have received. Praying for more!!! Love you guys TONS:)

  3. Tessie, Your testimony and strength amazes me. Please know that there have been many trips to the temple, Fasting and Prayers on Dakota's behalf! We love your family so much and will continue to pray with faith every day that Dakota will recover fully.

    Love The Jones'

  4. Tess- The news we received tonight was the greatest news ever!!
    Your strength, testimony and faith once again amazes me as well! We are praying for sweet Dakota and your family and wish there was more that we could do. We will continue praying with faith each and every day for a fast and full recovery! Dakota, you're such a fighter and we know how much your Heavenly Father LOVES you! We want you to know how much we LOVE you guys and that you are in our thoughts and prayers daily! We sure can't wait to see your family! :)
    With Love- the Gorders

  5. Thank you so much for the update. It's good to hear some news from you and Zach although Ash and Vicki have been great at updating us on Dakota's recovery. I know for sure this whole situation has made me hold those little ones in my life a lot closer. Heavenly Father has a plan for us all and I know he is going to make sure Dakota is ok. My faith has been strengthened so much by this whole experience. You're all so loved and so is Dakota. i wish we were closer so we could give you guys a big hug so for now we're sending all our hugs and prayers your way. WE LOVE you guys so much.

    The Lythgoe Family

  6. We love you guys lots and continue to pray for you guys. Dakota is a fighter! Let us know if there is anything you need to be taken care of here.

  7. Our heart broke for you and your family when we heard about Dakota. You and zach both continue to amaze me with your strength. You are in our thoughts and prayers everyday, and we will continue to pray for a full recovery. If you need absolutely anything don't be affraid to ask. We love you guys!

  8. Tessie,
    Words can't express how much we love you guys! Your examples and strength are teaching us so many things. We are so blessed to have you as our friends! We love your sweet little Dakota and are amazed at his strength and his fight, literally for life! Your strength and testimonies of our Heavenly father have taught us so much; we will continue to pray and think of you often! Deacon loves to say prayers now any time of the day for "kota" We love you!

  9. Zach and Tessie-
    We love you guys so much! My heart aches for you and this trial you are facing, know that you are not facing it alone. I know is with Dakota and helping him be a fighter. Our thoughts and prayers are with you!
    Love The Greens

  10. Tess-
    You guys are TRULY AMAZING!!! We love you guys so much. You are in all our prayers. There has been lots of fasting and praying. As for little Dakota you are a tough little fighter, you keep proving them doctors wrong. Our Heavenly Father is with you every step of the way and loves you so much. Your faith and strenght has been overwhelming you guy are awesome. you have strenghtened me so much. WE LOVE YA. WE cannot wait to see ya and hug ya and we wish there was more we could do so if ya think of anything please know we are here.
    Travis, Janelle and Ty

  11. You both are wonderful -- I hope you know that. You are in my thoughts & prayers.
    Audra J.

  12. You guys are amazing. We have been praying for you guys and Dakota.

  13. Hi Zach and Tessie, I'm Stacy's mom (Scott's mother-in-law). Just wanted you to know that Dakota has been in my prayers constantly since I first heard the news. I'm continually asking Stacy for updates. She sent me here to your blog, where I've gotten to know Dakota a little better. My heart goes out to all of you. Thank you so much for posting here and letting us all know how things are going. Please keep us up to date when you find the time.

  14. Tessi, I found your blog through Emilys. I'm so sorry! I admire your strength and faith.

    Tons of prayers are coming your way! Hoping for a full recovery.


  15. So glad to hear about Dakota's miraculous recovery. What a tough little guy you have there. We continue to pray for him and your family. Best wishes.

    (This is Aimee, Callie Daniels' sister)

  16. I'm Annie's sister-in-law's sister and we've been praying for you all every day since the day it happened. We too have only one little son that is our pride and joy. Our hearts go out to you!

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