Saturday, December 11, 2010


Surgery went well and he is looking more and more like his little self each day. It is so fun to see his sweet little face and kiss him all over! I'm sure if he could talk to us he would tell us to lay off but we just can't.

Pre-surgery...cuddling with his BIG Buzz.

On his way down to surgery.

Post surgery-look at that handsome face!!

We are so grateful that all went well with the surgery and he is recovering well from it. Since the tube has been out of his mouth he seems to move his lips and tongue a lot more. I like to think he is trying to talk to me and give us kisses. His trach is still connected to the ventilator since the surgery and they are beginning to wean him off of that to see if he can go completely without the ventilator. We are praying that he will continue to do well. We still continue to wait patiently and rejoice in all the little things that we see. The doctors still can not tell us either way at this point whether there will be any recovery or not. They seem concerned that he has not made more progress then he has at this point but that does not mean there is not a chance. We continue to recognize that it is all in the Lord's hands as it has been from the very beginning. We continue to see tender mercies from the Lord that give us strength and faith that Dakota is fighting hard to recover and the Lord is by His side.  Please keep him in your prayers as a few more miracles are needed. We have witnessed so many miracles already that we cannot doubt for second that the few miracles needed are so possible.

He is that little engine that can! (check out his cute little splints...he has to wear them on and off like his boots to keep his hands from curling in)

Zach and I continue to be in awe at the love and support that we have and continue to receive from so many! We feel so blessed to have so many behind us cheering Dakota on. We can honestly say that we have THE BEST friends and family in the whole world. Our lives have been touched by so many through your love and concern, even people we have never met. We cannot express the full amount of gratitude that is in our hearts! So, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!! We could not do this without all of you! Here are a few pics of the tiny amount of love and support that has been given to us. It has all brightened up Dakota's room so much and has made it so much more happier to be in.

His cute room!
Cute poster his aunt Annie made

So many cute cards and pictures made with love just for him


More...Check out the cute poster his Aunt Jenny made of all the things he likes to do.

Beautiful flowers sent by our sweet friends
Our cute friends sent us this adorable Christmas Tree and some presents for us and Dakota. Sad to say we had kind of forgotten that Christmas is coming with all of this going on and it was a sweet reminder and such cute presents! Dakota is sure getting spoiled in all of this!


Besides all of this, the physical support that we have been given from our wonderful parents and siblings has helped us so much. Doug and Vicki (Zach's parents) just left back to Utah today. They flew in the day it happened and have been here: sleeping in the hospital, taking turns on the night shift, running errands for us, making us laugh, supporting us when we cried, giving us hugs and kisses, taking all the pictures, and so much more. They left their jobs and life behind to be here with us when we needed it most and it has meant the world to us. It was sad to see them go but I know that we can't be selfish and keep them cooped up here in the hospital forever. My parents have also been amazing through this all. They sat in the hospital waiting room with us crying that whole first day, they missed my brother's wedding reception that was at their house with all their friends that they had worked so hard to prepare for, they have brought us countless meals, done all our laundry, give us breaks to leave the hospital, have gone to the temple a handful of times, laughed with us, cried with us, and gave us hugs and kisses when we needed it most! We couldn't have made it through this without our AMAZING parents!! We love them so much and are grateful to have them in our life!

Dakota's cute grandma's and our cute moms! Making him move and do his exercises.

Goodbye Doug and Vicki. Thanks for all you have done!

I know I have mentioned before that we have been strengthened beyond our own strength and this strength has made me ponder about how this is possible. We have wondered, how can we feel peace in the midst of tragedy? How can we feel happiness when our son is lying in a hospital bed? How do we not just cry all day at the thought of what has happened? Don't get me wrong...we have shed many tears and we still have moments where we feel the weight of what has happened, but for the most part we honestly are in amazement at the strength, comfort, peace, and joy that we feel. We have pondered a lot about this and have come to understand just a tiny bit more about the atonement of our savior Jesus Christ. He truly suffered for us. He felt the pain and sadness that we have felt and has carried this burden upon His back for us that we are able to have our load lightened during this tough time. It is hard to believe that He would do this for me but I know that He did. He has done it for each one of us because He loves us. What a perfect love He has for us! What a great example to follow! My gratitude and love for my Savior has increased SO much because of this.

Keep fighting Dakota!!! We all love you SOOO much!!


  1. Hi Zach, Tessie, and sweet little Dakota! My husband Troy Nye grew up with Zach. Doug was their stake president. Troy's mom sent us your blog link and we have been following your story. Your faith and perspective are amazing and such a great example to all! If anyone deserves a miracle it's you guys!! Thank you for keeping us all posted on Dakota's progress. We will keep your sweet family in our thoughts and prayers!

  2. Thanks again for the updates! So happy that surgery went well!! It is nice to see that super handsome face:) Keep fighting Dakota, and we will keep praying!!!! Miss you guys so much!

  3. So glad that surgery went well and that he's recovering. Again your continued faith is absolute AMAZING!!! Still praying for Dakota to make a full recovery and see him running around Doug and Vicki's yard this spring. Love you guys to death!!!

    The Lythgoe family

  4. You don't know me personally, but we feel like we know you guys. Ms. Vicki is our preschool teacher and lover her so much! Our entire families hearts have been breaking for your family. We have been following your blog and are so happy to hear that surgery went well.

    We know first had about horrible accidents, and being told things didn't look good. But we can testify also that MIRACLES do happen with the help of the Lord. My sister in law broke her back and injured her spinal cord 14 years ago, the doctors told the family she would be in a vegatative state the rest of her life. With lots of prayers, fasting, and blessings and a lot of hard work, she now leads a totally normal life and is the proud mom of 4 kids (one set of twins in there!).
    Your sweet little boy and your entire family are in our thoughts and we pray for you every prayer we say.
    All our love and best wishes!

  5. Hang in there Dakota you have the most amazing family members with you that love you so much!! Zach and Tessie, I have witnessed that miracles can Happen my husbands grandpa fell off a ladder eight months ago he had emergency brain surgery four times. he had back surgery he had broken ribs and a lot more we did not think he would make it he was in the ICU for 2 months and in the hospital for 4 months then moved to a nursing home to help him. He is finally coming home on Saturday. They never thought he would make it. With all the blessing and fasting and his hard work he is fighting hard. Your sweet little family are in my thoughts and prayers daily. I know I have never met you but I love you all! Hang in there Dakota!!!

  6. So so so so glad the surgery went well. Dakota looks like he is getting stronger every day! Your family is amazing and know that we love you guys. Can't wait to give you guys all big hugs. Give an extra squeeze to Dakota for us. We'll keep fasting and praying for you. Let me know if you want anything shipped from home. Keep fighting Dakota!!

  7. You are always in our prayers, I do believe that miracles happen every day. He has a beautiful and strong spirit and so do both of you. Thank you for your example of Faith. Our Zack prays for him even at every meal. I know that the Savior will always be there to support you and help you through the good and bad times.

  8. I always get really choked up when I read your blog..but I really got emotional seeing pictures of him. He is so precious..and my girls ask about him all the time and were thrilled to see him in his boots!! He is so beautiful and he is always in my prayers. Your family is very special to us...and we cannot wait to see you all soon. Your a great strength to me. Pam Parson

  9. You both do have amazing parents and I am so thankful that they were able to be here for you guys. I'm so thankful I've gotten to spend time with you and watch Dakota (and you guys) amaze me! xoxo

  10. I'm so glad that his surgery went well and that things are going better! He is honestly the most adorable little guy with the sweetest face EVER!! You guys both have AMAZING parents and AMAZING families and I am so glad they have been there helping you thus far! I bet it was SO HARD for Doug and Vicki to go home. We continue praying for a fast recovery and we love you guys so much! So glad you got the packages (I don't know if we explained about the red garland stuff and in case you still don't know what to do, it's for you to hang around the room)!! Keep fighting buddy-- your heavenly father LOVES you so much and once again your guys faith is amazing and your testimony is so strong! Miracles have happened and will continue to happen!! :)

  11. I LOVE to see the great updates! He is the most precious thing I have ever seen! I am praying so hard for him. He is such a fighter!! We are thinking of your family all the time!!

  12. So glad to hear that everything went well! He is such a handsome little guy, love his mohawk! Stylish even in the hospital! SOO Cute! Still praying and keeping the faith! Thanks for the updates!

  13. Good to see surgery went well! Family really is the best! You guys will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers!

  14. So happy the surgery went well! He is so adorable! We are praying for a full recovery. Stay strong dakota u can do it buddy!!

  15. Thanks for updating us all Tess! Miracles do happen, and Dakota has so many wonderful people behind him...You and Zack, His grandparents, Family, Friends...With that much faith, he will get the miracles we are all praying for! We love you guys so much...Keep up that amazing faith.

  16. Yes thanks Tess for all the updates! Its so nice to see you all in pictures. We are so so glad that the surgery went well and love to see his sweet little face! We love you guys! Wish we could all come see you! We are continually praying for you guys!

  17. I am so glad surgery went well and he is on his way to recovery. I know the Lord is there to help you and we miss and love you guys so so much. You are in all our prayers and we are always thinking about you. It is hard to have them leave and its a good thing ya still have your wonderful parents, we will have to get him up here to primary's and then they can be with ya again. We cannot wait to embrace you guys once again. Our hearts ache for you and we want you to know that you are love by not only your Heavenly Father but us. We wish you the best of luck and will pray more for his full recovery.

  18. I am Zach's cousin Tai. Marilyn and my mom are sisters. I found your blog through Callie Daniels who I cheered with in high school. Also Alyssa Braegger is my sister in law's sister. Long story short I am happy to catch up with you guys.
    We are praying for you guys on a daily basis. We love you guys and will keep praying for you.

  19. Tessie, I think about your sweet family every day. I completely understand how you can be happy amongst pain and tragedy. You and Zach are very strong and I believe that strength helps comfort others. I have been praying for Dakota's miraculous recovery and I have to tell you that when I do, I have such a strong feeling of peace, so much that I find myself crying. I obviously don't know what that means but I thought I needed to share that. Thank you for sharing this journey. I would love to send you a little something but need to know where to send it to. When you have a spare second would you please send me an address?

  20. I know this was years ago, but I came upon your story when I saw you comment on Alesha Penland’s Instagram. Anyways, I have been reading a couple posts and I can’t stop reading. I had to comment on this post because it touched me so much. What a gift you have for writing and for seeing the good. Thank you for sharing your testimony!