A Richland Family Turns Their Tragedy into a Charity for Others
More than half way through her pregnancy with her second child, Alicia Jakeman and her family were excited to find out whether she was having a boy or a girl.
During an ultrasound, the family was pleased to hear it was having boy, but a doctor also found something that would change their lives forever.
"We found out from the specialist, that he had significant heart defects," said Jakeman. "One of his valves didn't ever grow which made one of his ventricles not grow either and because of that, his aorta was a lot smaller because it wasn't used."
Samuel Jakeman was born October 26th, 2012 at the University of Washington and when he was only 7-days-old, he had open heart surgery at Seattle Children's Hospital.
Within a few weeks, the Jakeman's returned home to Richland with baby Samuel, then early this year they went back to Seattle to prep for another surgery.
Samuel's health complications soon began to spiral out of control and the family would find itself spedning their last few moments with Samuel sooner than they ever anticipated.
"We held him and read him books and we did that one last time," said Jakeman.
That's when they said their goodbyes.
"On February 9th of 2013, we took him off the support because there was nothing else we could do," said Jakeman.
After Samuel's passing, the family decided that in his name, they would give back to the charity that helped them during their time of need.
Samuel's birthday is this Saturday the family is throwing a party for him to remember him.
The family is taking donations they'll sell at a silent auction at the party.
All proceeds will go to the Ronald McDononald House Charity in Seattle where they stayed while dealing with all of Samuel's medical needs.
"We had to turn this into something good, that's why we wanted to celebrate his birthday and give something," said Jakeman.
The charity will take place at the Richland Community Center from 3p.m. to 5p.m. this Saturday.