In Memory of Coen Strubin | July 27, 2014 – December 5, 2014

Heaven gained an Angel

I can’t say how many times I have sat down to write this.  As a mother of one boy and another just arriving any day, I can’t help but think how precious the lives that we bring into this world are.  We do everything in our power to protect them and to know how much they are loved each and every day.  The thought of losing that love is almost too much to bear.  On September 26, 2014 I had the greatest joy and honour of meeting a sweet baby boy, Coen, and his two incredibly loving and supportive parents.  Coen was born with an Atrioventricular Septal defect, meaning that his heart did not form properly and he would have to undergo surgery to correct his condition.  What’s amazing about Coen is that he did not form down syndrome, which is typical in most infants with this condition.  Watching the two of them work together over their little baby boy was heartwarming and gave Coen a fighting chance at life.

When I received the email from Coen’s mom that Coen had passed away on December 5, 2014, it hit me on such a personal level.  It seemed surreal that I had held this perfect tiny life in my arms only a few short months ago.  I reached out and asked how I could help Coen’s parents through this unimaginably difficult time.  They selflessly replied that anyone who wants to help can donate to BC Children’s Hospital under Coen’s tribute page linked here (which I would please encourage my readers to do) and provided this beautiful write-up on their brave angel.  In memory of Coen Strubin:

Sunday’s will always be a special day for my husband and I. Coen Michael Strubin was born on Sunday July 27, 2014. Born over five weeks premature at 4lbs 11oz. Our first born child and son. Coen was everything we could have ever dreamed of and more! The most perfect little boy we had ever seen.

We knew Coen was a special boy before we even got to meet him. When Coen’s heart was developing a chamber did not form properly and Coen was diagnosed with AVSD during the 20 week ultrasound. That is when we knew if we had a baby boy, we would call him Coen. Meaning “brave” in German.

Babies born with AVSD typically have down syndrome, which was not the case with Coen. Hence making his situation so much more unique. Coen was to undergo open heart surgery between three to six months old to have his heart repaired. As devastating as this news was, we knew we had to get Coen strong and healthy for his surgery and just enjoy everyday that we had him home. He brought us so much happiness.

After spending the first month of his life in BC Women’s NICU Intermediate nursery. Coen was able to come home, requiring special care to manage congenital heart failure until his surgery date. Coen worked so hard everyday of his life just to breath and therefore required to be fed by an ng feeding tube. He was not able to feed on his own as it was just to much work for his little heart, which was already running the equivalent of a full marathon every day just to survive.

We got to enjoy our sweet little boy at home for two and a half months before his surgery date. We were supposed to be in and out of the hospital for approximately one week for his surgery. Unfortunately once doctors opened Coen up, they discovered his heart was much more complex than they had thought. Coen underwent the AVSD repair and fought for his life at BC Childrens Hospital for the next 19 days. Although Coen had fought so hard and was the toughest little boy, he had been through to much. On December 5, 2014 he let us know that it was time to stop fighting and time to rest in peace.

The doctors told us that anyone can make a healthy baby, however only a handful of parents are chosen to make the truly special babies. Coen was truly special and will always be perfect to us. The doctor said one day we will find comfort in this and understand why we were chosen to have Coen. A lot of people would not be strong enough to endure what we’ve experienced. It’s going to take a long time, although one day we can find peace knowing that we were lucky to have got to meet Coen and remember our time with him, even if it was for just a short time.

He showed us an unconditional love, that I could never have imagined was possible. Although we miss Coen each and every day we carry him with us everywhere we go. We will never forgot our sweet Coen and the lessons he taught us. Some babies are born more precious, with a deeper meaning. This was true for Coen.

Please help us keep Coen’s memory alive and give back to BC Children’s hospital by donating to Coen’s tribute page. https://secure.bcchf.ca/SuperheroPages/main.cfm?Event=WOT&Member=49089

Thank you,

The Strubin Family

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Laura Clarke O'Donohue says:

What precious photos. I wish you had a thousand more. Coen was so lucky to have you as his parents. He is so loved