This post is not about my Madi, it’s about another mother’s Maddie.

Her Maddie died last night.

Madeline Alice Spohr was 17 months old. Her mother Heather* and her dad Mike both blog, and live in Los Angeles. I had the pleasure of very briefly meeting Heather this year at Blissdom ’09, but I had found her blog about a year ago, and so I kinda felt like I had a connection to the family in that weird way that you do when you read someone on a regular basis.  I knew all about Maddie, how she was born prematurely and how hard they were working to get some weight on her, and how much they enjoyed every minute with her because they felt so blessed that she had made it. Madi was tiny and elfin and gorgeous, with huge eyes and an unforgettably impish smile. The first time I ever saw a picture of her I laughed out loud, because there was just so much life and spirit in that little face. She was fierce!

(photos courtesy of Spohrs Flickr photostream)

Apparently Monday night Maddie had to be taken to the doctor for what looked like bronchiolitis or possibly pneumonia or RSV. She ended up in the hospital on Tuesday, and last night on Twitter, Heather posted that Maddie was requiring a lot of oxygen and constant breathing treatments, and had also blown her IV by “slamming her hand into the bed in a fit of rage.” I shook my head, silently commiserating mom-to-mom with how scary that must have been, but also smiling at the thought of that tiny little being asserting her displeasure at being stuck with needles in such a forceful way. “That little pistol, she’s gonna be just fine,” I assured myself. Heather’s last tweet said, “They’re going to intubate her, I’m freaking out.” I waited and checked back several times, but that was all, so I said a quick prayer for them and went to sleep.

This morning I checked in on Twitter as soon as I woke up, and read line after line from people all over the country expressing shock and grief at Maddie’s passing. The blogosphere is coming together as a community, circling their virtual wagons around this family and doing everything they can to help. It makes me so proud to be a part of the blogging world, and in my own small way I wanted to participate by sharing Maddie’s story with you– now she is part of your heart, too and though they are strangers to you (and me), I know your prayers and compassion will be extended towards this heartbroken, shattered family as well.

Heather was already planning on participating in the annual March of Dimes ‘March for Babies’ on April 25th in Los Angeles, and now, if you’d like to, you can help sponsor her walk in honor of Maddie. Here’s the information:

There is more information about Maddie here including a PayPal account that has set up to help the family with expenses.

Thanks, guys. Please pray for the Spohrs.

(*Heather’s blog, “The Spohrs Are Multiplying” has apparently crashed because of all of the traffic today– they are working to restore it.)

12 Responses

  1. auburn60

    OOOHHH! My heart hurts just thinking about this.
    No words of wisdom. Just prayers for this poor family.

  2. jonny

    You nailed it, she has become a part of my heart as well. Tears effectively forming, prayers being proffered.

  3. gracelynn

    My heart is breaking for Heather and I certainly understand her grief. I went through the loss of a child due to premature delivery with my cousin who is like a sister. She lost one of the twins and the other one survived, and thanks to God, is still surviving today. However, she has several birth defects but is SUCH a joy to watch, hold and be around. They told us she would never walk but, with someone holding her arms, she can walk now. I was sobbing the day I saw her “walk”. I am an active supporter of March of Dimes so I will do what I can.

  4. Barbara M. Lloyd

    These are the kinds of stories I try hard not to read because they tear me up. Usually, there is nothing you can do….but this time is different….little as it is.

  5. belinda

    That totally breaks my heart. It is so heard to understand. This family is in our hearts and prayers. Thanks for letting us know.

  6. LindaB

    What an adorable little face! This is so hard to hear.

    Lord, please comfort this family and give them hope (that they will see their baby again in a better land) and peace (in knowing that You are taking care of their little angel until then).

  7. BrownEyedGirl

    That just breaks my heart. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family.

  8. MostlySunny

    So hard…thank you for letting us know.

  9. Phyllis R

    Can’t seem to get that mother and family off of my mind. The hole that must be in her heart. I haven’t ever had children…so I can’t say I know how a mother feels, but I have lost someone I cared about very much…there really aren’t words to say at this point…just pray that God will wrap them in His arms and comfort them.

  10. Phyllis S

    What do I say? My heart hurts, but even more this Mother and Dad’s hurt, I cry, but even more they cry, I ask questions, even more they ask bigger questions. They are in my thoughts and Oh so many prayers.

  11. Robin

    This is truly living a nightmare. The only thing that is of comfort is knowing..believing…our God cares more about Maddie and this family than we can imagine, and in some way that we cannot understand, this neither caught him by surprise nor is it in vain. But it’s still awful and my heart breaks and from a human perspective, I hate it for all touched by this life.

    The outpouring of love and support from the blogosphere is blessing to me, too. I don’t really know why, but all of us using our words to honor this little life is precious.


  12. jonny

    I spent quite a bit of time reading Heather’s, the mom’s, many posts leading up the the truely sad moment of her daughter’s passing.. From what I read, it seems she, the daughter, was a true blessing to so many in the short time she was here.. There are the grandparents, family doctor, physical, close by friends, internet friends, a mix of both, etc. Also, if I understood correctly, it was nothing short of answered prayer that their darling girl made it out of the hospital in the 1st place. As heartbsealing as this all is, and I believe should be, what a blessing it must have been to have her in their lives those 17 short, wonderful, blessed months. God is, and can only be, good. Peace.

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