As you can tell from facebook posts by my beloved Dominique Jones and Katie Larntz Johnson, today marks the 23rd anniversary of the passing of our first born son, Thomas Charles Maxfield Larntz.
Max was dealt a pretty tough hand at birth, coming into the world with only half a heart, suffering from Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypoplastic_left_heart_syndrome) but he was a fighter even at that young age and he actually outgrew the stent in his heart, which was the first part of a three part process, essentially giving him a turtle heart. I used to say that “my son may not ever be Jim Thorpe, All-American, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be Albert Einstein.”
Alas, it was not to be. Max was too healthy and outgrew the stent a month sooner than his second operation. The stent was leaking blood into his heart until his heart could no longer pump, and he left us. 23 years ago, this operation was experimental and only had a 10 to 30 per cent success rate and that has grown to a 70 per cent success rate today. I can only hope the docs at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia learned something from our loss and I pray that 70 per cent someday grows to 100.
After Max passed we took his ashes up to Sandia Crest, along with hundreds of flower tops that we tossed in the air. The mountain winds took his ashes and the flower tops and spread them across the mountain top (and many of them are still flowering today).
Today, Dominique, Katie, the twins, and I went up to visit Max..
Here are some pictures that we took. I hope you enjoy them, and thanks for listening.
That third picture is a ribbon we tied around the branch 23 years ago. It is now part of the tree, just like Max…