GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ (WTXF) - 20 weeks into Autumn Martinez’s pregnancy with her second child, she got the baby’s diagnosis: Bilateral multicystic dysplastic kidneys.
Doctors explained that such a diagnosis isn’t compatible with life once the child is born.
Autumn and her husband were crushed but still searching for some greater purpose for their son Logan’s life.
On Thursday Bill Anderson spoke to the local mother who, despite facing the death of her child, has dedicated her life to helping other families in similar situations.
“I said ‘I’m going to find some type of way to make his life have meaning.’ So the first thing I thought of was organ donation,” Autumn says.
Having found a purpose, Autumn and family gathered for a brief meeting with Logan at the hospital to say hello, goodbye and prepare for his organ donation to save others.
“He opened his eyes, grabbed my finger, kicked my husband and then closed his eyes and went to sleep,” Autumn said.
The family had found at least some comfort. They were told that Logan needed to be either 36 weeks old or 7 lbs. in order to be a donor. When Logan weighed nearly 8 lbs at 34 weeks, they were relieved, until yet another tragedy struck the family.
A nurse iterated that, in fact, Logan needed to be both 36 weeks old and 7 lbs. in order to donate.
Autumn was committed to making her son’s brief life have value, even if organ donation was no longer on the table. While looking for comfort she found there were many families facing similar struggles, so now she helps them.
“I said ‘Maybe that’s what Logan is for, to show me about love and being there for people even if you don’t even know them,’’ Autumn said.
The Loving Our Guardian Angels in Neverland Facebook page has become a support group for families facing the death of their children. Autumn and her mother send hand knitted baby hats and blankets to anyone who wants one.
“When I would cry I would hold the blanket remembering that’s what he was wearing when I held him for the last time, and it brought me comfort,” Autumn said.
They also send a stuffed elephant because 'elephants' were the theme planned for Logan’s room and, in what they believe was a sign on the day of Logan’s death, an elephant helped Autumn to cope.
“My husband was outside with my mom, and they happened to see a cloud in the sky and it was shaped like an elephant. I said ‘That’s it. God has to be waiting for him.’”
Though the void of losing their child and the purpose they initially planned for his life may never be completely filled, Autumn and her family are another example of the unbelievable inner strength that people find to overcome pain and serve others.