There and back again

Four weeks ago tomorrow, our boy went into open heart surgery and began a battle for his life. A quick and fierce battle it turned out to be, because here we are now very safely, and very triumphantly, at home.

On what might seem like an unrelated side-note, I have quite a bit of music on my computer. Its not the largest of collections I am sure, but it is enough to play songs back-to-back for 19 days. I often hit shuffle, and just let it play, finding forgotten gems and discovering new ones all the time. So it was on Saturday night. Marcus was out with the boys for a Fathers Day treat at the rugby, and I was kicking about the house.

And then a song came on.  An instrumental that stopped me in my tracks and took me right back to where we’ve been.  I stepped over to the itunes to see what was playing. It was by a band called Explosions in the Sky. I was floored by the track title – ‘First breath after a coma.’  Its not what I usually go for – some soft rock instrumental, but it speaks of the love and the heartache of it all and ultimately the beauty of today.

So I started to put images to it of the last four weeks – images of Albie after the Rastelli, with ECMO, in recovery and at home.  Most of the photos are ones you will have seen before and the additional ones aren’t pretty. Sometimes I think this blog is as much for me as it is for you though and it was cathartic to create this. To celebrate the fight in our boy one more time before stepping forward and onward away from all of this.

WARNING: Its a bit full-on to begin with, so please use your own discretion.

There and Back Again. Wowzers, that was one trip.


  1. Amazing Sarah – once again you have managed to fill me with love and hope and huge emotion. It really is one of the most amazing journeys I have ever been near to, Albie is one special, special boy destined for such great things. Thank you soooo much for sharing this often hard, surreal and incredible time with all of us, its hard to fathom that you really have been all the way there and back again in just a few weeks. I cant WAIT to spend many more years with you, Marcus and Albie – you are all blessings in my life that I treasure so much. I love you xxxxxxxx

  2. Fantastic video. I am just in awe of how strong you are Albie, you’re an inspiration to everyone. May you always be healthy, happy and smiling. Love and best wishes little man….you deserve the world. Congratulations mum and dad….on such a shining star. Jess , Michael and Mac Anderson, Paraparaumu xxx

  3. Tears, tears and more tears of joy and love, oh so much love for you. What a team, what spirit and what inspiration. We love you all so very much xxxxxxx

  4. You Hoppy’s never cease to amaze and inspire me, what a beautiful beautiful clip. I still can’t believe how far Albie has traveled in such a short time. Hard to believe that’s the same little guy who was cruising round, playing ball, rocking horses and trying to feed Mia muffin yesterday. He is an absolute legend (as are his parents). Love you guys x

  5. I absolutely love the video and you are so inspirational! Your faith is so strong, you are simply all so amazing. Much love to you all.

  6. That’s amazing Sarah. I’m sure you could win an award with that little movie though know it’s not about that! Such a brave little boy with great love surrounding him. Beautiful. xx

  7. Oh Sarah. You made me cry. Again.
    Can’t wait to see you all next weekend and especially check out the progress of the comeback kid. XXX

  8. Beautiful – thank you for sharing and reminding us all how beautiful life and love is. Aneke watched the video and was delighted that Albie woke up and was happy (her words). Great to see you all on Sunday…. and see you again very soon. xxx

  9. I have to learn to stop reading your blog at work. At least I can blame it on the hormones I suppose! Ha. I love you, love your hubby, love your little boy. You are all so special, and so lucky! I am so glad you have found each other.


  10. Beautiful, Sarah. As you say, some of those additional ECMO pics are hard to see, but now we know that Albie pushes through that stage (and boy does he!) so they are not as scary as they were the first time. What an incredible journey. So cool to see him playing at home too, getting back into the swing of things…

  11. Its an extraordinary journey you have shared with us Sarah. So many lessons learned. Thanks for allowing us to be part of it. Wishing your family bucket loads of happiness and health. Lord you all deserve it. Albie is just too bloody cute! Looking forward to seeing him grow and prosper like a mushroom from here on in xx

  12. What an amazing reminder of the strength of hope, faith and love! An incredible video Sarah! I am so so happy that you are all home and blossoming. Albie just radiates beauty and goodness – he is amazing!

  13. Just amazing really what you have all been through in such a short time, although am sure it felt endless in the middle of it! And so incredible to see Albie looking so happy and healthy at the end of the video after everything he had been through. Keeping you guys in my prayers, but you definitely seem well covered!

  14. It is hard to imagine anyone can manage to ride the emotional spectrum as you have done in a condensed window and come out the other side in one piece. I am so so glad that Albie fought so hard and did you proud, what a rockstar, what an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your journey with him, it gives so much perspective to those of us who haven’t had to endure what you have.

    Your little man looks healthier in the current photos than he has in any of his whole life, he seems so ready to take life by the scruff of the neck and get into it boots and all. And my goodness he deserves to – as do you guys.

    May the scar fade but the lessons remain so you can continue to see life through the wonder that you write with now. How special.

  15. Oh my God…what a journey you have been through…it is unbelievable…so happy that you are back home and Albie is doing well…All the best and lots of love. xxxxx

  16. Thank you for the lovely video Sarah . Great to see him looking so well. I am sure this video will give strength to many many familes around the globe. Love and prayers as you adapt back to everyday life again Janice and Aunty Tui.

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