Nash Ogden is 5. He is a red-headed boy with a big heart and a ton of energy. But he misses his two siblings.
In the summer of 2012, the Ogdens welcomed Nash’s little sister, Dahlia Blue. Dahlia was born with terrible epilepsy that caused a multitude of medical and developmental issues. She was deaf, blind, unable to sit up walk or talk. The Ogden family moved to Denver from Durango to be closer to medical care and resources for Dahlia. In May of 2014, just shy of two years old, Dahlia passed away due to complications with her disease. We never knew the etiology of the epilepsy and she died without a diagnosis. Four days after Dahlia’s passing, the Ogdens learned they were going to have another baby. Courtney Ogden said, “We were nervous but the doctors were reassuring.”
On January 9, 2015 Silas River was born. Courtney said, “He was our first child without red hair, but he seemed healthy and we were so happy.” When he failed his newborn hearing screening, the Ogdens knew something was terribly wrong. In March, doctors confirmed Silas had the same neurological condition that had taken Dahlia.
During this devastating and heartbreaking time, the Ogdens put Silas into hospice care through Children’s Hospital. Then they met Jerry and Karen Caruso. Caruso family charities was able to help cover bills and expenses that were mounting.
“This money was more than a gift because it bought me time with my precious son during his very short time in my arms,” said Courtney.
“Before Dahlia’s birth, I worked as a full-time school teacher. As soon as she was born, I was no longer able to work, as I became the full-time caregiver for my child. My husband is an engineer and even with his job we were unable to pay all the medical bills. We qualified for little to no financial assistance programs. We were sent to collections for medical bills after our daughter died.”
Financially they felt destroyed by the medical system. “Taking care of a dying child is hard enough and then when you add the financial burden it becomes unbearable,” said Courtney.
“Because of the Caruso Family Charities, I was able to stop focusing on the financial burdens of what we were going through and focus on spending time with Silas. Once our bills were paid, we were able to buy a van to take Silas on some pretty awesome trips between hospital visits during his short time with us.”
On February 25, Silas joined his sister in heaven. Silas only lived for 13 short months, but the months were full of love, joy, and excitement. Silas traveled from Colorado to Minnesota, through South Dakota and to Mount Rushmore and the Badlands.
During Silas’s lifetime, Children’s hospital was able to do further genetic testing and found that Silas and Dahlia both suffered from a rare genetic disease with only about 40 reported cases.”This diagnosis, even though it did not give us a cure or treatment options, was a relief to my family,” said Courtney, “We finally had a name to this disease that had devastated our family.”
“I cannot ever thank the Caruso Family and Caruso Family Charities enough,” said Courtney, “The kindness and generosity of this charity are unmatched. I feel so honored to share my story, as I want everyone to know how their donations help real families dealing with real life problems that are devastating. Know that your donation can help take the stress of a family like mine and give them what they deserve. Time with their sick loved one.”
“Not a day goes by that I don’t miss my sweet angels. But as I look back on the pictures and treasure the memories, I am so thankful to have had the time to create the memories. The time was especially beneficial to my son Nash, who missing his siblings every day.”
When donating to charities, you have a lot of choices. But with Caruso Family Charities, the money you donate goes straight to the moms and dads who so desperately need the help. Jerry meets the families and gets to know what their needs are; he is also able to deliver quickly which is so important when your child is living with a life-limiting illness.” Courtney said, “Please share my story. We are real people living in unreal circumstances, thank you so very much for listening and thank you for everything you do for the Caruso Family Charities.”
We wish to thank Courtney Ogden for sharing her story and photos of her beautiful children at our Comedy Night fundraiser this year.