Garrett M. Taylor

Feb. 28 2004 - Jan 29 2007

The Horror of Day 875

On July 22, 2006 Garrett and his mother came to visit us, as they did every weekend. His Mother, my daughter, works at America West Airlines (Now U.S. Airlines). That Saturday was rather uneventful, as we swam in the pool, played with him, and did the things that we always did. At six o’clock Garrett was tickling my feet. This he learned from me. I would tickle him under the arm, and say tickle, tickle. It meant very little to him until he tried it on his grandmother’s foot. Adele just about jumped though the roof. Garrett thought that he had done something terrible, until I reassured him that was the intended result. After that we were both targets of his tickling, with me being less ticklish than Adele. That night I pretended to be tickled, and laughed as he tickled me, and he laughed at my laughing, which only made me laugh at his laughing. By seven o’clock it was time to put him in for the night. So we made him a drink, and put him in for the night. At eight o’clock we could hear that he was still awake, and we prepared another drink for him. Once again at nine o’clock he was awake as we could tell, y listening to the monitor. We went up to investigate, and found that he had upchucked. We brought him downstairs, and cleaned him up. In the next few minutes he upchucked a cuple more times. We kept him downstairs, with us, to comfort him, while he was feeling ill. He grew tired and lethargic, over the next few minutes, which we attributed to his being sick. At nine thirty we called 911 as he was as limp as a rag doll, and his eyes had rolled up into his head. The Paramedics came and administer oxygen, and in IV into his limp body, and transported him down the road to the hospital. I rode with him, and was alarmed at one point when one of the paramedics stated that something was wrong. By the time that we got to the hospital, he was in full seizure. Doctors, nurses, and technicians worked on him, and monitored all his functions, yet his small body was trembling uncontrollably. For hours, we sat waiting to hear of his diagnosis, and could not help bit over hear one nurse tell a gentleman ‘that his injury was minor, and that they had a baby brought in, that was not expected to live through the night’. We were dumbfounded! “Could it be our Garrtett?” We Thought, but later we were re reassured that that the nurse had not meant for us to hear it, and that Garrett would be fine. Garrett remained at Banner Baywood until about two am. Then he was airlifted to Banner Desert Samaritan hospital, which has a pediatric Intensive care unit. At Banner Desert Sam, they decided to put him into a medically induced coma, to relieve the seizures. He remained in this coma for a week. When they tried to revive him, he returned to his seizure activity, so they returned him to his coma. There we waited for another few days and they revived him to a level of consciousness, but he remained unaware of all that surrounded him. All this time we remained unaware of the actual cause of his affliction. We were terribly afraid that he might have been stung by a scorpion, or bitten by a spider, in the room, where he slept. This we did while the doctors tried to determine the actual problem. As days turned to weeks, we looked for any possible cause that may have caused the actual problem. One by one, each possibility was exhausted. We had very little left to consider, and the doctors, conferring amongst the doctors at Desert Sam, Phoenix Children’s, and Saint Josephs, could come up with little more than Viral Encephalitis. This is a term given to a viral condition which affects the brain, but that can not be simply diagnosed. It is little more than a catch all condition for ‘we don’t know’, in my opinion. After another two weeks, it was decided to medevac him to San Diego Balboa Medical Center. There he remained for a week, until room opened up for him at San Diego Children’s Hospital. He was In San Diego Children’s Hospital, until late October. However, on September 11, 2006, his mother gave birth to his brother Colin James Taylor. She returned to San Diego Children’s Hospital with her new arrival in tow. There Garrett, his brother Colin, and his Mother spent many days. Garret seemed to be improving. We visited Garrett in Late October, and photographed him holding his sippy cup. He did, however, have a lot of twitching. We were told that this was due to his rebuilding of his neural networks, and that he would be fine. He also had returned about five words of his vocabulary, of which he used ‘thank you’ regularly to thank the nurses who administered medications to him. We blew bubbles for him, and he called out bubbles on our video. We were confident that we had a long, but steady road ahead of us. We were also confident that he could do it! He had done so many things before, that we knew that he could overcome this small obstacle. Garrett, and his parents, and his new baby brother, visited us for Thanksgiving, and at that time he was far less able. He was now only able to move his wrist voluntarily. The rest of him remained limp, and unresponsive. I placed the ball next to his wrist and let him hit it. While it traveled only about ten inches, I repeated this many times, as this was his limit of his play, and I was the main friend he had. We were told, at this time, that his condition had changed due to an increase in one of his medications. The increase was needed since he had an increased need for Klonapin, a muscle relaxant, this also relaxed all of him, and he was doing very little. We saw Garrett at Christmas time. I had wrapped his gifts with a ‘rip-cord’ made of twine. He would only need to hold the twine rip-cord, as we pulled the present away, to open it. This he was now unable to do, without help. We loved the idea of seeing him, but hated his deteriorating health. On January 27, 2007, Lauren brought Garrett to see us again, for the weekend. When they arrived he did not look very well, and we were told that he had a slight cold. His doctor had thought that a trip to Phoenix, would be okay, and we always loved seeing him. We spent the weekend with him, as his father was away training, for the Navy. His Brother, Colin, was visiting his paternal grandparents, in Spokane Washington. While we always enjoy our time, with Garrett, he did not wish to eat as much as he had, in the past. He had to have his food pureed, or be of the consistency of mashed potatoes, but even these, were not appealing to him. I feed him, his nutrition drinks, which are the child equivalent of formula for a baby, via a syringe, and he had two of these drinks. One per day, with any other food was his recommended allotment. On Monday, January 29, 2007, Garrett, and his mother, headed back to San Diego. He had missed his Monday therapy, through the school system, but could get back in time for his Tuesday Therapy at the Children’s Hospital. We brought them to the airport at about noon. We called Lauren later, and she said that Garrett was sitting by the window, and was very happy watching the airplanes. They had a flight that left at about two o’clock. We felt better that he was enjoying himself. At about two thirty, we received a frantic call from Lauren. “Garrett had another seizure, and I cannot find a pulse” “The plane is making an emergency landing at Yuma” We jumped into the car and prepared to head for Yuma, but got no further than the gas station. We were summoned home as a call had come for us. We returned home and found that the call was from a nurse at the Yuma Medical Center. She suggested, very strongly, that we head there immediately, as his condition was very bad. This we did. On route, we made, and received many calls, to find out about his condition. Very near to the beginning of our trip, however, we were informed that Garrett had passed away. I filled many a kleenix with my tears during the rest of that trip.

------------ Garrett Michael Taylor February 28, 2004 - January 29, 2007 ------------

We continued our trip to see our grandson, one last time, and to be with Lauren. She was now alone, and feeling terrible. We arrived at about six thirty, and found that her husband had been flown in, via helicopter, by the Army, who had a chopper going to Yuma, and allowed him to catch a ride. Their friends, Chris and Beth, also had arrived, from San Diego, at about the same time. We were now all there to console her. We were allowed to see Garrett’s body. I kissed him on the forehead, and tried to say goodbye, but I think all that I did was to make an emotional fool of myself, as I cried over the loss of such a tiny, innocent child. I returned to the consolation room, where Garrett’s parents were now, and immediately told them that I would be honored to be considered to be a pall bearer for my buddy. My statement was greeted with a hearty hug from each of them. My buddy knew nothing of violence, hatred, or bigotry, he only knew love, and therefore love was the only thing that he could give.

Dear Lauren and Mike: As a parent and a grandparent, my heartache and tears are for the two of you. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. May the knowledge that your precious Angel Garrett is safe within God's loving arms bring you peace... Karla Callahan (Queen Creek, AZ)

There are no words to describe the ache in my heart and to know that yours must be so much more. Thank you for sharing Garrett with me. His time with us was short but truly the way he touched so many lives was a miracle. Eileen Schwartz (Cheshire, CT)

May the peace of God that goes beyond our understanding meet all your needs. I continue to pray for you all during this time. Lynn LaGreca (Groton, CT)

Lauren and Mike, We are so very sorry for your loss. The only comfort we have is that Garrett is no longer suffering. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. Chris & Meghan Hopkins

Our sympathy is this hard journey, just know that God does things in misterious way but there is a reason for everything. He was a angel that came to this world to touch so many people like he did just know that through all this you are not alone god is walking with you all through the way, He was so special to have a family that care the way you did. Nancy Matos (Worcester, MA)

I never met Garrett, but by his picture he must have been one of God's special angels. I can only pray for all of you and hope that you find healing with the joy of your memories of Garrett. Jean Westenhofer (Scottsdale, AZ) Garrett our Little Angel who bought us so much love and reached out your hand to all of us.Peace be with you little one,Always remembered,You touched my life and my heart on the Encephalitis Group, May you Momma and Daddy be Comforted at this Time . Love, Deborah Deborah and Joe Lea (Fort Erie, ON)

To My Dear Buddy, Your bringing happiness, to me, is the very least that you did, for me. You saved my life, you befriended me, and you made my life so much greater. Thank you can never begin to say enough. I love you and will allways miss you! Rest now in the Lord's peace. Mike McLaughlin (Mesa, AZ)

Lauren and Michael, We've never met, yet I came to know of Garrett through his Nana Adele's postings on the encephalitis website. I'm deeply sorry for your family's loss, and I pray that the Lord give you strength through this most difficult time. God Bless and Keep you- Stephanie Smith Stephanie Smith (Athens, GA)

It broke my heart when you lost your precious little Angel (I got to know Garret through his nana on the E support group). I will pray for God to give you strength to get through this most difficult time. God bless you! Alex Alex Elias (Deerfield Beach, FL)

To all Garrett's family, This news came as a shock to me. My deepest condolences to all of you. Thanks Nana Adele for sharing Garrett's journey with the Enceph2group. I have loved seeing Garrett through his nice pictures. Since Adele joined the group, I always pray for Garrett's recovery but I think God has other plans for him. I think one plan is to keep him away from all the pain that encephalitis gives. I will keep Garrett and his family in my prayers. God bless, May Mia Mom to Lance, enceph survivor Aug 2003 from the Philippines May Mia (Pasig City, Philippines)

I got to know Garrett and his brave struggle through Nana Adele in the Enceph2 group. He is a loss to the world, but a gain to the Angels in Heaven. God Bless little one. Pauline And Lori (enceph survivor) Fulton (Glasgow)

I keep thinking of the day we met at the Clinton outlets to let Margaret and Landon meet and play with Garrett. I was joking with Lauren, that she could disassemble and reassemble a rifle in less than 60 seconds, but couldn't get the darned lid on that sippee cup!!! All three kids were smiling and laughing. That is how I will remember Garrett...smiling on the little carousel with Margaret and Landon. Know that I am praying and thinking of all of you! Mary Hopkins (Groton, CT)
Thank you for sharing Garrett with me through all of the pictures and the Disneyland stories. I hope your hearts heal swiftly and you know and remember nothing but the good times you were blessed with. Pat Jennings (Chandler, AZ)

To All Garrett's Family, Our deepest sympathy. Nana Adele shared Garrett's journey with the Encephalitis Support Group. Although we never met Garrett, we knew him through Nana Adele's eyes and heart. Our prayers are with you. Aloha, Nancy and Daniel Nancy Brown (Kailua, HI)

An angel has entered the house of the lord. Rest in peace Garrett. We love you. uncle Julius aunt Mary and our family Julius Feniolo (Branford, CT)

We are so blessed to have gotten to know Garrett through Adele. Thank you for sharing in our journeys. Garrett will always have a special place in our hearts. JeAnnah got sick around the same time as Garrett which gave us a special connection to Garrett. We cannot tell you how sorrowful we are for your loss. May God continue to comfort you in this time. Tami and JeAnnah Powell (South Lyon, MI) Lauren, Michael, Adele & Mike.... Words cannot express the sorrow in our hearts for the loss of your beautiful, sweet Garrett, always with a smile on his happy little face. Our prayers and thoughts are with you with love. Judie & John Bennett (Wallingford, CT)

I will always remember you as our little angel. I still can picture you coming to help me up from my chair when I had a little trouble getting up. What 2 year old has the compassion to do that? You were a very special little boy and I will pray for you always. The only compfort I have is that you are no longer suffering. You suffered enough. Love, Great Grandma Rose Great Grandmother Rose Ferraro (Mesa, AZ)

Michael and Lauren We were saddened to hear the news about the death of your son Garrett. Our thoughts are with you and your loved ones during this difficult time of loss. I know that your great strength, family and friends will help you at this time of loss. We are keeping you in our thoughts during this difficult time, Joleen, Mike, Brennen & Ryan Westermeyer Joleen Westermeyer (Anthem, AZ)

I knew Garrett through the pictures and wonderful stories his Nana shared with me. Putting aside the fact that Adele was a bit, no alot prejudice about her grandson lol. I could see for myself he was a very special child. He always had a beautiful smile. Now he is spreading his love and flashing that beautiful smile in heaven. Healthy and pain free. My prayers are with you all. Geri Geri Campbell (Avon, IN)

Our Lord Jesus now has Garrett in His loving arms. My prayer is with the family. Lil, encephalitis survivor (HSE 2002) Lil Kulhawick (Rocky Ford, CO)

Dearest Lauren and Mike There are no words to express how sorry I am for your loss. It is so very sad and hard to lose a loved one. I pray the Lord gives you peace and comfort during this time. And that you know that Garrett is having a ball in heaven playing with Jesus. He can run and play again isn't that awesome? And then at night Jesus takes Garrett in his rccking chair and helps him get to sleep. He is safe in the arms of Jesus right now. And you shall see him again someday. So be strong sweetie and give Colin a really big hug for me too okay? I love ya.. Hugs N Prayers Judy Lockwood (Moreno Valley, CA)

Please accept our most sincere condolences. We are still in shock as you are. Garrett will always be in our hearts. Thank you for sharing this angel with us. Cindy and Devin (HSV @ 2 weeks) Cindy Bowker (Ashland City, TN)
Gina Michalowski (Mesa, AZ)

i just want you to know how sorry i am, and it broke my heart to hear about Garrett, your very special son. God Bless you and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Teresa and Meghan Kempton Mom of a encephalitis child...... Teresa Kempton (Magalia, CA)

Many prayers are being said for this sweet family. May God hold each one of you very close and give you His peace. Nana Sally and Max from NCEPH2 Sally Suiter (Pittsboro, IN)

My deepest condolences goes out to your family. I lost my dad September16, 2006 from West Nile Encephalitis. Your little guy gave it a good fight. May he rest in heaven with all the angles. R

Our deepest sympathy, Pam and Kim Gilligan (encephalitis parents group) Pam and Kim Gilligan (Philadelphia, PA)

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. We are so sorry for your loss. (Nceph2 Group) Robin & Cody Cohen (Chesapeake, VA)

God bless you and your family. He is in heaven without that terrible illness that has taken so much from our special chilren. Please know that the pictures and the story that you shared with us about Garrett's journey with this illness will always keep him in our thoughts and prayers. May you find peace in time knowing that he is with our Lord. Rosa and Austin Jones (Las Vegas, NV)
To OUR SWEET GARRETT, Nana misses you so much and I cannot believe you are not going to come play with me or water my plants for me or sing our MARY POPPINS song with me anymore . You suffered so much after you got sick that I know it was best for you to leave us but I didnt want to see you go. You touched so many lives and I am so proud of the outpouring of love that your sweet little life has generated on this earth. I am sure you will keep that love going up in Heaven . I will visit your grave often and bring you flowers from OUR garden and pray for you and look forward to seeing you again and playing with you again one day. LOVE, NANA ADELE Nana Adele McLaughlin (Mesa)

I cannot know your pain, but I do know the joy that babies bring, so when your pain grows great, just remember his happy days and wonderful smile. My Heart is with you! Nancy Huber (solon, IA)

Our hearts and our thoughts are with Garrett and his family at this very difficult time. Encephalitis Global, Inc. Wendy Station (Vancouver, BC)

Be Still Be still like the grass on a melancholy summer day Be still like desert shrub. Be calm and you will hear your loved one speak, in the stillness, in the calm, their love resounds. If you are still this promise I make, you will hear the voice of your loved one helping you along your way. Melissa McNutt (Priceviile)

To Garrett's family, May God bless you and keep you in his loving arms during this very difficult and painful time. Garrett was such a blessing to all of us in the Nceph2 group. Our prayers and love are with you now and forever. Your little man will live on forever in our hearts. Sincerely, Rona proud mom of Wyatt Rona Compton (Los Angeles, CA)

Ruth Fell (Rochester, NY)

Our condolences and prayers for your family and this sweet baby. We lost our 10-year-old grandson on Memorial Day last year and can understand the heartbreak you are going through. God bless you and Garrett - perhaps he has found our Joshua and they are playing together at the feet of the Lord. Bobbie Frink (Phoenix, AZ)

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