In memory of our Family Angels, “Maudie Farnsworth and Addison Eve Opdahl”, join us in giving back. For every Greyson Elf Kit we sell we will donate a “Comfort Elf” to Children in Hospitals who are not able to be home for the Christmas Holiday!
Maudie Farnsworth was the 8th child (out of 10) born in 1954 to Rex and Catherine Farnsworth of Kirtland, NM. She was born with a cute round little face with perfect features, and lots of dark hair. Soon after, she became very ill and was admitted to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, UT where she was diagnosed with hydrocephalus. During those years there was not much they were able to do except to drill a hole in her sweet little head to help drain the fluid that would build up. Not being able to do any more to help our Angel Sister’s condition they returned back home where the young family took turns holding and caring for her. She passed away at the age of 6 months in our Mother’s arms. Our Mother always spoke of how kind the nurses and doctors of Primary Children’s Hospital were to them. Maudie has never been forgotten and we all look forward to being with her again someday. We have always wanted to do something to give back in her memory, so we are excited to start giving back with “The ELVES Project”.
Addison Eve Opdahl, the 6th child of Tom and Monique Opdahl, was an angel baby from the start. We discovered in utero that Addi was missing part of her cerebellum in her brain and she had hydrocephaly.
Shortly after she was born, she was diagnosed with a severe case of jaundice and other complications. They ran many tests and I wasn’t able to hold her much. During this stay we began learning just a little bit about the many problems and complications with Addi’s body. Addi had hydrocephalus, gastrointestinal problems. We learned her kidneys were not functioning properly and she had a few things wrong with her heart. Something was wrong with her eyes, and really her entire make up was not normal. Literally nothing in her body worked properly. And to make things worse, she could not sleep much.
Addison had an inflated abdomen. Her limbs were skinny and dangly. Her muscle tone was very weak. She couldn’t even keep her mouth closed. Most doctors were puzzled and some even scared of Addi. She was unlike any other baby they had ever seen. But, somehow Addi survived and we took her home and tried to figure out how to care for her. Caring for her proved quite difficult and so uncertain.
When Addi was three and a half months old, she became quite sick and nearly passed away. We learned that her health was even worse than we originally thought and I became a full-time nurse caring for her.
She was hospitalized 12 times in less than 2 years and she spent a good portion of her life uncomfortable and in pain.
What was even more astonishing is that despite everything Addison had to go through, she had a smile on her face. When friends, family, doctors, nurses or even strangers saw Addison, they would comment on how peaceful she looked or mention how happy she was. It was as if Addi had the gift of gratitude and her way to serve others was to remind us of the many blessings we have.
We would love to hear your stories, so please feel free to share them in the comments!