Helping my son with a bum ankle at an Easter egg hunt

We practiced teamwork to keep my 5-year-old going despite his hemophilia bleed

Joe MacDonald avatar

by Joe MacDonald |

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When my youngest son, Caeleb, was 5 years old, he participated in our church’s yearly Easter egg hunt. We divided the children into younger and older categories to help even the playing field. The smaller church members started first, gathering as many eggs as they could find. After the little ones’ turn, the older children discovered the hidden gems filled with chocolate and other tasty treats. Everyone, with the help of some adults, found a decent number of treasures. No one left empty-handed.

My boy took the starting lineup with the rest of the younger group. I must say that Caeleb appeared determined to find as many eggs as possible. He went to church that day dressed to the nines. He had on a yellow shirt with a brightly colored tie reflecting the joy of Easter. While my son, who has injuries from hemophilia, couldn’t run the fastest, he challenged everyone with his looks and appearance.

I looked into his eyes as he waited for the whistle to blow. He stood fixed, trying to find prominent hiding places. I could see his wheels spinning as he attempted to map out a mental plan of attack. Finally, the whistle blew, and my son took off, anxious to gather as many trinkets as possible. As he started to run, he started limping almost immediately. My heart sank as I saw his look of determination fade into helplessness. He turned to me with a look of defeat.

“Dad, my ankle hurts, but I want some Easter eggs,” he said.

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I immediately ran to him and put “Plan B” into action. I told him I had an idea as I gathered him onto my shoulders. I told him I could be his legs, and he needed to tell me where to run. He agreed, so off we ran. I even sang a little galloping song as we raced to find eggs. We turned what at first appeared to be a tragedy into a game of galloping horses in search of the most incredible candies in the world.

As my legs did the work of running, I sat Caeleb down to pick up the treasure that lay just beneath the shell. I made sure that we didn’t interfere with other Easter egg hunters. Everyone participating appeared to have a good time as laughter rang out all over the area near the church. The event succeeded as children filled their bellies with chocolates and candies.

We had to take care of Caeleb’s medical issue as soon as we finished the event. We quickly diagnosed that my boy had suffered a spontaneous internal bleed in his ankle, causing him great pain. We accessed his port-a-cath to give him his medicine, NovoSeven, a bypassing agent for hemophilia with inhibitors. Thankfully, after a few infusions, his ankle began to show signs that the bleeding had stopped. My boy could go back to the task of sorting his treasures.

As I reflect on the Easter egg hunt of 2011, I realize that nothing would stop me from helping my son enjoy a day of celebration. He deserved every opportunity to share in the day’s joy, even if it meant having a little extra help. I could be my son’s legs, hands, arms, and feet to make him happy.

My goal as an advocate and father is to maintain my son’s mental and physical health. Sometimes, he needs a little help along the way, and that’s where I come into the picture. I walk beside him, reminding him of hope when all seems lost, always promising that he’ll never be alone. Together, we bring a message of joy, even in the darkest of times. I hope that Caeleb knows that, just as I carried the 5-year-old on my shoulders, I also hold the young adult’s hopes and dreams. In short, I hope he feels the love that pours out of my soul for him.

Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.


Judy St. Cn avatar

Judy St. Cn

Joe, We still marvel at how you and Cazandra are able to help your sons. May God always keep you there to see them through the hard times. Take care, my friend, Judy and Pat

Joe MacDonald avatar

Joe MacDonald

Thank you for your very kind response to my column. You and Pat are wonderful people!


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