This couple were grieving over the tragic loss of their son when a nurse at the hospital where he had been treated got in touch. She told them there was another baby in need and that they might just be the ones to help him in a very special way.
Katie and Josh Butler are a Nashville couple with an amazing story – and it starts with the moment when they first met. The pair first caught each other’s eyes at college, and they became husband and wife in July 2012. Then, after a short time spent living abroad in France, the pair moved back to settle in the U.S.
At this point, the two were ready to start a family together. And Katie, a teacher, was keen to make sure that the baby came during the school summer holidays, when she could enjoy as much time with the little one as possible.
Then in September 2014 the pair received some fantastic news: Katie was pregnant. Naturally, the couple were delighted, but sadly, come the 20-week scan, there were signs that things weren’t quite as they should be.
“In January 2015, we went in, and they told us there was some thickening of the neck and that the baby had club feet,” Katie told The Advertiser. “Those were all markers for genetic conditions.”
From that moment on, the couple knew that the pregnancy was not going to be straightforward. Indeed, Katie needed to go for weekly scans in order to keep an eye on the development of their baby.
In the end, the expectant mom had to be induced at 39 weeks, and she subsequently gave birth to their baby son, Dewey. The little boy weighed just shy of 4 pounds, however, so doctors quickly whisked him away to the intensive care unit.
The following days and weeks were very tough times for the Butlers. Yes, they were told that baby Dewey had chromosomal translocation as well as club feet and a webbed neck.
Dewey’s condition was very rare, however, and not even the doctors were entirely sure of what the consequences would be for the couple’s baby. Unfortunately, moreover, as time went by Dewey seemed to develop more and more health issues. And then in September 2015 the little boy was admitted for a routine operation.
Routine the surgery may have been, but Dewey was in the operating room for a while, and so the Butlers suspected that something hadn’t gone to plan. Then they had their worst fears confirmed: Dewey had passed away on the operating table.
The surgeon had been trying to insert a feeding tube into the baby, but during the operation little Dewey’s heart had simply given up. His parents were, naturally, devastated. “We just had no idea, which is why his death was so traumatic,” Katie told Essential Baby.
Yet in spite of such a terrible loss, in order to honor their son’s life, the couple decided to celebrate his time on this Earth by organizing a party. And in the tough weeks that followed Dewey’s death, they turned to their faith to help them through.
Two months later, in November 2015, Katie found herself praying to God for a second child. The couple had so much love to give to Dewey, after all, and they wanted to bestow that love upon another baby.
Then, in a matter of weeks, Katie’s prayer was answered. It all started with a telephone call that she received from one of the nurses at the hospital where Dewey had been treated. The nurse told the couple that a baby had been born and that he was in need of a home.
Baby Brax was very unwell, and his own biological mom had made the torturous decision to give him away so that he could receive better care. The little baby had serious difficulties with his lungs and had not yet been released from hospital.
To the Butlers, it was obvious what they had to do. Having met Brax four days after the phone call, they started the process of fostering the baby boy. Then a few months later they were able to adopt him.
“We are so grateful for Brax, and if it weren’t for Dewey, we wouldn’t have met. It gave purpose to Dewey’s short life,” Katie told Essential Baby. So it was that the couple took Brax home and watched him grow stronger and stronger.
The Butlers had been told that they shouldn’t try again for their own children because Dewey’s condition was genetic, so they had discussed the possibility of adoption with the nurses at the hospital. Then the pair were blessed with the opportunity to look after another child in need. “There is so much to rejoice about,” said proud mom Katie.
Josh’s online blog also suggests that the couple might be keen to adopt again in the future. For now, though, they are still a family of three, with Brax at the centre. And of course, they still carry the memory of Dewey with them wherever they go.
The Butlers’ story goes to show that good things can still come out of even the most unimaginable grief. The couple tragically lost their beautiful son, but this loss allowed them to welcome another very special boy into their lives.