Meredith Woodruff is the mother of Miller and founder of the Miller McNeil Woodruff Foundation.
On March 28, 2011, I gave birth to our second son, Miller McNeil Woodruff. He was the picture of perfection. An 8 pound 12 ounce bundle of PURE joy! It was around our second week at home that my mom began to make comments about his lack of movement. Miller just didn’t seem to wiggle as much as most newborn babies do. Patrick and I discounted her concern and continued to be thankful for our “laid back” baby. It wasn’t until another week had gone by that Patrick took it upon himself to call our pediatrician and schedule an appointment for Miller. We felt kind of silly taking him in, but were doing it for our own peace of mind. We assumed the doctor would laugh at us and send us on our way. Boy was I wrong. This is a day we will never forget. April 20, 2011 our world was turned upside down. It was the beginning of our life with SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy). A disease we had never even heard of changed our lives forever.
If there was hope for a cure within Miller’s lifetime, we would have done anything and everything we could have to keep him alive. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Knowing your baby is going to die is the weirdest feeling in the world. I never dreamed I would have to plan my own baby’s funeral. We had his memorial service on what would have been his 3 month birthday, June 28, 2011.
God blessed us with a precious child and allowed us the honor, privilege and joy of having him in our presence for 87 days. In that short time he lifted the spirits of many and changed the lives of others forever. He made us understand the true meaning of quality over quantity and gave us a new appreciation for every sunrise we see. He reminded us of how easy it is to take little things for granted, that we should count our blessings daily, and that each day should be lived to the fullest. His life enabled us to experience the amazing power of love through the prayers and support of the countless number of wonderful friends and total strangers that shared this time with us.
The sparkle in those big blue eyes, those long eyelashes and that shy little smile warmed our hearts and leave us with cherished memories never to be forgotten. Even though his time with us was brief, it was wonderful and he did, without doubt, leave his mark.
Our hearts are heavy but our faith is strong that he is now safe and well in the arms of God, and we will be forever grateful that this Little Man passed our way.
Patrick and I promised each other AND Miller that we would make the best of this unfortunate situation and NEVER let Miller be forgotten. As part of our commitment, we have started The Miller McNeil Woodruff Foundation. Our goal is to raise awareness, fund research and offer support to other families who are faced with this challenge. We will do this by donating the money we raise to Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Circle of Life Hospice, and Cure SMA.
You can help children with SMA by texting MILLER to 77948 or by clicking here.