Archive for the 'Morse Family' Category

Okay, okay…I know! I know!

I am the most slackinist blogger ever…

But it IS ‘that’ time of year, folks…please bear with me.  I am happy to say, that for the most part, I have been able to keep to my 7 day turn around on proofs (which my clients are happy about), but it has come at the price of ignoring my blog (which my readers aren’t so happy about).  BUT…I only have three weeks of shooting left, so I PROMISE, that once my brain returns to a solid state in December, that I will take some quiet time and pick up where I left off.  NO ONE will be un-blogged!  But you just have to be patient a while longer…

And in the meantime, something MOST blog-worthy…my pal, Amy Morse, whose son Jeremy, you read about here, is hosting a blood drive in honor of Jeremy’s first birthday.  Here are the details on the drive, directly from her:

Happy fall everyone.

In honor and memory of Jeremy’s First Birthday we will be holding a Blood Drive.  We really couldn’t think of any better way to spend that day than to give “life” to someone else.  During his stay at Hopkins, Jeremy needed countless units of blood and other blood products.  I’m serious when I say I really have lost track of the exact quantity of blood my son needed during his illness.   I am passionate about this project knowing all too well what a tremendous difference one unit of blood can make in the life of someone else. 

If you feel led to join us in this celebration of Jeremy’s life and all that he accomplished in his short time here on earth,  please choose from the following options:

 Red Cross Blood Drive

Monday, December 1, 2008

1- 7 p.m.

Christ Lutheran Church

5700 Edmondson Avenue

Catonsville, MD. 21228

 We are looking for 50 donors.  There are time slots open every fifteen minutes throughout the day.  Please e-mail me your top three choices of times and I will do my best to accomodate your request.  Also, include your telephone number where someone can reach you to offer a reminder call in the days before the drive.   The times start  at 1pm. then 1:15, 1:30, etc. . . every fifteen minutes ongoing throughout the day. (1pm -7 p.m.)   I will confirm the time with you by e-mail as soon as possible.  Please expect your total donation time to last approx. 1 1/2 hours. 

We are also looking for volunteers to work the registration, canteen, and bake sale tables in two hour increments. 

1-3, 3-5,  and 5-7 p.m.  If this interests you, please e-mail your preference of area and time.  Again, I will confirm by e-mail your assignment. 

In addition, we need bakers to provide treats for the bake sale.  Any and all donations would be greatly appreciated.  Please plan to pre-price your donation ahead of time to save time the day of the sale.  Please e-mail  me to let me know of your intentions for the bake sale so I can be sure to have enough baked goods to sell on December 1st.  All proceeds from this sale will go directly to the non-profit foundation that we are setting up in Jeremy’s memory.  We plan to use the funds from this foundation to provide “Rays of Sunshine” to those who need them, especially critically ill children and their families. 

You may also make a direct donation to the American Red Cross in Jeremy’s memory. 

One last request.  We are asking others to share a short story with us about the ways in which Jeremy has impacted your life.  I think it would provide us a tremendous amount of comfort to read about the positive ways that our son changed the world, one heart at a time.  We may never know the ripple effects that will extend around us for years to come, but this is a good way to start. 

As always, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your compassion, love, and generosity as we walk through this storm, trying to find our way without our precious son.  We can’t change what happened to him, but we can change and make a difference in the lives of others who need and are desperate for our help. 

With a Grateful Heart,

Amy Morse

The Morse Family

Well, it has been a long time since I have posted about these guys.  More than two months has passed since we lost baby Jeremy, and the Morses are taking life day by day, enjoying every moment God has given them, and trying to adjust to the Jeremy-sized hole in their home and hearts.  Amy and I got to have dinner together last week, which is something we don’t get to do often, and it was so great to just sit, sip margaritas and pour out whatever needed to get out.  Since the moment I met Amy, I knew she was special, and I am so thankful to call her friend.  It is so difficult to watch your friend go thru such a horrific time, not knowing what to say or do, knowing that you can’t do anything to fix it or change it.  But I cherish Amy’s friendship, as well as Scott’s, and each of her beautiful children, no matter how lost for words I am.  I know God has put us together for a reason.  Amy has started her own blog called Finding Sunshine, and if you have the time (and I know if you’re reading this YOU DO!) check it out.  She is an absolute inspiration.  The last post she wrote talked about the dreaded question, “How many children do you have?” and how to answer it.  Up to that point, there wasn’t anything about her situation I could relate to.  But when she wrote that, I thought, “Hey!  I understand that!”  As some of you may know, I have a son who I placed for adoption 15 years ago.  I have a Zach-shaped hole in my heart that I live with everyday.  I know it isn’t the same, and I chose my situation, and Amy most certainly has not chosen hers, and I have peace of mind knowing that Zach is alive and doing well, and Amy was not afforded such a luxury.  But just focusing on that question…I feel like I have one thing that I actually get.  I know its not a big thing, and it is very different, but it is something.  And sometimes it is all we need. 

So when I went to visit them last week, we wanted to do something to honor Jeremy.  Amy bought some balloons, and had the kids write messages to Jeremy, and we let the balloons float up to heaven so Jeremy would know how much they miss him.  Each of the kids took pride and care with what they wrote and drew, even 2 year old Nolan.  It just breaks my heart that they have to try and understand why their brother isn’t here anymore, but these kids are so amazing, and they celebrate Jeremy in so much of life.  Its just precious.  Here is Trevor making his message:









And Meredith (she was looking at his birth announcement so she wouldn’t misspell his name):

















  And Nolan:


















Once all the messages were made, we tied them to balloons and headed outside to let them go.  The sky was unbelievably blue!  And I love the look on Nolan’s face in this photo:


















Up, up and away!


















This was such a sweet thing to witness, I am so grateful to have been there.  They had done this before as a family at the cemetery, and Amy shared about that on her blog.  It was very touching.  There is a photo of Meredith on her knees praying over Jeremy’s grave…I can’t stop looking at that photo.  Just precious.

And as I was leaving we grabbed this shot of everyone’s feet…the kids donning their Jeremy bracelets, and Amy with her sunshine painted on her toe…all in honor of Jeremy. 













Thank you, Amy, for letting me be part of your life…for better, for worse.  I’m here for it all.  I love you.


My Heroes

Trying to get back into the swing of things after such a sorrowful week last week.  I have been wanting to write about what I witnessed as our friends had to bury their six month old son, but the words have been hard to find.  I saw hundreds of people pour through the funeral home, and Holy Nativity’s sanctuary was filled with family and friends surrounding Scott & Amy with love and sympathy during the funeral service Saturday.  The whole thing was so unimaginable, or surreal, maybe.  But the most amazing thing I saw was at the end of the service.  Scott and Amy had written a message that Scott so bravely shared, and then the final song was played.  They chose “Blessed be Your Name”.  It is a beautiful, triumphant song that has been a Sunday morning favorite for quite a while, but I will never sing it the same again.  They sang this song hands held together and held high as if to say, ‘no matter what, YOU are our God’.  It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. 

Blessed Be Your Name
by Matt Redman
– – –
Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your nameBlessed Be Your name
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s ‘all as it should be’
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name




After the service and interment, Scott and Amy hosted a lunch catered by Chef Paulino (if you are ever in Catonsville, please stop by and grab a bite.  He was so generous…I think he gave us food for 600 instead of 300.  Big shout out to him…).  Anyway, there was a ton of food left over, and Scott and Amy suggested we take the leftovers to the Children’s House at Johns Hopkins where they often stayed while Jeremy was in the hospital.  What a great idea!  Then there was still too much food, so they suggested we feed the staff at the PICU as well.  So we rounded up drivers, and were getting ready to load the food, when Scott & Amy decided to take it themselves.  You heard me.  After all that.  I don’t know if these two have any idea what kind of witness they are, but wow…

Scott, Amy…you are truly me heroes.  I love you both. 


Celebrating Jeremy

Here is a copy of the post made by Scott & Amy last night on the Caring Bridge site:

It is with great sadness that we write to let you know that our son, Jeremy, passed away on Sunday afternoon. We take comfort in knowing that he will remain in his forever home with our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Saying goodbye to him was by far the hardest thing that we have ever had to do. Telling our other three children of his passing, was the second hardest thing that we have ever had to do. Coping with daily life has not been easy at all. In fact, it feels so strange to get up and not go to the hospital or to call and check in on him. I panicked today at one point while watching our children play because I kept counting them and only getting to three and I had to stop and remember what has happened. Those are the moments when it is the most painful, to relive that understanding that Jeremy is no longer with our family and he never will be. He is not taking a nap or at a Grandparents home, he is gone from this world forever. I’m sorry for rambling. . . my heart is pouring out with pain that is just without words to describe. Please know that despite our great pain and despair, we have accepted God’s will for Jeremy. We just now have to learn how to live here on earth without him.

We have made the following arrangements to celebrate Jeremy’s life.

Sterling Ashton Schwab Witzke Funeral Home 1630 Edmondson Avenue Catonsville, Maryland 21228 410-744-8600— Viewings will be taking place on Thursday, June 12th from 7-9 p.m. and also on Friday, June 13th from 3-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.

The funeral will take place on Saturday, June 14th at 10 am at Holy Nativity Lutheran Church 1200 Linden Avenue Arbutus , Maryland 21227

In lieu of flowers, we are asking that donations be made in Memory of Jeremy Morse to the Johns Hopkins Childrens Center PICU. The address is :

600 North Wolfe Street


Baltimore, Maryland 21287

Attn: Claire Beers

We ask for this so that we can honor Jeremy’s life and he can live on through helping other children and their families at the Johns Hopkins PICU. Thank You.

Scott and Amy Morse and Family


Saying Goodbye to Jeremy

This is the most difficult post I’ve ever written.  And undoubtedly a shock to some whose last update about Jeremy was here on my blog, which was very sunny. 

Jeremy had a clot in his VAD earlier this week, but it disappeared and they were hoping that his body absorbed it.  But the clot had gone to his brain and caused a stroke early yesterday morning.  This led to bleeding, and the infamous Dr. Ben Carson stepped in to do emergency surgery to stop this bleeding.  Once the surgery was over, the blood thinner that Jeremy is on to keep the flow moving in the VAD had to be reduced so the bleeding in his brain could stop.  That ended up causing clots in the VAD, and thus a downward spiral began.  The bleeding in his brain is intense and he has suffered major brain damage.  The doctors told Scott and Amy that he would never be well enough to be on the transplant list, nor would he be able to achieve any kind of quality of life.  They have exhausted all avenues of help for Jeremy.  Care will be withdrawn later today.  I spoke with Amy this morning after reading the journal entry, and I can’t even describe the pain I heard.  The grief, the questions, the pain, the exhaustion…I just can’t wrap my mind around what she and Scott are going through. 

Please keep the Morse family in your prayers as they face this horrific day, and a future without Jeremy.  As you pray for comfort, don’t forget about all of the miracles that God has given them over the past 70 days, and what a gift that time with him really was. 


Jeremy passed away at 3:07pm this afternoon.  I was able to go to the hospital and be with Scott and Amy for a few minutes.  I can’t imagine the pain they felt tonight leaving that hospital without thier son.  Please pray for God’s peace and comfort to fall on them in a big way.

WooHOO, Jeremy!

The drawing for the 50/50 raffle to benefit my pal Jeremy Morse was held this past Saturday.  One of my clients, Shelley Mazzuca, had her ticket drawn as the winner, and she graciously donated all of the money back to the Morses…which was over $6000!  A big thank you to all who purchased tickets!  What a blessing!

And as if that weren’t great news in itself…Jeremy was extubated yesterday!  He is breathing on his own now only with the help of a BiPAP machine (Positive Airway Pressure) and doing well.  The doctors are planning to list him for transplant this week!!!  Keep those prayers coming!  Here is Amy’s entry from yesterday:

“We are filled with so much joy tonight. Even the doctor has commented on the fact that he has never seen us both smile at the same time. We give much thanks to God for Jeremy’s life and the amazing journey we have been on so far. Jeremy is still doing a great job working to breathe without the help of the ventilator. He is on the Bipap machine and seems to be doing well. The blood gases and the chest x-ray are okay so we will keep this course of treatment for now. Please pray for continued success and much rest tonight.

Thanks to all of the outstanding doctors, nurses, nurse practioners, and respiratory therapists who have taken such good care of Jeremy and continue to do so. We couldn’t be more thankful.

Thanks to our family, friends, and prayer warriors! Jeremy is definately feeling your prayers, love, and support.”

And here is a photo of him with his new, althoughit be a bit cumbersome, BiPAP mask:








 Look at those big brown peepers looking back thru that crazy thing…what a site for sore eyes!  🙂



Pancake Breakfast to Benefit Jeremy Morse

 Come One, Come All!


Just Come HUNGRY!


Pancake Breakfast to Benefit Jeremy Morse


(serving pancakes, bacon, sausage, juice, coffee & tea)


Saturday, June 7, 2008


8am – 11am


Family Life Center, Holy Nativity Lutheran Church


1200 Linden Avenue, 21227


In lieu of ticket cost, please make a donation to


Jeremy Morse


to help offset medical costs and support the family.


Please RSVP to Karen Zorn


(For headcount purposes)

Benefit Crop for Jeremy

Jeremy’s mom, Amy, is a Creative Memories consultant, so some of the other consultants on her team have joined forces and are putting on a benefit crop and silent auction.  I will paste in the info below.  Even if you aren’t a scrapbook geek, consider stopping by between 3-5pm for the auction…I will have a portrait package in there, along with bundles from other home-based businesses.  Mark your calendars!  Here is a link to the website for more inforamtion:

It’s with great pleasure that I announce our BIG event for the Morse family on July 12, 2008.  For those of you unfamiliar with Jeremy Morse’s story, I refer you to to read about his condition.  His mother, Amy, is a Catonsville resident and a Creative Memories consultant in my unit. 

 Kudos go to Lisa, Ginger and Jessica for getting the ball rolling on this.  The CM consultants in my unit are SO very excited about this opportunity.  There will be six of us pooling our customer base and also recruiting the assistance of other direct sales consultants from companies such as Longaberger and Tastefully Simple.  Doesn’t that sound fun???Now, we hope that you will help us to spread the word to all of your friends.  This will be a “no-frills” workshop so that we can maximize our donation to Jeremy’s medical fund.  We will provide lunch and your own table, plus 7 hours of uninterrupted work time. 

 For those not interested in scrapbooking, we will be holding two other events that day.  A silent auction will begin at 3pm featuring Creative Memories bundles, along with items donated by other direct sales companies (if you know a consultant for a particular company, and you think they might be willing to make a donation, please let me know and I will contact them!). 


In addition, Kati Thomas, my Unit Leader, will be holding a Custom Framing Workshop.  Bring something to frame and the proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Morse family.  I had something framed by CM last month and it turned out REALLY well.  Entry fee for the 3-5pm events will be only $5, to go directly to Jeremy.

 So, PLEASE tell everyone you know!  And contact me if you have any questions.

Thank you all for your support!
Sharleen Hernan

Independent Creative Memories Consultant

Fundraising for Jeremy

Well, God is good!  Little Jeremy needed a quiet, restful week, and that is exactly what God gave him.  Here is an excerpt from Amy’s post today:

God has heard our prayers, Jeremy is showing improvement. We couldn’t be more thankful to God !! We also thank all of the doctors, nurses, and RTs, your hard work and dedication is paying off. Last but not least, we are so proud of Jeremy. He is working so hard and proving again just how strong he is! We also appreciate our family and friends for EVERYTHING that they do to help us get on with the daily tasks of life.

Jeremy is currently on 65% oxygen, which is very close to our goal. He has come down on the mean airway pressures and some of the blood pressure medicines. We are hopeful that Jeremy will continue walking a bit more briskly in this direction.

He still has a long road, so keep those prayers coming!

Fundraising efforts have begun for the Morse family.  We are currently selling 50/50 raffle tickets at $10 each.  The initial order was for 1,000 tickets, but they seem to be selling very well, so we may be looking at getting more.  The drawing will be held May 31st, so if you are interested in buying a ticket (or 10), please let me know.  I will be selling them at Holy Nativity this Sunday after the late service.  I also have blue bows for your trees and blue ribbons to wear.  The blue bows are peppered throught Catonsville and surrounding areas…they can be seen most prominently down Frederick Road where many businesses have posted them along the street to show support for Jeremy and his family.  Here is a collage of just a few bows I saw on some of those businesses this week:















Jessica Nelson wrote a great essay on the significance and importace of the bows:

                                                             Wrapping the Town in Blue

 Yellow bows tied to homes, trees and porches are a sign of support, love and prayer for American soldiers in times of war.  In a similar effort of support, love and prayer, blue bows have been tied to many area businesses and homes in support of Catonsville’s own brave little soldier, 5-month-old Jeremy Morse.  Sweet little Baby Jeremy was taken to the hospital on April 1, 2008 to treat dehydration.  While in the ER, he went into cardiac arrest and was placed on life support.  So began the roller coaster ride for him and his family.


While they continue to deal with the ups and downs family members and friends are struggling to show their support in every way.  Their utmost request has been for prayers.  The millions of prayers said for Jeremy and his family have clearly helped the family stay afloat during these difficult times.


Thousands of visitors from all over the country have flocked to the website ( to view the nearly daily updates.  There are several fundraising efforts and blood drives taking place and in the works to help with the mounting medical expenses for this miracle baby.


But the blue bows are something extra special.  They started cropping up at local businesses along Frederick Road in Catonsville in the weeks after Jeremy was hospitalized.  Passers-by wondered, “what are those bows for?”  When they learned the story behind the blue bows, that meant more thoughts and prayers to buoy the spirits of the fighting Jeremy and his amazingly strong parents. 


The blue bows also mean something special to Jeremy’s older sister and brothers who now notice every blue bow tied to honor their little brother.


Every time you see a blue bow, stop and say a prayer.  As the blue bows continue to spread that will add up to a lot of prayers…..and that is what the Morse Family and Baby Jeremy really need right now.


Please consider buying a bow, raffle ticket, or just making a donation.  The medical bills that are piling up are unimaginable.  Some of his treatments and meds are ‘experimental’ and not covered at all by insurance.  You can only imagine what 39 days and counting at Hopkins adds up to. Checks can be made to Jeremy Morse, and mailed to me, picked up by me…whatever…just let me know! And above all else, keep those prayers coming!


Not good news tonight…here is an excerpt from Scott’s journal entry:

We had a long talk with the doctors today about Jeremy’s prognoisis. He has developed ARDS which is inflamation of the lungs (not just fluid build-up), due to all of his trauma this week. He is just treading water and is not making progress. The oscillator ventilaltor is on the highest settings and he is just barely holding on. The next step would be ECMO and they say that he is too weak to survive the operation to go on ECMO. To put it in perspective, the doctors say he had a better chance of surviving on that first night than he does now because now his body is so weak. The doctor’s have said that we are getting close to the point of having to make some unspeakable decisions. Lord have mercy.

All we can do is keep praying and let God do his will. We will never give up on Jeremy or on our hope, but we must accept, with faith, whatever is in God’s plan.

Keep praying for this little warrior.  The reality of this seems more than I can wrap my mind around…I can’t imagine what is happening in Scott & Amy’s heads and hearts tonight.  As I was walking upstairs, I walked by this print we have hanging on the wall.  It was a gift for Graham’s baptism from his godparents, and this is what I imagine is going on in Jeremy’s hospital room tonight. 














Please keep praying…

And my apologies to Thomas Blackshear, the artist who painted the image above, for posting this photo without permission.  It is called “Watchers in the Night”, and more of his work can be found here.

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