Having a baby is often the greatest joy of a parent’s life. For some parents, fate is not so kind. For years, Heather and Sean Brown had always wanted a baby. Finally, the military couple was able to conceive their miracle. What happened after was completely unexpected and changed Heather and Sean’s lives forever.
First There Were Two
When Sean Brown and Heather were set up on a blind date many years ago, they never expected to go through all of the ups and downs of life together.
It Started Over Dinner
Sean and Heather both had a mutual friend that thought the two would get along well. Finally, after the friend encouraged Sean to make the first move, Sean finally called Heather to ask her on a date. The two decided to go out to dinner and give the relationship a shot. So, one night, Heather and Sean got dressed up and made their way to a restaurant. Over dinner, the conversation flowed and sparks flew between the two of them!
Madly In Love
By the time that Sean and Heather finished dinner, they fell completely in love. They could not get enough of each other and wanted to be together every second they could. Every moment they were together, they would sit and talk for hours on end. They wanted to be with one another all the time. Unfortunately, Sean was in the military and as every military wife knows, consistent time together can be rare. Still, they wanted to move forward together.
Church Bells Ringing
Very quickly, Sean and Heather were completely attached to each other. They were madly in love and wanted to progress their relationship as soon as possible. After only a month together, they decided to move in together. Shortly after, Sean proposed to Heather. Without missing a beat, Heather said “yes” and started planning the wedding. The happy couple could not wait to say “I do” and share a life together forever. It wouldn’t be long before two would become three.
An Intense Connection
From the moment they first met each other, they felt as if they had already known one another for years. They fit together like two perfect puzzle pieces. When they first met, Sean was working as a police officer. He has a strong sense of responsibility to others and loved to serve. Heather was working for an ambulance company as a business office manager. Both shared many similar values and were committed to helping people.
They Wanted A Baby
Once Sean and Heather tied the knot, they knew it wouldn’t be long before they would want to have a baby. Sean was confident that Heather would make an incredibly kind and loving mother. Already she loved to be around children and she was nurturing in every way. However, the Browns had one big problem. They were struggling to conceive. Still, like many new couples trying to get pregnant, they did not give up hope and faith.
They Were Tested
Even though Sean and Heather continued to try to get pregnant, they couldn’t seem to get the results they wanted. After weeks turned into months with no results, Heather decided to go to the doctor to see what was wrong. Even though she was starting to get frustrated, she still believed that one day she would carry a baby. Once she got to the fertility doctor, they decided to run a series of tests on her. The Browns had no idea what was to come.
For months, Heather and Sean were tested physically and emotionally. The fertility doctor was searching for answers, but nothing was showing up. Finally, after about six months of tests, the doctor called with some answers. Unfortunately, the doctor came to some devastating conclusions. Heather received the news that no woman trying to have a baby wants to hear. They told Heather that she was infertile and would never be able to have a child even with all of their best efforts.
Still, Sean and Heather did everything they could to try to get pregnant. For seven years, they tried to have a baby and for seven years, they kept taking pregnancy tests that were negative. Even though their patience was waning, the Browns wanted a baby more than anything. Even though they were completely broken hearted after they received news from the fertility doctor, they still had hope. They were madly in love and wanted to be a family.
A Shocking Turn
While Heather and Sean were very happy together as a couple, they desperately wanted to grow their family. Sean told People magazine, “We wanted this so badly.” The news from the fertility doctor hit the Browns hard. They were almost ready to hand in the towel and give up trying. It was too upsetting to keep taking pregnancy tests with no positive results. Then one afternoon, the Brown’s doctor called Heather and Sean unexpectedly with surprising news.
When Sean and Heather picked up the phone, they didn’t expect anything good from their doctor. Without missing a beat, the doctor revealed the unbelievable news that Heather was pregnant! The Browns were completely in shock and could not believe that it was true! Heather and Sean had been trying to conceive for seven years with no luck and finally, their dream of becoming a family was finally coming to fruition. Unfortunately, they were about to be hit with some more news.
A Sudden Change
Heather’s doctors could not believe that she was able to carry a baby. Her pregnancy was a complete medical miracle. Unfortunately, just as the pregnancy news started to sinking in, Heather went to the doctor for a check up. She was four months pregnant and making sure everything was running smoothly. While at the appointment, the doctors told her that her blood pressure was too high and she needs to relax and take things easy throughout the pregnancy.
Pregnant and Overseas
As Heather’s belly continued to grow, the Browns got even more surprising news. Sean had worked through the ranks in the army and become an officer. In the midst of all of the pregnancy news, Sean found out that he was going to be deployed to Afghanistan. The deployment news was hard to process after all of the pregnancy troubles. Sean wanted to stay home with Heather and watch after her. He tearfully said goodbye and left his pregnant wife to serve his country.
A Turn for the Worst
While Sean was away in Afghanistan, Heather started to experience more pregnancy troubles. She was light headed and her blood pressure continued to increase. Then, once she was almost at full term and 34 weeks pregnant, Heather suffered a brain aneurysm. Her family rushed her to the hospital. Once they arrived, Heather slipped into a coma. The doctors were worried she would lose the baby, so they had to immediately perform an emergency C-section.
The doctors realized that Heather had developed preeclampsia during her pregnancy. Often, preeclampsia is characterized by high blood pressure and fluid retention. When it goes untreated, it can be incredibly dangerous for the mother and the baby. Tragically, preeclampsia has killed over 76,000 mothers and 500,000 babies in one year. While all of this was going on, Sean was still across the ocean serving his country. It wouldn’t be long that he would find out what was happening to his wife and new baby.
A Bittersweet Homecoming
One day while Sean was in Afghanistan, he received a deeply upsetting email from Heather’s aunt about his wife’s condition. In the email, Heather’s aunt said that he needed to figure out a way to get in touch because something went very wrong. Once Sean heard the devastating news, he did everything he could to get on a plane and get out of Afghanistan. All he wanted was to get back to East Texas and be with his wife and new baby.
Sean’s Journey Home
Sean tried to hop on a plane as fast as he could. It took him three days to catch a flight out of Afghanistan, but he finally made it home. Once he arrived back home in East Texas, a policeman escorted him straight to the hospital. Once he arrived, he was met with excitement and sadness. On one hand, Sean got to meet his new son for the first time. On the other hand, Heather was still unconscious.
He Never Left Her Side
Once Sean got back to East Texas, he hardly left his wife’s side at the hospital. Sean took two jobs so that the family could keep their insurance. He named his new son John. While he was so happy to have baby John in his arms, it was devastating to not know when Heather would wake up. All he wanted was to tell Heather that they finally had the family they had always dreamed of. Sadly, Heather could not open her eyes.
Then the Community Found Out
Even though Sean felt helpless, he still prayed and waited for Heather to wake up and enjoy their life together. News hit the airwaves that an army officer was taking care of his son while his wife was in a coma. All of the sudden, the local community and tons of charities started giving tons of love and support to John and his family. People wanted to help and chip in any way they could.
Baby John’s Message
Visitors flooded the hospital room to pray together for Heather’s health and for Sean and baby John. Sean created a Facebook group called “Bringing Home the Browns” to keep people updated on Heather’s progress. Under this photo, Sean wrote a message from baby John. He said, “I said a prayer to help my mommy get better… Daddy told me he is seeing tiny improvements with mommy every day…I am praying for a miracle for my mommy to wake up!”
Sean was Blown Away
Friends, family, and even total strangers prayed for Heather, Sean, and baby John. People donated baby toys and clothes and diapers. Some people showed support by tying yellow ribbons outside their homes. Sean was blown away by the outpouring of love. Everyone was waiting for Heather to wake up so she could finally see her husband and meet her son. Still, Sean did everything he could to help his baby interact with Heather. He even put baby John in her arms.
Then in the summer of 2013, things started to look up for the Browns. Heather finally woke up one day! She was still unable to speak and move, but she could open up her eyes. Heather seemed aware and immediately started crying when she saw her son for the first time. Sean knew that the path to recovery was going to be long and hard, but he was more than willing to put the effort in to do everything he could to help Heather heal.
In an interview with People magazine, Sean shared how difficult it has been with Heather so ill. He said, “I take it day by day. I can’t dwell on the future – what it needs to be or what it can be. I try to take it for what it is.” Sean continued, “Going through something like this makes you realize what you appreciate in life…” Still, Sean hopes and prays that Heather will make it through. He hopes that one day, they will all get to be together as a family.
Why He Won’t Give Up
It is devastating to see that Heather can’t be the mother she always dreamed of. Heather’s friend who set the Browns up on a blind date, Charity Robinson, told People magazine, “She is the most nurturing woman you could ever meet. So the fact that she can’t wipe away John’s tears or give him a kiss is so heartbreaking.” Charity also spoke about her admiration for Sean. She said he is the strongest man she has ever met.
An Undeniable Connection
As for baby John, he loves his mommy more than anything. John understands love and feels deeply connected to his mother even with the little communication they share. Sean brings baby John to the hospital frequently so he can see his mother and cuddle with her and hold her hand. Even though Heather’s recovery has been slow, Sean has seen some little improvements in Heather’s condition. Then a year after things took a turn for the worst, something unbelievable happened.
A Real Miracle
A year after Heather’s incident, something crazy happened. One afternoon, John went to the hospital for a regular visit with his wife and baby Sean. After the visit, John was standing by Heather’s side and started to wave goodbye. All of the sudden, Heather started to speak for the first time. It was a complete miracle! Just as Heather was learning how to speak again and say her son’s name, one-year-old John was also learning how to say “momma.”
Her First Words
When Sean heard Heather begin to speak again, Sean rushed to Heather’s side and begged her to try once more. Heather struggled to speak again, but she kept trying. She opened her mouth and let out a very low and faint sound. When the words came out, it sounded like she said “John.” Again, she repeated “John” in a soft, slow voice. It was right around John’s first birthday that Heather was able to say her son’s name for the very first time.
Since that day, Heather has continued to progress very slowly. There have been many ups and downs throughout her’s and Sean’s and baby John’s journey. Now, she can move her fingers a little bit and blink her eyes to signal yes and no. Over time, Heather has also been able to expand her vocabulary. Now she can say Sean’s name as well as John’s name. Heather is even starting to remember things about the incredible life she once had with Sean.
Life for John
Little John is three years old and loves to help his dad care for his mother. Unfortunately, John only knows life with his mother in the hospital. Still, both John and Sean pray together for Heather to heal quickly. Sean updated his Facebook group and said, ” Heather is doing well, stable, but no significant, new responses. John is growing way too fast. This time of year is difficult for us all as we desperately want Heather to be active and healthy again.”
“Bringing Home the Browns”
Even though the Brown’s battle is far from over, Heather is slowly getting a little bit healthier each day. Both Sean and John are hopeful that Heather will recover. They continue to update their Facebook page called “Bringing Home the Browns.” Even though times are tough, Sean tries to give his son the best life possible and live a full life “day by day.” Sean told People magazine, “I want us to be a family. I’m not giving up.”