But the dream did come true and Isaiah was home with his twin brother, Joshua, his older brother, Elijah, and parents Callie and Frank Daruk.
“We have truly received a Christmas miracle,” Callie said. “Our son, Isaiah.”
The family now lives in Tennessee but has strong Logan County ties. Callie is a 1997 graduate of Logan County High School and her parents, Russell and Sandra Law, live in Adairville. Many local friends have followed Isaiah's story throughout the year and held fundraisers here to help the family.
Russell said just thinking about them all being together at Christmas gave him cold chills. After enduring the year they've had, just having Isaiah home is the best gift they could be given.
Isaiah and Joshua were born Dec. 10, 2008 and were 10 weeks premature. Both boys spent last Christmas in Vanderbilt University Hospital, but at that time, there were no serious health issues to worry about. Joshua was finally able to go home, but Isaiah spent only a few hours at home before being rushed back to the hospital. He faced many medical challenges throughout the year and finally had to go to Children's Hospital of Boston to treat his liver which had been damaged by the medicine that was used to keep him alive.
“There were so many times in Isaiah's life where the odds were not in his favor,” Callie said. “We were told over this past year several times that Isaiah may not survive all of this.”
Through it all, the family held strong in their faith and believed that they would someday bring Isaiah home. That day finally arrived at the end of October when, after 324 consecutive days in the hospital, Isaiah came home.
Though he has been hospitalized once since then for a blood infection, the family is still overjoyed that he is home and doing well.
Russell said there were no words to express how they feel this Christmas after going through all they have this year.
“It's been a horrible year...” Russell said. “But I've seen more good than bad.”
The family is thankful for all the love and support they have received, Callie said. From people helping with the children to the many prayers lifted up and the money donated to help cover medical costs.
Russell said he has been overwhelmed by how people have supported them. The whole experience has built his faith in God and people.
Since Isaiah has been home, the family has taken joy in simply watching him do the things that babies normally do.
“We are absolutely amazed by the way Isaiah has grown since being home,” Callie said. “I have seen him improve more developmentally in the few weeks he has been home than his entire life combined.”
Russell said Isaiah watches his two brothers play and wants to do what they do. At first, he was so weak from having spent his entire life in a hospital that he could not do much. Now he gets down on the floor and plays with Joshua and Elijah.
And after many months of trials and pain, Isaiah smiles and laughs a lot more than he ever had before.
“He's got this laugh,” Russell said, “this rolling laugh.”
Watching his three grandsons playing together, Russell is so thankful for how God has taken care of his family.
“We know what a miracle we've had.”