Joy comes from adversity: Support, love pours in for family of new year’s baby
Author: Konda-Witte, Jean
Little Cody Mutch, just a whisker over nine pounds, lies sleeping in the cozy comfort of his daddy’s strong, protective arms.
And as he talks about his newborn son, Jonny can’t stop smiling. “Every time I think of him I feel love and joy,” said the proud father.
Cody was Abbotsford’s first baby of the year, born at 1 a.m. on New Year’s Day at MSA General Hospital. But the celebration quickly turned to despair and disbelief, as Jonny and Corinne found out a few hours later that there was something wrong. Their tears of joy turned to tears of sorrow as they learned their son had been born with a rare condition called anophthalmia. He was born without eyes and would be blind for life.
The news hit the young family hard, but the love and support of their family and friends helped them manage their pain. “They listened, they cried with us,” said Corinne.
“God has given us new challenges and it will enrich our lives,” said Jonny, stroking Cody’s soft blond hair. “We’re excited about our new family. Maybe it’s not the family we pictured in our head, but we’re excited to learn together.”
Corinne added they’ve had many blessings, including words of support, hugs and tears from complete strangers. They said people they didn’t even know stopped by with gifts for Cody and his older sister, three-year-old Jessica. They’ve even had phone calls from all over the country from strangers offering information about the condition and words of encouragement.
“It’s given us a new perspective on community and people reaching out to each other,” she said. “It’s strengthened our faith for sure.”
“It makes you want to reach outside yourself and be there for other people,” said Jonny.
But for now, he’ll have his hands full with his baby boy and daughter. Cody is a much quieter baby than Jessica was, but he’s very normal as a newborn, notes his mother. She said right from the beginning he responded to their voices and other noises.
“He’s been pure joy. It feels like we love him more every day,” she added. “Our connection to him is even stronger because he needs so much more. He’s connecting with us in a unique way.”
“It’s hard to put into words,” said Jonny. “He’s assumed this perfect little role – he’s just fit into it. He’s got a tender little heart.”
In the near future, Cody will be going for more tests and will soon be fitted with prosthetic eyes, called conformers, which will help support the eye sockets and the bones of his face. The family has been overwhelmed by the response from the community and strangers who, after hearing about Cody, have been showering them with information about visually impaired children and the services for them.
“We’re very encouraged by discovering what is available,” said Jonny, not letting go of his son. “It really restores your faith. People have really good hearts.”
Publication title: Abbotsford Times
Publication date: Jan 20, 2004
Place of publication: Abbotsford, B.C.
Country of publication: Canada
Copyright: (Copyright Abbotsford Times 2004)