Story of hope sparks love for Gavin Lawrey and family
They received intimate access to their home, at school and hospital visits. This resulted in a two day series published in April 2013, prompting an outpouring of community support. Journalists have kept tabs on the family, and offer this glimpse at what they have experienced since.
Blond tousled hair lays draped on a pillow wedged between cushions and a green toy frog. The boy with sky blue eyes is covered in a green and white blanket that bears his name and a toy poodle named Hershey sprawled on his lap, his ever present protector.
Little snores from the tiny 6 year old blend with his pet, serenading the quiet Cape Coral house. Gavi timberland shoes n Lawrey will sleep for another 16 hours as dusk falls. His mother, Brandi Lawrey, measures his oxygen and heart rate using a device she clips on his finger, then kisses him gently on the forehead.
He barely stirs.
timberland shoes Brandi always said that if she didn’t laugh, she’d cry. It’s a lesson she’d learned from an old soul her son. The boy occasionally smiles even as he takes his nightly seizure medication. He jokes in spite of timberland shoes feeling tremulous, in spite of choking, in spite of the pain. When he puts on that blue green cape and mask, he is transformed into Mito Action G. His super powers take Mito away. He’s the protagonist of a book, “Mighty Mito Superhero,” one of the stars of a Lee Memorial Health System billboard off Alico Road, and has written songs with his music therapists from Hope Hospice.
“Let’s write a song about my pain,” Gavin said one afternoon. “We can tell it to go away.”
“Where to?” the therapists asked.
“I don’t care where it goes,” he replied. “It could go to the moon for all I care.”
A Spark of Hope: One Family’s Journey.
Gavin is dying. But he and his family will never stop hoping, never stop fighting for his life.
Mitochondrial Disease sufferer Gavin Lawrey, 6, smiles while attending a baseball game Wednesday, April 23 in Fort Myers. It’s close to bedtime but she’s had trouble sleeping recently. The little girl plays soft music on her iPad. It soothes her. In hushed tones, she calls her mother over, uncertainty filling big brown eyes.
Makenzie is a 9 year old who has seen far too much pain, who knows the fear of losing a sibling. But dread rarely takes hold where hope lives. And it’s within every crevice of this family’s home. She knows doctors said Gavin needs a feeding tube. It’s a surgery that will help him get necessary nutrition and medications when he’s too weak to swallow on his own or wake up.
The idea timberland shoes frightens Makenzie. She doesn’t understand its purpose or why he needs it. It makes her worry he’s getting sicker. And she knows her mom has been crying. Brandi’s eyes are red and puffy.
“A feeding tube sounds very scary,” Brandi says as she sits down next to her daughter. “It’s OK to be scared and it’s OK to be nervous and it’s OK to cry.”
Brandi has been trying to teach Makenzie that she can show her vulnerable side. When previously she’d put on her best face to confront each day, she’s now trying to set a better example for her daughter, to help her express her emotions in a healthy way.