Make your own free website on


APRIL 26, 2000

It is with an absolutely devastated heart that I write to my internet friends.  Things happened so terribly fast, and we donít have answers as to why, but our dearest Benjamin John Cusick died this morning, at 5:30am in Minneapolis, MN at Childrenís Hospital.  The ironic part is they do not think it was due to his heart.  When everything else quit, his heart was the last to stop working.  Iím not sure that our family can survive the loss of a child again.  Two days from now, on April 28th, will be six years since we lost our son, Matthew, to SIDS.

 For the past 9 days, Ben has been vomiting on and off, with a cough.  I have had him into the doctor three times, and was just told itís a virus.  Yesterday afternoon at 4pm, he visited his pediatrician, who said he had an ear infection.  We got home around 5pm, and I went into the bathroom.  When I was in the bathroom, Ben pushed a chair up to the counter to get a cupcake, and must have fallen.  No one saw him fall, but he immediately started crying.  Due to the crying, he started having trouble breathing, and he spiraled down from there.   We called 911, and they took him to the closest hospital and then flew him by helicopter to Childrenís Minneapolis.

 While at the first hospital before being flown to Childrenís, they did a chest xray and a CT scan of his head.  The CT scan showed no injury to the head, but the chest xray showed pneumonia, severe sinusitis (infection of the sinuses) and an ear infection. 

 After we got to Childrenís, they stabilized him and were treating his pneumonia.  Benís dad, John, went home with the other two kids, Nicole, 9, and Connor, 5, because we were told Ben was going to be fine.  I stayed at the hospital.  At 4am, I woke up wanting to go see Ben.  I went to the bathroom first, and when I came out, I saw a nurse knocking on my sleeping room door down the hall.  I knew right then it was bad.  Not through all of Benís heart surgeries (Norwood, Glenn and Coarc. repair) or during his heart failure at 3 months of age or through his 10 hospitalizations his first year, did they once come and get us in the middle of the night. 

I called my husband to come immediately.  Ben had deteriorated within minutes, he was intubated and they were going to take him to CT.  Ben suddenly lost his blood pressure, and for the next hour or so, they did compressions.  He still had a sinus rhythm, but no blood was being pumped.  Finally, with John and me by his side, holding every inch of his body, they called it.  Benís heart kept beating a little bit, but then he died.

 I know we are all in shock as I write this letter, but I wanted to thank all of you who have been there for us over the past two years.  It has meant the world to us.

As sunshine brings warmth, Ben's death will bring sight to another child.  We had wanted to donate all organs possible, but because they think he may have died from a massive infection in his blood, we were only able to donate his corneas.  May the new sight Ben's death is giving to another child help them to see the miraculous beauty in every second of life that our dearest Benjamin did.


A rose once grew where all could see,
sheltered beside a garden wall,
And, as the days passed swiftly by,
it spread its branches, straight and tall.
One day, a beam of light shone through
a crevice that had opened wide Ė
The rose bent gently toward its warmth
then passed beyond to the other side.
Now, you who deeply feel its loss,
be comforted Ė the rose blooms there,
Its beauty even greater now,
nurtured by Godís own loving care.

Guess What Mommy & Daddy?

Guess what mommy & daddy,
Heaven is great.
Just like Matthew told me I would,
Jesus met me at the pearly gate.

Guess what mommy & daddy,
I have a guardian angel who comes at night.
I told him I wanted to go,
But he said the timeís not right.

Guess what mommy & daddy,
My angel came this morning.
While you were still in bed,
He came without a warning.

Guess what mommy & daddy,
When you left my room, 
I asked my angel to take care of you,  

I knew my time was soon.

Guess what mommy & daddy,
When you were finally out of sight,
I told my angel,
That I felt the time was right.

Guess what mommy & daddy,
When you still didn't know I was gone,
My angel put his hand in mine,
And I took me to His home.

Guess what mommy & daddy,
As they told you, I saw you crying from above.
I saw daddy & how scared he was,
And I knew how much I was loved.

Guess what mommy & daddy,
As they worked on me, I heard you pray,
Please, oh please, let them bring me back,
I know you don't want God to take me away.

Guess what mommy & daddy,
I saw you walk into the ER and ask to see me before I was gone.
I saw the look on your face when the nurse said yes.

It looked like you'd never go on.

Guess what mommy & daddy,
I saw you rock and hold me tight.
I kissed you good-bye with my love,
And tried to tell you I was alright.

Guess what mommy & daddy,
We'll watch you all your days through.
Because Matthew and I are your guardian angels,
And we love you!


Benjamin John Cusick, age 2 years 1 month, suddenly on Wednesday, April 26, 2000.  He is survived by his parents, John and Melissa, his sister, Nicole, age 9, and his brother, Connor, age 5.  He is also survived by grandparents Tom and Marion Cusick and Bob and Kay Watkins of Britton, SD and many loving aunts, uncles and cousins.  Benjamin now joins his brother, Matthew Thomas, in Heaven, on the sixth anniversary of Matthewís death. 

Ben was the sunshine of our lives.  He lived life to its fullest with the innocence and exuberance only a two-year old has.  He was a fan of Teletubbies, Barney, and Pooh and loved to color, paint, play with cars and trucks, and to be outdoors.  Whenever he had the chance, he would turn on the little actor inside and ham it up!  He truly was the center of our universe, and we will all miss him so very, very deeply.

 Memorial services will be held at 10:00am on Saturday, April 29 at Faith Lutheran Church in Coon Rapids, MN with visitation one hour prior to the service and from 6pm-9pm the night of Friday, April 28, 2000 at the Miller Funeral Home on 62nd and Central Ave in Fridley, MN.

 In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in Benjamin's name at Minneapolis Childrenís Hospital for the benefit of all families whose children might one day need the specialized love and care provided there.

 With deepest gratitude, we wish to thank all those at Minneapolis Childrenís Hospital who have been there for Benjamin and our family over the past two years.  You all are truly a gift from God, and we thank you for each and every minute of time you have allowed us to have with our precious Benjamin.