Lincoln James Hendrickson tribute
December 20, 2010 – August 21, 2014
Lincoln was born on December 20, 2010. We spent 21 days in the NICU with him day and night. He was diagnosed with Spastic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Cortical Vision Impairment (CVI) and developmental delays. We can vividly remember getting the news of Lincoln’s brain damage. We were heartbroken. Fear engulfed us. It was then that we received our first lesson for parenting a child with special needs. God is in control and we must seek Him for strength and guidance. God is always there for those who call on Him.
The first year and half of Lincoln’s life was full of fear. He battled seizures, Infantile Spasms (the most catastrophic form of childhood epilepsies), hypothyroidism, RSV and countless modifications and trials of anti-seizure medications. It was then we received our second lesson for parenting a child with special needs. Believe and have faith in God and the doctors He puts in your path. They are working His will.
Lincoln attended therapy at least four times a week. He worked with great therapists from the Birth-Three Program of the Lakeville School District who have now become life-long friends of ours. He also worked with great therapists from Gillette Specialty Healthcare who have also become lifelong friends. Lincoln received Botox and Phenol Injections into his tight muscles. He saw a PMR doctor, Ophthalmologist, Endocrinologist, Neurologist, Pediatrician and an Orthopedic Surgeon. That’s what our brave little soul endured.
Our third lesson for parenting a child with special needs presented itself here. A parent must continue to stay positive and take one day at a time. Thanks to dad, mom was reminded of this daily. Slow and steady wins the race. Lincoln would do things in his time. We enjoyed cheering him on his journey. Lincoln loved when his dad and mom would be loud. He loved loud and happy. He would smile his huge smile, laugh, and often snort. It was the best.
Lincoln grew and accomplished so very much in the last year of his life. He loved going to school with his teachers. When asked if he wanted to go to school, his smile would shine. Lincoln’s trunk control and vision improved greatly. He loved racing the neighbor girls on his adaptive bike. He loved going for walks and stopping at the pond down the street to feed the ducks. The ducks knew when he was near. As soon as Linc shook his bag of corn, they came swimming across the pond as fast as they could and came up to the sidewalk to greet him. They were gone the morning he died and didn’t return for a few days. We think they went to heaven with him for a while.
Lincoln loved his red wheel chair. It was his comfort zone. He loved when daddy would push him fast and always asked for more. He loved the water. It was there he felt free. He could kick and swim and laugh. Lincoln loved peanut butter and ice cream. This was a go to when all else failed. He definitely took after his momma. Lincoln brought family, friends, neighbors, and strangers together to form Team Linc. It is almost unexplainable. Team Linc started as a name of our group that walked in The Baby Steps 3K for the NICU Unit at Children’s Hospital, The Epilepsy Stroll, and the Pedal in Place for Cerebral Palsy. Team Linc has grown into so much more. Team Linc is a family. A group of people who shine love, radiate hope, express acceptance, and honor our best boy. When we see someone in a Team Linc shirt, our hearts are overcome with joy, happiness and love. We know they are remembering our best boy and honoring his beautiful spirit. Linc lived up to his name. He linked everyone together.
Lincoln accomplished more in 3 1/2 years than we ever thought possible. He was a remarkable, infectious, energetic ray of sunshine. His giggle was uncontrollable at times. It was contagious. He loved to snuggle, pull hair, lick like a lizard, read books, knock down blocks, wrestle with dad and play with his cousins and friends. The smile on his face and the look in his eyes when he was around his cousins and friends always melted our hearts. He loved them.
We truly believe Lincoln was sent here to teach us all how to love a little more, welcome God into our hearts, share joy with others, come together as family and friends for good, accept all differences, and share kindness and love. You could not look at Lincoln without smiling. He was always happy. He brought people closer together and taught us what is truly important in life. Team Linc is truly amazing. Was being a parent of a boy with Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy in OUR plan? No. It was in God’s plan. Lincoln has brought so many people to God’s love. We thank Him for the 3 years, 8 months, and 1 day we had with our Super Linc. Lincoln donated his heart valves, tissue, and cartilage from his knee to LifeSource. He donated his brain to SUDEP Institute of New York, which drives and supports research into the causes of and ways to prevent SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy). We are so proud of him!
We will love you forever and always, Lincoln! You will always be our best boy!
With love and joy,
Mom and Dad
(Melanie and Derek Hendrickson)