After weeks of tests, scans and blood draws, Owen Gregory Cooper was diagnosed in utero with a life limiting condition. Our son had a genetic mutation of the PTPN11 gene, causing Fetal Hydrops – a collection of fluid around his heart, brain and abdomen.
Each new doctor we met with questioned our desire to continue with our pregnancy, and in turn, Owen’s life. Each offered to just, “take care of it.” But this living, wiggling, baby was our son, and he was absolutely worth fighting for. The Lord had entrusted us with Owen’s life, and it was our honor to fight for every minute that he was with us.
Throughout pregnancy, Owen taught us to pray without abandonment, asking God for big and bold things. The realization that He doesn’t get tired of hearing our prayers came with some hesitancy, but we continued to ask. With every plea for more time, for healing, and for encouragement, our Lord answered.
On August 9th, 2018, our Lord’s answer wasn’t the one that we would have chosen for our son, but it was His answer to our prayer for the miracle of complete healing. Owen got his miracle and went to be with our Jesus. He weighed 2lbs 2oz, had pudgy little hands and feet, his dad’s funny ears, and the sweetest little mouth.
The silence of a stillbirth is heavy and heartbreaking. Birth that usually brings such joy and celebration, brought tears and heartache to our quiet room. And yet, we serve a God who fully understands our sufferings and sorrow. He who has experienced, firsthand, the death of a son. Jesus has been a close friend and His nearness has proven His faithfulness. His love never ceases, despite the circumstances.
Abel Speaks came alongside us, supported us and walked with us through Owen’s life, his death, his memorial, and thereafter. Looking back, our only regret was not getting in touch with Abel Speaks sooner. They continue to love our family and all of our children like no other ministry has the capacity to do.
Owen’s story is a reflection of the Gospel that has shaped us and equipped us to walk alongside other families navigating life-limiting diagnoses and life after loss. Our son taught us more about each other, our faith, the power of prayer, and the importance of community. His story a reminder of God’s perfect timing; from a surprise conception to his stillbirth, it is the Lord who plans and numbers our days. We cherished Owen’s little life. Every minute of it.
We are forever marked and changed by the impact of Owen Gregory Cooper; however, The Lord’s faithfulness and goodness has not and has never changed. The void in our family will never be erased, but in that void, our Jesus holds us close, reminding us that Owen is in His presence. Our sadness was not without hope, as we will meet him one day fully restored with Christ.
– Brian and Kelsey Cooper, in memory of Owen
*You can visit owengregorycooper.blog for greater depth and perspective as the Coopers processed and walked through their season with Owen in real-time.
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