After months apart, Baby Easton reunites with family in Syracuse
Sat, 24 Nov 2012 04:11:30 GMT —
As the plane's wheels touch down to earth at Hancock Airport, Easton Friedel's family watches through a glass window, pointing and smiling, as the baby they saw come into the world just a few months ago, is finally back home.
After the plane comes to a halt, Easton's family runs out, including his three older brothers (all under the age of 8), and hugs, smiles and tears greet the baby and his mother. The three boys, filled with curiosity, stare at the youngest member of the clan in awe.
"Baby Easton!", Blake Friedel, who at three years old and former youngest, says. Blake then presses his face to Easton's stomach, a moment of brotherly bonding at the youngest age, but possibly the most mature meaning. For Danielle Friedel, these interactions between her four boys and having her family together brings tears to her eyes.
"It feels really good," she says. "Especially to see the boys right when I got off the plane."
It had been a month since she had seen all of her boys, so, while she soaked up their love, her husband Jared took his turn to look at Easton. With the blisters covering his face, Easton still acts like a three month old, squinting and squirming around as his family lovingly looks on.
After he was born in August, Baby Easton was diagnosed with a painful and incurable skin condition called epidermolysis bullosa, or EB. Shortly after he was born, he was sent to Cincinnati Children's Hospital, where Easton and his mother Danielle have spent the past three months.
Since that time, through mediums like Facebook, hundreds of thousands of people have followed Easton's story, many donating things like time, prayers, clothes and money. Danielle says that support has made a big difference.
"I don't know how we'd do it without everyone," she says."It's just, they've made it so much easier knowing that the kids are getting taken care of at home and that his room is taken care of when we get home, everything that we wouldn't be able to do if it weren't for everyone that's been helping us."
Easton's home in Weedsport has also been revamped, to better ensure his safety in the transition from Cincinnati to Weedsport. Easton will spend a majority of his time in Weedsport, having daily nursing care at his home, but will have to return to Cincinnati every three months for the first year, and then if all goes well, he will have to return to Cincinnati every six months. At this point, Easton's family says he is growing and gaining weight.
With Easton's health in mind, Danielle says she's hoping the support continues, not only for her own child but for any child struggling with sickness. As for Easton's brothers, they get quiet when asked about everything that has happened since their new little brother came into the world. When Logan Friedel, at seven years old and the oldest, gets his turn to answer, he pauses and says, "Thank you."