Finley Foundation for SIDS is a non-profit registered 501(3)c. We exist to raise awareness and research money to one day end the tragedy of SIDS for the next generation of parents.
When you write that Finley was born on 1-29-13 and died on 5-14-13 it really hits you how small the window of time is that we had with him. We found out we were pregnant with Finley in NYC in June of 2012. Crissy and I went up for a romantic getaway. It was a shock to be honest. We have been told several times we could not have children. We already felt blessed with Riley and Charlie. I told Crissy and other folks that Finley was destined for greatness. It was not the easiest of pregnancies on Crissy, but on the 29th of January we brought the little man into the world. His name came from my football coach in college named Ron Finley at Campbellsville University. Coach Finley taught me more about being a man than football. Crissy had liked the name as well for a girl and her best friend Ashley had picked it for her daughter which was very close in age to Finley. I had tried to get some momentum behind “tiger” Ellison. Tiger Ellison was a famous football coach who was very innovative in Ohio. Crissy shot that down real quick. We started preparing. The rooms of the house had to be switched around, the basement renovation sped up. The question of how in the heck do you fit a third car seat in a Mercury Mariner? My dad and I added swings to the swing set…
After bringing Finley home we started the process of getting to know each other. Finley was our easiest child, probably due a lot to him being the third, but also his personality. He was very easy going and was ready with a smile and was not a fussy baby at all. Sleep was the only thing that Finley couldn’t figure out. He loved his baths and tickles from Riley and Charlie. He didn’t care for the stroller or swing set. To his defense it was typically cool and sunny when getting him out! I had a horrible time getting the spoon food down him and he usually ended up with most of it all over his face and some all over me. Crissy was always the pro. Everything she did with Finley always seemed right for him.
May 14, 2013. ran like most days. We were all in end of the school year mode. I am lucky to be able to get all three of the kids ready in the morning and fed. Crissy always came swooping down giving kisses trying to get to school before the buses. That day had Riley get up feeling sick. I decided to keep her with me and play school at my school. Riley and I took the boys to our wonderful babysitter and again gave both hugs and kisses. My babysitter had talked about her relative named Finley and his involvement in WWII often and she said he would do great things too. Riley and I went to my Orthodontist and everything was normal. Riley played school all day with my secretary while I interviewed teacher candidates and supervised lunch. Crissy taught 4th graders and went through state testing.
The call. I don’t have the time right, but close to 2pm I got a call walking from the school café to my office. It was odd from my babysitter. She could handle my children better than me and had for Riley and Charlie. On the phone was another voice telling me I needed to get to the house for Finley. I asked what’s wrong? He isn’t breathing… I try not to be a panic person. I tried to remain calm and trotted to office to Riley. I picked up my pace… I yelled for my secretary to keep her. I ran… I radioed for anyone that was listening that I was leaving that something was wrong with Finley. I ran. I made it to my truck and luckily the house was close. I was there quick and was both relieved and scared when I heard the sirens and saw the ambulance. I kept hoping that I would get there and he would be fine. When I slammed into the house I saw Finley on a ottoman being given CPR by a GPD officer. My babysitter was helping. The paramedics rolled in behind me. The crew took only seconds to take over and get Finley in the ambulance. I was pretty useless in his care at that point and could only pray and talk to him and the paramedics to try to save my boy. The paramedics were giving all they could just like the GPD officer and my babysitter. The driver of the ambulance and the rest of the crew I knew and they kept telling me to remain calm and positive. The GPD led us toward the hospital. It was a surreal feeling. I felt like they treated Finley as if he was the President of the US. They punched us through all kinds of traffic. It felt like 5o cars where attending to us.
We arrived at the Hospital. They usher me to a room. The team keeps working and keeps pushing. There are people already at the hospital who seem to know its bad. Within minutes the Dr. on station comes into to tell me that Finley is no longer with us…How would I tell Crissy? I asked if I could see Finley. When I walk into the room. The team is still trying to revive him… They wouldn’t quit. Once I walk in the place goes quiet and empties. I get to hold him for a little while and we try to start finding Crissy. Crissy had been told a different hospital and got stuck in traffic. The police were trying to find her and guide her there. When she got of the car and saw me she crumbled. She just knew that when she got there he would be ok. Seeing me she knew that wasn’t going to be true. We both went into see him. The nurses at the hospital knew us from church and did a baptism of Finley. We hadn’t set up his baptism yet. We met with the coroner and the investigators who were super sensitive to us. Our friends and family raced to hospital and the house to surround us and help us. When arriving home we found the announcements that we just got and not sent that Finley William Ellison was born…Finley lived for 105 days.