HIE didn’t stop them from trips to the beach, visiting family miles away and the Jersey shore vacations they had envisioned taking as a family.
And after losing their son Jacob, Dawn Carofine cherishes those memories.
“The memories we made are just another way to keep Jacob’s memory alive. I’m not able to see the ocean without thinking about him. His life was too short, but I know that we had always done our best to make happy memories together,” she said.
Their adventures as a family weren’t always easy. Trips to the beach required a wagon with Jacob’s bath chair, tube feedings and then his pulse ox and suctioning machine. But they always made it work.
Dawn and her husband had spent so many of their childhood summers at the beach, and they wanted to share that with their son. Being able to take those trips and make those memories with Jacob meant so much to them, she said.
“I’m so glad we were able to go because of the memories we have. Some of my favorite pictures I have of us are at the shore,” she said.
They also took family trips to North Carolina to visit family, where Jacob got to spend time with family coloring Easter eggs. And they visited Williamsburg, a trip Dawn was so glad her family got to experience together.
But some of her favorite memories were those typical Jersey shore vacations.
“I look back at some of the pictures we have and I know there was always a lot of effort to get those pictures, but I have forgotten that effort. Instead I just see happy memories,” she said.
Their trips weren’t easy. Preparations included a lot of list-making by Dawn to be sure nothing essential was forgotten, and they tried to find shortcuts whenever possible.
But those adventures were exactly what they wanted for their family.
“Taking our HIE kiddos on adventures is important because they serve as a reminder that they’re still kids and we’re still families that like to have fun. Our families might look different to people that don’t know us, but seeing us doing typical things can bring hope to others,” Dawn said.