CALLAHAN, Florida -- A three-year-old boy named Carson Copher had to spend Easter in the hospital, but his mom was determined to make his day special anyway.
Kayla Copher -- who also happens to be a nurse at the same Florida hospital -- turned Carson’s bed into a giant Easter basket -- complete with green grass, brightly-colored plastic eggs and stuffed bunnies.
A photo of the bed posted by Wolfson Children’s Hospital quickly went viral.
Carson is a medical mystery who has been in and out of the hospital since he was born.
This time, it’s because doctors can’t figure out why he’s losing weight.
Kayla said Carson was born with an undiagnosed genetic disorder that has caused problems ranging from breathing issues to severe seizures.
“My goal is to keep him from suffering,” Kayla wrote in a blog she started to document their journey. “I work with his therapists and his doctors to give him the best life possible.”
The blog is often heartbreaking in its honesty and shows a wisdom beyond the young mother’s years.
“Having faith doesn’t mean that you won’t have struggles. I struggle everyday. Special needs parenting is the biggest blessing and the heaviest burden. It causes you to have emotions and thoughts that no one else around you completely understands. My hope for this blog is not to burden anyone but to somehow provide encouragement to others who are struggling.”
It’s been read in countries worldwide from Nigeria to New Zealand. Kayla said writing helps her “decompress.”
“To do that I have to share it all. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Special needs parenting is that and so much more. It is a constant fight. It is messy and complicated. It is rewarding, humbling, infuriating, nauseating, terrifying, amazing, life changing, and never ending. It will sweep you off your feet and then knock you on your butt. It shows no mercy, so you show no mercy right back. It changes everything: your personality, your interests, your entire outlook on life.”
Along with the tough times, there have been victories – big and small -- along the way.
Like the post in 2015 when Carson received an implant that allowed him to hear his parents’ voices for the first time.
“1 year 2 months and 2 days. Thats 415 days, 9,960 hours, 597,600 minutes, or 35,856,000 seconds. That is how long we have had to wait to talk to our son.”
Kayla and her husband Christian, a sheriff’s deputy, are high school sweethearts who also have a younger daughter named Cambri.
The toddler adores her big brother and often curls up next to him in his hospital bed.
As the family prays for doctors to find answers for Carson’s latest issues, Kayla said they will continue to take life one day at a time and walk by faith.
Follow Carson's journey here: You Are My Sunshine.