Survival Story: Bernard Anthony Gossen

We were so amazed and humbled to receive one very unique Survival Story this past week from US Marine Corps veteran, Jason Bellis:

“This is the story of baby Anthony, who endured survival at its earliest and rawest form and conquered and beat the odds of survival after being born 15 weeks premature. On April 5th, 2013 our friends Teila and Chris gave birth to their baby boy, Anthony, 25 weeks into their pregnancy (15 weeks early, expected due date of July 18th, 2013). The doctors informed them of the chances of survival, one that I think we all had a good idea of: the outlook of survival was not good but also not impossible. As the days moved forward and only a few close friends and family knew of the birth, my wife and I could only stand by and help comfort the parents as much as the hospital allowed while Anthony was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). My wife visited regularly and often, while I stayed home to watch our own 1 year old daughter and visited when I could.

After giving thought of how I could help more, I couldn’t think of much I could do, and then I noticed my Marine Corps Survival Straps bracelet lying across from me on our living room table. Immediately I knew I had to give this to Anthony. It may not be pulled apart and used as a tourniquet or some other physical life saving technique, but I knew that there has to be some other spiritual force that would work. “This is a Survival Strap, this is a Marine Corps Survival Strap!” I told myself. “This little boy is going to
survive!!!” If there is one thing that has never failed me in my life, it has been the Marine Corps, and I hoped that the spirit of the Corps would watch over this family. It has!

Anthony 2

Ever since Anthony’s first day of life, there has been the “typical” complications while at the NICU that, thanks to the help of a very qualified and professional medical staff, he has been able to endure and pass expectations. On August 26th Teila and Chris were able to bring their beautiful baby boy home. As of the writing of this letter, October 16, 2013, Anthony has been staying strong and surviving with only a few minor complications.

Anthony 1
As a side note, most items given to Anthony were not allowed in the NICU or to come close to the baby for fear of germs and other things. The hospital went above and beyond and actually let Anthony hold the Survival Strap for pictures. The strap otherwise was kept in a disinfected package next to Anthony the whole time while in the NICU. During that time, I believe two doctors passed by Anthony, stopped and asked, “Where did that little boy get that?” The parents explained the story and the two doctors explained back knowing 1) It is a Survival Strap, 2) It is a Marine Corps Survival Strap and that the gift
is a huge one knowing the importance of the survival strap to the Marines (or any service branch).

Since Anthony’s first week in our wonderful world, the strap has been by his side and the “spirit” of the Survival Strap has been with him since and hopefully will be for a long time. The parents have appreciatively thanked me over and over for the gift but also thank the Survival Straps Company for giving and keeping the hope of survival for their son through the “spirit” of the strap.”

Anthony and FamilyWe are overjoyed that Anthony is now home and thriving and that we could play a part in uplifting the Gossen family during this time. We wish the Gossen family all the best as they begin their new life as a family.

Do you have a Survival Story to share? Please let us know at stories@survivalstraps.com.