Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tomorrow is Carter's Day: You will never be forgotten.

On Sunday June 3, 2012 I woke up as usual and checked Facebook. As I was scrolling through the news feed I saw my friend Amber’s status that said, “Carter has left to be with the angels”. Instantly, tears flowed and I wondered what happened to her sweet little boy. As I searched longer I noticed that Carter was born with Hydrocephalus. I did not know that he was born with this. His Mom, Amber obviously did not let his condition define him. She always posted cute, adorable family moments that had happened with him and his older brother, Tyler. As a Mom, I struggled with what to say or write to Amber. No words can accurately or fully express my condolences. So, that is what I wrote to her. Of course, as the amazing person she is she took the time to reply to me and everyone else that posted messages. I also noticed that she had a Hydrocephalus Walk scheduled for September 15, 2012 in honor of Carter previous to his passing, therefore I emailed her and asked if I could share Carter’s story. In Amber’s words…

This is Carter’s Story:

Three weeks before Carter was born we found out he had hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is a condition where there is an excess of water build up on the brain. Not all types of it are genetic but his was. My brother also had hydrocephalus, however we had no idea it was genetic. Carter was delivered via c-section 2 weeks early and within 24 hours of his birth he had brain surgery to have a shunt placed. He was in the NICU in Rockford for 28 days. When he came home to us be began Early Intervention services. Once a week for an hour each he would meet with a physical therapist, occupational therapist, developmental therapist and speech therapist. He was doing things that the doctors at Rockford Memorial Hospital never thought possible. On September 2, 2011 he had a second brain surgery to have a different shunt placed. This time we went to Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago. They gave us 9 more months with him that we wouldn't have had otherwise. He was doing so well. He was signing and laughing and he was such a happy little boy. On May 26th we had a 1st birthday party for him. He had a blast and was laughing and loving it all. The next day he became sick. His big brother was sick too so I really didn't think much of it. I stayed home with both of them for two days. On the second day I woke Carter up from a nap and he was limp and blue. I rushed him to the ER where he was life flighted to Children's Memorial in Chicago. After several long days he passed away. The cause was complications of hydrocephalus. He had been having extra pressure on his brain, most likely a shunt malfunction. He ended up having permanent brain damage and a brain hemorrhage. Carter went to be with the angels on June 2, 2012.


I have thought about Amber every day since I heard the news about Carter. I see her posts that say to hug your babies. I have thought about what I would want if I was a Mom that had lost her child. The answer was clear to me, I would not ever want them forgotten and I would want their life rejoiced. Today will you take the time to leave a comment about this sweet little boy in the pictures above to let his family know that he will not be forgotten? Let them know that his story touched you. Tomorrow, June 29 I am declaring it Carter’s Day. He has been gone for 3 weeks and 5 days and although he is dancing with the angels now he will not be forgotten and his story will touch each of us forever.
Thank you all for participating in Carter’s Day and taking the time to make a comment to her and her family.


For those of you who have asked how can we help? What do you need? Here is an opportunity to walk with us on September 15, 2012 in Carter's honor. The link below should be the sign up for Carter's Crew. There are a few options: Join our team to walk on September 15, join our team and virtually walk with us to raise money or just donate to our team. Basically it is a 2 mile walk at Soldier Field in Chicago meant to raise awareness and money for the Hydrocephalus Association. Hydrocephalus is the condition of having fluid build up around the brain. This is something that ultimately contributed to Carter's passing. 

Please walk with us if you can - it would mean a lot.

Derek, Amber, and Tyler

SYCAMORE – Carter Andrew Hiland, 1, of Sycamore, Ill., went to be with the angels in heaven on June 2, 2012, from Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago. He was born May 28, 2011, and was the son of Derek and Amber (Graves) Hiland of Sycamore.
Carter was a very happy little boy who instantly made friends with everyone he met. He had an infectious smile and loved being tickled, producing hearty belly laughs. He loved being with the other children at day care and loved being rocked and cuddling with his mommy and daddy. He also loved watching his big brother play. He loved music and being sung to with an acoustic guitar. His favorites were "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and a special hello to Carter song. Carter loved foods of all kinds, especially spaghetti, peaches and ice cream. Although he loved all these things here on Earth, he is now dancing and singing lullabies with the angels in heaven. Carter is survived by his parents, Derek and Amber; a big brother, Tyler;


Our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with you and your family~
~The Sexy Mother Runners~
Danyelle & Bekah


  1. Amber, Derek and Tyler... I am so very, deeply sorry for your loss of sweet Carter. I can't even imagine the pain you all have endured over the past month. I don't think I can participate in Carter's walk, but I'll be thinking about you and your family that day. I'll make sure I add your family to my prayers.

  2. I am so sorry to hear of your loss! Carter will not be forgotten! I know that I take the health of my children for granted until I hear of a story like this! Your walk will be such an honor for him and I am sure he will be smiling down on you and your family and friends! I hope your walk is a success!
    Mindy Daum

  3. First I must say, My heart is breaking for this families loss! May God always give you peace & comfort!

    May you always know that your little man, now your angel, will be with you always ♥

    Each departed friend is a magnet that attracts us to the next world.
    --Jean Paul Richter