Thanks for visiting our page of remembrance for Joshua. We’re in the process of updating this page, due to some unexpected interest in Joshua’s story. So, if you’d like to read the Facebook post that got things rolling, you can read it here. Below is a biography Jill wrote about Josh while we still had him with us, along with the email updates we sent out at the time. We hope this page will be an encouragement to you, through the unexpected twists life may bring.
Joshua David’s Life
Born: May 3, 1998 – 1:43 AM
Weight: 4 pounds 14.5 ounces
Length: 18 1/2 inches
Head size: 12 inches
Hair color: red, like Daddy’s
Joshua David Crawford was born early in the morning on May 3rd (which is also his grandma’s birthday). At birth, he was only expected to live a few hours due to several serious complications resulting from a rare chromosome condition called Trisomy 13. His Apgar rating at birth was only 4 and went down to 2 at five minutes. At that time the doctors gave him to us to hold, thinking he wouldn’t live much longer. After we kissed and touched him for a little bit, he was examined again and his Apgar rate was up to 6!
Josh came home with us on May 8th after three days in the ICU nursery and three days in the Pedatric ward. No other Trisomy 13 baby has ever left the Grand Forks hospital!
We have kept Joshua home and on oxygen. He only needs that extra help. His heart is very unique and has many defects. One problem he could have is not getting enough oxygnated blood to his lungs. He also has two hernias which could cause problems in the future as well because right now his heart isn’t strong enough for surgery. At birth, he had open sores on his head. They have and are healing up nicely. But there is some concern that his brain isn’t fully developed.
Joshua has an obvious bilateral cleft lip and also a bilateral cleft palete. We feed him with a special bottle that he takes well. There is the option of tube feeding him, as well, which we have had to do a number of times. (It’s not as bad as I had imagined it would be!!) His other physical feature is his extra digets. He was born with an extra finger on each hand but only has the right one now. (The one on his left hand was tied off!)
Despite all that bad sounding stuff…we’ve got our little boy home with us! Praise the Lord! What a blessing it is to get to know him and love him. His life is precious and we’re treasuring every minute of it!
Josh has begun making eye contact with us and turning toward our voices. Even in the hospital he did better with his hearing test when I talked to him and he calmed down quicker when he heard our voices and felt our touch. He gets the hicupps, and yawns, and has the cutest little sneeze! Joshua is very strong for such a little guy. When he’s upset and fussing, he can stand up if we hold him up or push himself away from whatever his feet are against. His neck is getting stronger, too, and he can hold it up some when we hold him up to burp him. His arms are almost too strong – he scares himself when he throws them out!
Bath time isn’t too fun for Josh. He doesn’t like being messed with, but he loves to be held and cuddled! He does enjoy getting his hair shampooed, though. I think the scars on his head itch and it feels good to have his head rubbed!! We rub it sometimes just to calm him down and he lifts up his forehead and sticks out his little tounge!
We enjoy life with Josh. I couldn’t imagine having “induced labor” back in week 21 of our pregnancy. Whether he would have lived an hour or a day, or if he lives a year, he’s worth it! What a blessing to get to know our little fighter. Who knows how long we’ll have him, but the pain of saying good-bye will be worth the joy of saying hello and knowing our son. He’s taught us so much about life and love-hope and joy-and trust.
I think the thing I’ve realized the most so far, is that this life is not the main thing. It’s not the “goal”. (See 1 Peter 1:3-9) Heaven is the goal. That’s where it’s at. This life is just what’s going on while we wait to get home. The Bible says that we are “aliens and strangers in the world”(1 Peter 2:11). James says, “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (4:14). Again in the Psalms it says, “Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow.” (144:4). So while we wait through this little while, we’ll see what His plan is. How reassuring to know that from the beginning, He has a plan for us here on earth! “All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:16) We trust His plan.
Of course, all the verses we claimed before his birth still hold true. God’s Word never changes – He always remains the same. Who knows what He’ll do? Anything’s possible!!
We know that whatever happens…our home coming is sure. Whether Josh goes first or not, we’ll all be together again – without a doubt!
“Blessed is the man who trust in the Lord,
whose confidence is in Him.”Psalm 32:10
“The Lord’s unfailing love
surrounds the man
who trusts in Him.”
“As it is, you do not belong to the world,
but I (Jesus) have chosen you out of the world.”
“Do not let your hearts be troubled.
Trust in God; trust also in Me.
In My Father’s house are many rooms;
if it were not so, I woudl have told you.
I am going there to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back and take you to be with Me
that you also may be where I am.
You know the Way to the place where I am going…
I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
While Joshy was alive, Jill sent out periodic emails to talk about what was going on. If you’d like to read those, we put together on this page all in one spot. Feel free to relive Josh’s life with us.
“The Lord Saves” our “Beloved”
We know there’s a God in heaven who is loving and who is strong. (Psalm 62:11-12 “You, O God, are strong, and You, O Lord, are loving.”) He has the power to heal.(Psalm 103:3 “[The Lord] forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.”; Exodus 15:26 “For I am the Lord, who heals you.”; James 5:15-16 “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up… pray for each other so that you may be healed.”) He has a plan in store for all three of us. (Jer. 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”) We can trust in Him to take care of everything in the best way. Whether Joshua lives and his life is a testimony pointing people to the Lord, or if it is up to us alone to be strong in faith-come what may, God will recieve glory. He sustains us with his strength and peace everyday and for that we are thankful. May God show Himself in a powerful way through the life of our little son, Joshua David.
How we got his name…
Before all the tests and so forth, to find out about our baby, both Kevin and I were thinking of names. We liked Benjamin James but also wanted to get the name Edward in there. (Kevin’s dad and Jill’s granddad are named Edward, and Jill’s dad and Kevin’s grandpa are named James!) Anyway, on our way to Mpls, MN for another ultrasound, Kevin said he’d been thinking about the name Joshua. The neat thing is that the night before I had a dream about a boy named Joshua! We found out how serious our boy’s condition was and that night looked up Joshua in our Bibles. Kevin knew where it said the meaning of the name in one of his insights, and it meant “The Lord Saves”.
We know that no matter what happens, the Lord will save our Joshua. Whether it’s with long life or eternal life, we know that the Lord is the giver of both. What hope!
David was thought up later, on our part. The Psalms have been so encouraging and King David wrote many of them. We looked up that meaning and it was “Beloved”. That fits our Joshua completely. He is our beloved-forever.
Joshua is active and loves to kick and punch and turn. Every movement is a blessing. We are getting to know him even now and enjoy and love him more everyday.
Our due date is May 16th. We were told he could come early due to extra amniotic fluid. He has remained in the womb as of April 27th, and the 24th marked the beginning of week 37 (out of 40). Two weeks either way around the due date are considered full term, so we’ve almost made it!! (One calender we have said the 24th was the earliest he could come full term! Praise the Lord!)
Jill has remained really healthy throughout the whole pregnancy. Things are moving smoothly, and we praise the Lord for that.
Many people are holding us and Joshua up in prayer. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement. “The prayers of a righteous man are powerful and effective.” (James 5:16) Keep praying and we’ll keep you all posted as to what great and mighty things God’s got in store for the Crawford family.
“Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.
Is any one of you SICK?
He should call the elders of the church to PRAY over him and anoint him wih oil
in the NAME OF THE LORD.
And the PRAYER OFFERED IN FAITH WILL MAKE THE SICK PERSON WELL;
THE LORD WILL RAISE HIM UP.
If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other
and PRAY for each other that you may BE HEALED.
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
“Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death.
But this happened tha we might not rely on ourselves
but on God,
who raises the dead.
He has delivered us from such a deadly peril,
and He will deliver us.
ON HIM WE HAVE SET OUR HOPE THAT HE WILL CONTINUE TO DELIVER US,
as you help us by your prayers.
Then many will give thanks on our behalf
for the gracious favor granted us
in answer to the prayers of many.”
1 John 5:14-15
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will,
HE HEARS US.
And if we know that He hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of Him.”
“Now to Him who is able
to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that works in us,
to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations,
forever and ever. Amen.
“A man with leprosy came and knelt before [Jesus] and said, ‘Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.’
Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said, ‘Be clean!’
Immediately he was cured of his leprosy.”
Acts 3:16; 4:10&12
“By faith in the name of Jesus,
this man whom you see and know was made strong.
It is JESUS’ NAME and
the FAITH that comes through Him
that has given this complete healing to him,
as you can all see.”
“It is BY THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST of Nazareth,
whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead,
that this man stands before you healed.
SALVATION IS FOUND IN NO ONE ELSE,
for there is no other name under heaven
given to men by which we must be saved.”
“Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything,
by prayer and petition,
present your requests to God.
And the PEACE of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
“You will keep him in PERFECT PEACE,
him whose mind is steadfast,
because He TRUSTS in you.”
How should believers cope with suffering?
Isaiah urged them to focus on a reality greater than their current troubles:
to keep their minds steady on God, who never loses control over events.
Jill and Kevin – March 1998
May 15, 1998
just a quick note back to you! as i write, Joshua is resting in my left arm. he was born on may 3 at 1:43 AM. and wasn’t expected to live more than a few hours…now he’s home and we’re approaching two weeks! God hasn’t heald him from trisomy 13, but he has blessed us with sweet precious time with our boy. the only thing he needs is extra oxygen. he is sweet and comfortable. we praise the Lord for this time and are learning to trust him more every day. God can still do miracles, and we believe that he still can do anything!
joshua has his daddy’s red hair-beautiful! he has a cleft lip and palate, which could make feeding hard…but he’s been doing well feeding with a special bottle. he has gained some weight now and is at a whopping 5 pounds!! he loves to be touched and held (but don’t mess with his hat!! he’s already got an attitude!). we sleep with him between our pillows at night to keep him company all the time. kevin and i are so in love with this child God has given to us. each day is a treasure.
better go-time to get that bottle-and quick, says Josh!
thanks for your prayers!!
love in Christ,
kevin and jill crawford…and joshua david
May 29, 1998
hey you guys!! 🙂
just a note while josh is sleeping here in my arm…
things seem to be going good still. we had another doctor’s appointment today. josh gained 6 ounces and is up to 5 pounds-6 ounces! 🙂 his head grew an inch and is at 13 inches now. he must be the same in length-the nurse said 17 inches, but he was 18 1/2 at birth…they stretch out the foot up in the labor and delivery section, i guess! 🙂
Joshua’s doctor (who’s great) said his color looks really good. he’s nice and pink still. and his lungs sound good, and the liver is where it should be. his heart still has the murmur, but continues to beat away. dr. vanlooy said he expects a duct in his heart will close soon – all babies have this duct that closes sometime after birth – but josh needs his more to help supply his lungs with oxygenated blood. we’ll keep that in our prayers and keep our eyes on our little man! he was born with a hernia and developed a second one. they both reduce easily and don’t seem to cause him pain. we don’t need to worry about them now. josh also had open sores on his head at birth that have all, but one, healed up nicely. the last one was bigger and continues to heal well, too.
the doctor wants him to get a little more to eat, so we’ll have to gavague (sp?) (tube feed) him some if he doesn’t make it up to 240 cc’s a day. that should be okay, but we hope he’ll just start eating the extra 30 cc’s from his bottle. he does feed well with his special bottle. his cleft palate is bilateral which means there’s two openings on either side of the roof of his mouth. but there is some of the palate down the middle which helps him suck by pushing his tounge up against it… (if you follow all that!:) he’s feeding well anyway!!)
on sunday josh went to church with us for the first time. he was publicly dedicated and didn’t fuss at all!! That’s our good boy, 🙂 today, after the doctor’s visit, he went on his first stroller ride. he seemed to enjoy it-no crying anyway!! his hair is still as red and soft as ever. he’s awake and looks around more all the time. we like to get to know him then. he’s our sweet baby with attitude-don’t mess with him. he likes his hat in place, fusses a lot during baths, and doesn’t like to get his outfits changed. he does love to be held and cuddled, though. he likes to be talked to and sung to. he’s a beautiful boy.
thanks for keeping us in your prayers. if you think to, you can pray for us all at night time. josh has got his days and nights mixed up and he’s the most upset during that time–and we’re the most tired then!! that’s not too unusual for any new baby and new parents, though! 🙂
we are so grateful for all your love and support and prayers. god blessed us really good with friends like you all! he continues to give us strength and comfort – and joy. we have hope for now, for what god can do and is doing in josh’s life-and hope for the future. in His hope there is peace.
love you all,
kevin, jill, and joshua
June 4, 1998
Gotta make this quick!
Josh is now one month (and one day) old!! Happy Birthday little one.
He’s doing well now, but we had a scare on sunday night. We were at the ER having his hernia pushed back in (which went well) when he stopped breathing for about 2 minutes. His color was really bad and everyone thought he was gone – when he shook his little fist and fought for another breath. That night was a long one, but now it’s almost been a week and he seems to be getting strength back. He was pretty weak and quiet-not like our fisty little boy. We’ve had to tube feed him some because his suck is weak. But now he’s laying here crying for my attention…God is good.
I decided Josh’s death should be sweet (not scary)-what’s better than going to be with Jesus? It’ll just be sad for us. We’ll miss our little Joshua. But we’ll see him again. Keep praying for health and healing! He is faithful.
Better run. Thanks for all your prayers!
Love you all,
Kevin, Jill, and Joshua
June 12, 1998
another quick update! 🙂 josh went to the doctor today. everything seems the same. his lungs still sound good; his heart has the murmur, but sounds the same, too. the biggest thing, i think, is his hernias. the one slides back in with no problem, but his right one is harder to push back when it comes out! joshua was in pain when dr vanlooy pushed it in today! it’s not as big or serious as it was when we went to the er, though! surgery would be done, but our doctor thinks that right now it would “do him in”. if the intestines get blocked off, that would do him in, too, and it would be a pleasant way to go – surgery would be necessary if that happens. so that’s our concern/prayer request now, besides everything else!
we thought josh had colic. what we read in a book fit him totally – “The baby with a textbook case of colic pulls his knees up, clenches his fists, and generally increases his activity. He closes his eyes tightly,…furrows his brow, even holds his breath briefly. Bowel activity increases and he passes gas. Eating and sleeping patterns are upset by the crying-the baby frantically seeks the nipple only to reject it once sucking is begun, or dozes for a few moments only to awaken screaming.” no one knows what causes colic, but we’ve heard it should diminish by week 12. actually, he’s been doing a lot better even since we read that! he likes to be up during the night, but hasn’t been crying the whole night at least! kev and i take shifts! i usually get the late night and he takes the early morning! our doctor said he could take some gas-x type stuff, too. hopefully that will make him more comfortable!
well, this isn’t so quick after all! 🙂
oh, we were interested to know josh’s apgar scale ratings when he was born. (it rates things like skin color, breathing, muscle tone, response…10 is the highest score.) josh had 4 at one minute, 2 at five, and at ten minutes. at five minutes they gave him to me and said i should hold him even though i was still being stitched up – he was doing so poorly. dr vanlooy said he responded so well to our kisses and touch. he is loved – and prayed for!! 🙂
i can let you all get back to whatever you were up to! 🙂 we love you and we’ll keep you posted.
kevin, jill, and joshua
ps – if any of you know, we found out his specific heart defects, too. he has a VSD, an ASD, and a small left ventricle, great vessels arise from the right ventricle, and his pulmonary artery is small! whew, huh?! he’s got one unique heart, that’s for sure
June 26, 1998
joshua is still kickin’! we’ve been out more with him the past few weeks. he’s been to the mall, out to eat twice (father’s day), on several stroller rides, to see his first softball game, over to his uncle’s and to the henderson’s, and out to get a family picture taken!! he’s a traveling little man! 🙂 i’ve carried in my arms him most of the time on account of his apenea.
today we went to the doctor. he gained some weight. now he’s up to 6 lbs. and 1.2 oz. kev told dr. vanlooy josh has been lifting weights! joshua also grew an inch or two. he’s had some bloody noses so now he has a humidifier hooked up to his oxygen. no biggy. but his feet were a little swellen so we asked about that and were told retention of fluid is a sign the heart is starting to fail. his liver is also down some which is another sign. josh is still comfortable and his breathing is still the same. his color is still good and he’s just as precious as ever. dr vanlooy said there was no way to know how much time we have…so we’re just in the same boat as always, really. he could pass away soon or after a while. we’re still trusting the Father’s plan. (praise Him for eight weeks – sunday!)
maybe i told you this already… when we had so much company here and people holding joshua, i told kevin, “sometimes after he’s been with others for a while, my arms almost ache for him back. maybe jesus’ arms are starting to ache.” again, thanks for all your thoughts and prayers for joshua david and his family! God is faithful.
love you all,
July 2, 1998
We’ll miss our precious baby like crazy, but what a blessing our time has been with him. Our angel on earth.
Our screen saver yesterday was from Job 23:10
“But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”
Which made me think of one of my favorites in 1 Peter 1:3-9
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than GOLD, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love Him, and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
The peace we felt while Kevin prayed right as Joshua left us for a better place, was like none that could be explained. We can truly claim
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the PEACE of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
“You will keep in perfect peace, him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.”
The funeral is being planned out for Monday the 6th of July in the afternoon back home in Williston, ND. You are all welcome.
We love you all.
Kevin and Jill Crawford
May 3, 1999
Today would have been Joshua’s first birthday. I woke up with Benjamin early this morning to feed him and thought of my firstborn son and tears ran down my face. I wish he were still here for us to watch him grow. He won’t get to meet Ben and Benjamin will only see pictures of Josh. I wished that we had both our boys in our little home and tried to imagine what that would be like. At the same time, Benjamin probably would have never been conceived if Joshua was still alive. And we praise the Lord for our sweet Benjamin, too, even though I will always miss my precious Josh.
After all those thoughts and a good burp from Benjamin, I went to rinse off his bottle and sat at the kitchen table to snatch a verse from the Lord. My Bible has been laid open for just such an occasion. And this morning it was open to 1Thessalonians 4. That is why I wrote. I asked God to speak to me and this is what He said… Let me share 1 Thess. 4:13-18 with you:
“Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.”
I’m longing to be caught up with Joshua in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and to be with Him forever. But at the same time, it is great to be alive and to be able to praise God for abundant life and for our future hope! We serve a good and faithful Lord.
I hope you are encouraged with these words!
Love you all more than you know!
July 2, 1999
In memory of Joshua David.
May 3, 1998 to July 2, 1998
Well, it’s been a year since our sweet Joshy died. I feel like I should have something deep to pass on to you guys, but really we’re just remembering him.
I remember the way he hicupped and the way he yawned. I remember the way he looked up into my eyes. I remember kisses on his head. I remember taking him home. I remember Kevin playing his guitar and singing Jesus Loves Me to him. I remember reading to him… Guess How Much I Love You. I remember when he rocked in his swing and snored with every swing. I remember him going to church. I remember his beautiful, swirly, red hair. I remember his tiny little hands and his tiny little feet with his toes that looked like little peas in the pod. I remember his small bottom and the little diapers that were almost too big. I remember his soft little tounge sucking whatever got into his mouth. I remember him sleeping between our pillows at night. I remember naps on my chest.
I remember that he hurt. I remember pushing in his hernias. I remember the open sores on his head. I remember special bottles. I remember having to tube feed him when he didn’t get enough to eat. I remember his breathless cry. I remember telling him to let it out and just tell me how he felt. I remember his apnea attacks. I remember his oxygen machine and tubes around his little nose. I remember him crying through the nights. I remember wondering if he’d wake up in the morning. I remember him almost passing away in the emergancy room. I remember the night he died… in our bed, on my chest, slow breaths and slow heartbeats.
I remember joy and tears. I remember Joshua.
I remember hope. I remember Jesus. I remember heaven.
God is faithful to those who trust in Him.
Steven Curtis Chapman
This is not at all how
We thought it was supposed to be
We had so many plans for you
We had so many dreams
And now you’ve gone away
And left us with the memories of your smile
And nothing we can say
And nothing we can do
Can take away the pain
The pain of losing you,
We can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope
‘Cause we know our goodbye is not the end, oh no
And we can grieve with hope
‘Cause we believe with hope
(There’s a place by God’s grace)
There’s a place where we’ll see your face again
We’ll see your face again
And never have I known
Anything so hard to understand
And never have I questioned more
The wisdom of God’s plan
But through the cloud of tears
I see the Father’s smile and say well done
And I imagine you
Where you wanted most to be
Seeing all your dreams come true
‘Cause now you’re home
And now you’re free, and…
We have this hope as an anchor
‘Cause we believe that everything
God promised us is true
We wait with hope
And we ache with hope
We hold on with hope
We let go with hope
“Be joyful in hope…”
Joshua David Crawford
May 3, 1998
July 2, 1998
July 8, 2000
Just a little hello from the Crawfords! 🙂
The second of July marked the second year after Joshua’s death. We were back home in Williston and to his grave and remember him. Thanks for remembering our boy with us.
I gave my testimony about our time with Josh at the ladies luncheon at family camp in Devils Lake on the 24th of June. It went pretty good. Good for Kev and me to dig up those memories together. We’re gonna put it on line this weekend, I hope. We’ll keep you posted! 🙂 (Click on “Jill” on our main page.)
Benjamin is walking more and more these days. He’s the little talker, too. It’s fun to see his personality grow. He’s such a ham. And so excited about life. What fun. He is our treasure. Our sunshine.
Our littlest baby is growing well. We went to the doctor this week and everything looks great still. We’ll have another ultrasound next month to check the placenta so we’re looking forward to seeing “her” again! 🙂
Hope you’re all having a good summer! God is good.
Love you guys!
Kevin, Jill, and Benjamin
May 3, 2002
“Someday we’ll all play together, right, Mommy!?”