Sweat For Sammy
Jackie and Joe Tapper met while attending college in 2006 and married in 2014. A few months after their nuptials they found out Jackie was pregnant with their first child. Jackie and Joe announced the pregnancy to their families on Christmas morning and everyone was ecstatic.
Jackie had what some would call a “perfect pregnancy.” She did not have any morning sickness and felt great. There were no indications that this would change; but, it soon did. A couple hours after their “routine” 20-week ultrasound, Jackie’s doctor called and said he noticed some abnormalities and they had to get another Ultrasound right away. After a long 2nd ultrasound the doctor informed them that their child had extreme case of skeletal dysplasia and they must go for further evaluation at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia (C.H.O.P). After another rigorous day of ultrasounds and genetic testing Jackie and Joe met with a team of doctors who informed them their son had an extreme case of Osteogenesis Imperfecta (type II). The doctors further advised them that it was such a debilitating case, the outcome was definitely lethal.
As you can imagine, the news devastated Jackie and Joe. They continued the pregnancy hoping for the best and knowing they would be happy with any second they were able to spend with their son. It was a very hard 4 months.
Samuel Joseph Tapper was born on June 21, 2015 at 7:35am(Jackie and Joe’s first wedding anniversary and father’s day). He was absolutely gorgeous. He had his father’s Irish nose and a head full of his mother’s dark Italian hair. The birth was amazing. no added complications, very peaceful and the bonding experience they were hoping for. Every employee of C.H.O.P was amazing. It was the greatest moment of their lives. Unfortunately, it soon ended when 57 minutes later Sammy passed away.
The grieving process of losing a child is everlasting; however, that does not mean the loss has to be in vain. Jackie, Joe and both of their families all agreed that it was their duty to bring awareness and help those who are living with OI. As the first step, they decided to create a 5K run, 1 mile walk and wheel to raise funds for the Osteogenesis Imperfecta foundation.