We were there when she lunged into the Atlantic Ocean having just completed a 3,000-mile cross country journey by bike.  One year from the start of that journey, there is a new chapter in Carlie and Dietrich Linde’s life. The Blacksburg, Virginia couple have been on a mission to raise awareness about the condition that almost took Carlie’s life and resulted in the loss of their son Azzi.  

Azzi’s Ride raised awareness gaining the media attention as well of residents and businesses in every town Carlie rode through. But it wasn’t just awareness raised, Azzi’s Ride funded a $20,000 Vision Grant.  In this remarkable story of resilience, advocacy, and hope we share Carlie’s words about the couple’s most recent journey.

It took a very long and stressful 16 hours, but I finally got to hold my baby.

Saying it like that seems not that long of time but when no one knows what the outcome will be, it was more than an eternity.

They prepared me I wouldn't be able to hold him at first since as I would still be being closed after the c section. 

Carlie and Annin.jpg (103 KB)Then I heard his little cry and sort of saw his little smushy face.  Hubs ran over to cut the cord and then I heard lots of "come on buddy” as he was not breathing well and saw the NICU "chariot" ready to roll him away. I pretty much lost it at each of those moments.

I definitely have triggers with Azzi memories, but this hospital was never one of them, it was always a little nice when we had to come over here for appointments since this is where my only memories are with him. Now being in the same delivery halls, OR, recovery halls, mother baby halls, NICU halls, having some of the same care team. now that is a bunch of mostly terrifying mixed emotions.

Annin is making big progress leaps - breathing fine without the CPAP, took his iv and feeding tube out, transferred into the almost ready to go home pod, and we tried nursing! I can't believe it; I mean it's really really, hard to believe that there can be good news that comes out of here.

I like being here because it's nice, everyone is great and having those same nurses brings familiarity and compassion, it's also super sucky because everything reminds us of not just Azzi, but losing Azzi, his future, and our future with him, and the crazy up and down of his prebirth week and NICU stay that abruptly ended in the worst possible way.

I am beyond overjoyed with Annin and seeing Dietrich with him. I am honored to and can't wait to take him home and live life with him. I wish with everything that Annin could have his big bro Azzi to cheer him on here and welcome him home.  



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