A young woman named Brittany Struebing in Racine, Wisconsin, remembers every detail about the day her son, Arkaydin Howard, was born in November 2018.
She has numerous photos and videos of her child to show others. However, when he was only three-months-old, Arkaydin passed away, the Journal Times reported Sunday.
The loss occurred almost three years ago.
“He was such a good boy,” Struebing recalled. “He was so cute, literally perfect.”
A few weeks ago, the baby’s father, Jeremy Marquez, was found guilty of second-degree reckless homicide in connection to the infant’s death.
Now, the man faces up to 25 years behind bars.
“Even after three years and after trial, I still don’t have the answers I am looking for,” Struebing told the newspaper. “You know, I’m never going to have the answers.”
Struebing dialed 911 and when emergency crews arrived, Marquez gave Arkaydin to them. The baby was eventually taken to Children’s Wisconsin Hospital in Wauwatosa.
Arkaydin endured 45 minutes of CPR and several brain scans before being pronounced brain-dead, the paper said. Doctors discovered signs of trauma that were consistent with him being shaken.
Now, 22-year-old Struebing continues working through the challenges of life on her own.
She also feels guilty about what happened and wishes she could change the past.
Meanwhile, she frequently visits Arkaydin’s grave after work. However, it does not feature the baby’s name.
Funeral costs and other financial difficulties meant she was unable to provide a headstone, so she is working to raise the funds via a GoFundMe page.
“I’m just so big right now on trying to get him a stone,” Struebing explained, adding, “I feel horrible my son doesn’t have a stone.”
When doctors initially asked the young woman about donating her baby’s organs, she was not sure but eventually allowed his tiny heart and kidneys to be donated in the hope another child might be given life.
In 2020, Struebing learned that was exactly what happened and contacted the family. Their son, whose name is Peter, was granted a second chance because of Arkaydin’s little heart.
Peter is now enjoying books and playing at home with his family.
The family contacted her with an invitation to hear her son’s heartbeat, and she cannot wait.
“I’m gonna hear my son’s heartbeat again. Isn’t that so crazy?” Struebing commented. “I’m ready to hear it now.”
According to the Health Resources & Services Administration’s (HRSA) website, there are currently over 1,900 children under 18 on the national transplant waiting list.