Our passion for Kylar’s Riders stems from the passing of our daughter, Kylar Grace. She and her brother, Knox, were born at 25 weeks at Medical City Lewisville in 2014. It was an intense experience trying to get pregnant, during the pregnancy, as well as our continued journey.
With complications leading up to the pregnancy weeks in advance, Jennifer was on bed rest in the hospital. The doctor announced we had to make a decision about moving forward from the 25th week mark. The decision was made, and it would be an emergency C-section with all hands on deck to save our little ones. All was going as planned, for the circumstances, until Jennifer’s blood pressure dropped dramatically, and several alarms started going off. I was asked to leave the room and the doctors and nurses went into overdrive to save my wife and our twins.
Both twins were delivered and immediately taken to the NICU to continue to fight for their life. Meanwhile, Jennifer coded on the table and the doctors in the delivery room worked feverishly to bring her back. Jennifer was resuscitated, maintained strong vitals and was taken to the ICU. I was escorted into the NICU with the twins and, in shock, vaguely remember signing papers for the doctors to do anything medically necessary to keep them alive and stable as well. Kylar was 1 lb 5oz and Knox was 1lb 14oz … that is not a typo.
We made it through the first 12 hours with glimpses of hope both would survive but it was still touch and go with so much emotion of what happened, my wife in the ICU, my premature twins in the NICU, why this was happening, what would happen if I lost any of them… if there was ever an out of body experience for me, this would have been the example. I was torn between staying in the NICU and staying with my wife as they just removed the tube from being intubated after leaving the delivery room.
Going back and forth from one floor to another a nurse told me I was needed in the NICU. When I arrived, they were performing CPR on Kylar in the NICU. I had to stand there and watch as my little girl fought for her life and there was nothing I could do to change that. I looked over at the doctor, she stared back with a somber expression as if “Do you want them to stop?” as we both knew the reality of the situation, our Kylar Grace was feeling no more pain. When they stopped, I saw a flicker of light appear from her chest and slowly rise towards the ceiling. I KNEW that was her soul leaving to meet with God. I went numb. After some time, I went back to ICU with the doctor to deliver the news to my wife. A moment of dread I will feel forever. How is one to explain to their wife that their daughter, who they were never able to see alive even in an incubator, was no longer with us?
They were able to bring Kylar down to the ICU for Jennifer, my mother-in-law, my father-and-law, our aunt, and me to grieve over her. Another moment that will forever be burned into my memory. The feelings of despair, of confusion, anger, anxiety, exhaustion, regret, hatred, the list goes on. The one thought that kept flashing between them all was “Keep the strength for Knox”. I knew it was Kylar telling me to keep up her fight.
I say that because Kylar was the one, unbeknownst to us for the majority of the pregnancy, that was having to stay strong and take on extra stress to keep Knox alive and growing. She was his angel from the start, and she knew it from the start. She held on as long as she could for Knox to stay in as long as he needed to in the womb and held on long enough for me to make it up to the NICU to show me that she was truly and angel now. It was a time to feel sorrow and feel hope for the fight Knox had in him up in the NICU.
Knox spent three and a half months in the NICU following that night. Through the unknown of his survival rate those next few days, the funeral of our Kylar Grace, grade three and four brain hemorrhage, multiple surgeries, sleepless nights, stubbornness of fighting the nurses wanting to keep him tucked in and held down… he fought through it all! He survived! He thrived! Knox met requirements at certain stages and surpassed expectations to say the least. There was no stopping him from getting to go home to his mommy and daddy.
After coming home with the requirements of oxygen support and a heart monitor, he continued to show more progress than what was ever anticipated. Yes, there were feelings and moments of despair and heartbreak, but Knox was with us, and Kylar was watching over us. Knox has some health complications, but he has come from a micro-preemie with no hope to live, to “He will never walk or talk…”, to a thriving little boy that is as stubborn as he was when he was fighting through everything in the NICU. I know he lives with the strength of his twin and thoughts of fighting since day one. We continue to be amazed every day with him.
Through all of this, we have had the prayers, support, assistance, and strength of our family, friends, and community from the start and continuing. We have a nine-year-old son that is an amazing big brother, and just over two years after everything, we welcomed our rainbow baby. Through all this support, we could truly never repay what was given to us. There is always a place to start and our place is with Kylar’s Riders. None knows the weight of another’s burden, but there is always someone to help heal that “other’s” pain. There is a way to assist in elevating the platform of those providing good to others in the community.
If you would like to read my wife’s blog through our journey, or know someone that may, please visit her blog at: http://woltmanmiracle.blogspot.com/?m=1
Kylar Riders is a charity organization to assist where needed. Through our journey we have gained a lot more family members than what you would find in our bloodline. We intend to promote the family atmosphere of our message and community outreach. I have been riding since I was an early teenager. What better way to serve our local community than combine the passion of good will with a great ride?
The purple in our logo colors is for our continued contribution and symbolizes preemie support/awareness. The white for the purity of the children that fight from their first breath. The black is for the darkness that most start in and find light and comfort as they become surrounded by family, friends, and the community. Kylar's Riders hopes to bring that light with our message and support for those near and across the country.
In this message I hope you find a personal connection to assist and support our events, other events in your area, or establish your personal movement. Strength is found in all facets, we hope Kylar’s Riders is one for you or someone you know. Join us for a ride, show up to support our event, donate if you are able. We appreciate you spreading the word of our story and our vision. Feel free to reach out to me through my contact information below. Thank you for reading this and becoming part of the Kylar’s Riders family. Welcome home.
"History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it." - Winston Churchill
All the best,
Brandon Woltman Co-Founder