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'My miracle babies': Father of two asking for help to fix his car
Quad City Times - 11/27/2022
Nov. 27—Brandon Addison doesn't wish for much these days.
He's been nominated for the Quad-City Times Wish List for a brake job and new horn for his 2010 Toyota Camry, but Addison doesn't ask for anything else.
As he says, he's already got his "miracle babies."
His 8-year-old daughter, Ahnna, required a heart transplant after birth. His 6-year-old son, Matthew, was discarded by his mother at birth. Addison, 32, spends every day and nearly every night with his children.
Being a single parent never is easy, especially when one child has a feeding tube and extensive developmental challenges, due to a transplant. Addison is his daughter's primary caregiver.
His days of having a social life and job are over for now.
"It can all be pretty hard at times," he said. "But the rewards of being a father keep me going. There's nothing in this world I would rather be than Ahnna and Matthew's father.
"It's the little things, like when Ahnna reaches some new milestone — talking better, or swallowing, walking better. Or when Matthew comes home from school with a good grade, or when he's excited to go to school in the morning."
Matthew is thriving, his father said, despite a horrific start to life.
"Ahnna was in the children's hospital at the University of Iowa, and her mother was concealing her pregnancy," Addison said. "So, on May 7, 2016, I was at the hospital visiting Ahnna. On May 8, the next day, I got a call from the Department of Family Services that I had a son, and his mother was in custody for abandoning him."
Matthew's mother entered a bathroom in the University of Iowa Children's Hospital and, after giving birth to him, placed him in a plastic bag and a pillow case, then put him in a trash can.
"Luckily, someone went into the bathroom, saw the blood, and called some nurses," Addison said. "They found him and rescued him. He's done really well. He's healthy, and he is thriving.
"It's a miracle my daughter survived a heart transplant. And it's a miracle my son survived. I'm thankful to be a father to two really wonderful, great kids. I want to be there for them and protect them and help them become good people."
Addison makes a drive to Iowa City every few months to take Ahnna to check-ups and therapies. Getting the car there and back — with him and the kids in one piece — is another kind of miracle.
"The brakes are squealing and grinding," Addison said. "The mechanic told me the grinding is from the rotors.
"I want to keep my family safe, but I have to be able to drive, so I really need new brakes and rotors, and I just don't know how I'm going to do that."
But he doesn't despair about the state of his car. His children always give him hope.
"When I was younger, before the kids were born, I used to think people were pretty crappy. I didn't think a lot about others, because I kind of dismissed people as only caring about themselves," he said. "Then these incredible people came into my life. First the kids. They are amazing and kind, no matter how tough things are for us. Then there are the doctors and nurses who helped them. All the people along the way who have helped.
"I learned there are good people out there. And that's made my life better. I think it has made me a better person."
Addison has been nominated for Quad-City Times Wish List by Lisa Mueller of Community Action of Eastern Iowa to receive financial assistance with vehicle repairs.
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