For Jody Woods and Joshua Sutterfield of Cullman, Alabama life with their new born son Devon is not as they expected or hoped it to be. Little Devon, born a healthy 7lbs on October 19th, suffers from an apparently rare disease in which his vocal cords do not function correctly leaving him unable to cry.
Indeed, when he tries they actually paralyse and cut off his airway causing him to turn blue. All he can manage are squeaky noises far removed from the full blown healthy lunged baby bellow that we are all familiar with. He is undergoing treatment at a Children's Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, where they have also discovered other medical complications.
If I'm honest, before I had my own child, the sound of a crying baby grated on me like finger nails down a blackboard. Truth be known, I think I occasionally belonged to the dreaded tutting-because-I'm-not-yet-a-parent-myself-and-am-therefore-clueless brigade.
These days as a mother, when I hear that unmistakable sound of infant misery I usually have mixed feelings. I'm relieved that it's not my baby (honest again) but I have the maternal feelings of wanting to soothe and calm, find out what's wrong. A baby's cry is his attempt to communicate and often as parents we learn very quickly what different cries can mean and we react appropriately.
These parents not only have the nightmare that is a sick child to cope with but also a two year old sibling, serious financial difficulties and are due to be evicted from their home in a matter of days.
Devon's grandmother is hoping "That God will intervene and work this out and heal that baby."
My hope for this family is that society intervenes, makes a practical financial contribution and doesn't allow them to suffer any more than they already are.