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John O’Leary shares the story of Ambrose as a reminder of the importance of the dreams and goals we choose to chase in life and legacy.

The dreams we chase, the goals we set, and the prayers we request say much about the lives we lead.

I was reminded of this during an emotional visit with my new friend, Gerard Fleming last week.

The first time I was introduced to the Fleming family was this past September. A mutual friend shared that they were in the midst of a family tragedy. Their three-year-old son had somehow gotten out of the house, snuck into the pool area, fallen in, and was unable to get out. By the time the little boy was discovered, he was unresponsive.

At that time, little Ambrose was on life-support and in need of a miracle.

The following morning my mom called to share the Fleming’s story with me. And then several more friends called to share, too.

This little boy was incredibly sick, desperately in need of a miracle and everyone who heard was spreading the word of this little boy and his family.

So, we prayed. And we hoped… And we ached for his family to receive the gift they so desperately pleaded.

The entire time following updates online.

We learned about the brain swelling, CT scans and significant health decline. Some updates were expansive medically, while others were simply pictures of the family. One picture was of Ambrose’s Mom holding him. There was a picture of Gerard napping next to his son in a hospital bed. There was a beautiful picture of Ambrose surrounded by his siblings. They were reaching toward him, holding his hands, grasping his little feet, praying for their little brother.

After a week of these emotional, vulnerable updates, shedding tears, offering prayers, feeling helpless and trying to remain hopeful, we received the following update from Ambrose’s Dad.

* * * * * *

Susan and I are so grateful to everyone out there for being behind Ambrose and joining in our prayers. We know many of you have been praying for us and sending Christ to us through your prayers. Those prayers have been immensely helpful to us.

Many of us were praying for the miracle of Ambrose returning to his healthy self again. We were praying for the gift of life.

I believe we have received that miracle.

Ambrose is in his glorified body as another Saint Ambrose. He lives eternally in heaven with Christ.

Christ gave up his life so that we could live eternally. Our little Saint Ambrose is mimicking Christ. We have decided to donate his organs to children whose parents are themselves praying for a miracle. Through Ambrose, God will answer the prayers of these hopeful parents.

Your prayers, love, and support have made the difference.

You have helped Susan and I to remain strong in our trust of God and to make faithful decisions. Your prayers and love have held us up when we wanted to fall. You have helped us carry and embrace our heavy cross.

Please join us now in praying for the successful transplantation of Ambrose’s organs, and the full recovery of those children who will receive them. We will share in the joy of knowing our Ambrose is part of bringing life, love, and joy to others.

* * * * * * *

These amazing parents chose to offer up their pain for a cause even greater than themselves.

My friends, what can I say?

A dad’s heart was broken. A mother will never again hold her son. Siblings will never play with their little brother. The entire tragedy is so sad it’s almost unbearable.

And yet.

And yet…

These amazing parents chose to offer up their pain for a cause even greater than themselves.

They accepted that although their little boy won’t live, his death might provide hope to other children and other families.

During the hardest time in their lives, their prayer was not for themselves, not for ease, not for anything that might benefit them, but for the families who might be receiving the ultimate gift from their son: life.

So, with tears in my eyes and sadness in my heart, I forward along their request.

If you are a praying person, then pray for little Ambrose Fleming, his mom Susan, his dad Gerard, and their entire family.

And, to honor their request, pray also for those little ones lucky enough to get another chance at life because of the profound loss of the Fleming family.

The picture, by the way, is from Ambrose’s honor walk. It is the moment that a family walks their little one out of the hospital the final time.

Normally, the halls line with patients, doctors, nurses, staff, families and visitors to pay their respects to the little one who is being taken to a special offsite surgery center.

But for little Ambrose, not only were the halls lined, so was the entire street in front of the hospital.

My conversation with Gerard Fleming last week reminded me that the dreams we chase, the goals we set, and the prayers we request say much about the lives we lead.

In an all too frequently divided, angry, self-righteous and self-centered world, let’s remember the sacred gift that life is, the fragility of it, the promise of heaven and the remarkable, loving sacrifice of families like the Fleming family.

It turns out one life can indeed make a difference.

Choose today to strive to be that difference in a world longing for it.

Today is your day. Live Inspired.

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