by Kristen Kucharski
LOCAL COUPLE LEADS WITH LOVE AFTER THE SUDDEN LOSS OF THEIR 5-MONTH OLD
Love harder, love stronger, love more fiercely. Love beyond measure. #bnflovedbeyondmeasure
After losing their 5-month-old son unexpectedly, Katy and Tyler had the choice to live with anger or lead with love.
Given the fact that Beckam was brought into this world out of so much love, it was important for Katy and Tyler to hold strong to the foundation of his life. After years of infertility struggles, the selfless act of surrogacy offered by their sister-in-law Katelyn, the unconditional support of Tyler’s brother, Andy; the gift of two healthy sons. Brixon and Beckam; plus the added bonus of Katy’s surprise pregnancy of her own just two weeks prior to Beckam’s arrival - - there was absolutely no doubt in their minds that leading with love was the only response as their fairy tale journey came to a crashing halt when Beckam was found unresponsive at daycare.
When CPR regained a heartbeat, but he still was not breathing on his own, Tyler and Katy made the decision to have him airlifted to Lurie's Childrens Hospital in downtown Chicago; but upon arrival, Beckam's heart stopped again. Tyler and Katy received the tragic news as they were trying to make their way downtown in traffic. They were so thankful their sister-in-law Melissa made it to Lurie's before they did and held Beckam until they arrived, so he was not alone until they got there. Yet, another expression of selfless love.
“When we were tasked with writing his obituary, Tyler and I decided that love needed to win,” Katy shares. “Beckam was loved from the moment he was an idea and he was nothing but loved while he was here.”
Although the Fillipp’s are still working with a genetic counselor to try and find out more information about his death, they cherish the memories of their perfectly healthy baby boy. He was thriving in every way, hitting milestones such as rolling over, eating baby food, propping himself up, and cooing to express his joy.
Remembering this remarkable joy, the family wanted to commemorate what would have been his first birthday on September 3, 2020, with acts of love.
“We put it on our social media to our family and friends, that were able, to please pay it forward with love for honoring our sweet Beckam,” Katy says. “We asked that anyone who participated to use #bnflovedbeyondmeasure so we could see how far and wide and varied these acts of kindness and love spread.”
Cards about Beckam were passed along with the hopes of inspiring others to spread more positivity in the world.
Leading with love is a choice. A choice to love. Anger and frustration are quick emotions to rise. Take a step back and choose to react different.
“We changed our mindset as a family,” Katy adds. “We no longer harbor any hate or ill will towards others. Tyler and I have truly been changed by Beckam with living each day trying to make him proud and perpetuate his legacy of love.”
Buddy Benches were the first act of kindness done in Beckam's honor and they arrived just in time to be installed in honor of his first birthday. The benches were placed at the elementary school where Beckam would have attended and will carry on his legacy, encouraging children to lead with love and kindness. The Buddy Benches are a way for any child left out to feel included. When a child is feeling alone, he/she can sit on the bench so others will recognize this and then come over to engage in playtime.
The family proceeded to spend the rest of his birthday taking trays of cookies to the schools, hospitals, police, and fire departments, including the one that responded to Beckam’s 911 call. They hope people will continue to make positive changes in other’s lives and spread the word using the hashtag #bnflovedbeyondmeasure.