With a second child on the way, life seemed to going smoothly for the Young family until their 3-year-old daughter, Holland Young, started to have regular headaches.
After an MRI, doctors diagnosed Holland Young with a brain tumor which would eventually take her life. Her father, Bryan Young, shared his journey through the process with the accompanying grief in a new Mormon Message, released last week.
When Holland Young was first diagnosed, Bryan Young asked God how this could happen especially when he tried to do everything God had asked.
“I said a prayer and I knew that she was going to be OK,” Bryan Young said. “I knew that we were going to be alright — that she would live and that everything would be alright.”
After several surgeries, the tumor was removed and Holland Young was declared tumor-free. But later that summer after Holland Young turned four, the headaches returned. Furthers tests would reveal a quarter-sized tumor. Bryan Young took to his knees.
“I had that peace again that our faith was making her whole,” Bryan Young said.
The surgery was successful but the doctors wanted to do chemotherapy. At a follow-up MRI, the doctors discovered the tumor had once again returned – this time it was throughout her brain and had spread down her spine.
“This is going to be a miracle because the doctors said there’s no hope but we’ll find hope in God,” Bryan Young said. “I said a prayer and the Lord immediately said she’s going to die.”
Shocked by this answer, Bryan Young asked God, “Why?”
“You needed that,” Bryan Young recalled God telling him as his answer. “If I had told you on that day that she is going to die you would have started to grieve her too soon.”
Holland Young died with both of her parents at her bedside.
“The experience of seeing somebody’s first breath and last breath gives me so much hope in a plan, that there is something so much more than first breaths and last breaths,” Bryan Young said. “... When I experienced her last breath I knew that wasn’t the end. I have hope that she is still a part of my life and that her spirit is still connected to my spirit. The peace that you feel — it ebbs and flows. Sometimes it’s there. Sometimes it’s not, but you’re always able to get it back.”
Bryan Young also detailed his experiences in a book released earlier this year, “Meant for Heaven: A Little Girl’s Journey to Paradise.”