Jackson Schmitt, who Love Like Jackson, a 501c3 is named for.

Love Like Jackson

By Carrie Schmitt, Jackson’s Mom

March 3, 2012 was the most amazing day of my life. After 42 hours of labor, our beautiful baby boy, Jackson was born with a massive head of dark hair! He weighed 9lb 12 oz much to my surprise! We chose to be surprised on finding out gender even though I always knew, in my heart, that he would be a boy. Jackson spent the 1st week of his life in the NICU due to being born with the cord wrapped around his neck 3 times. Jackson came into this world surrounded by love and adoration. He was loved by many, before he was even born. People would comment about how beautiful he was and how much hair he had.

Jackson was so loved and never knew anything but love and security. He was always a happy boy! He had a jovial spirit and was silly and fun! Jackson talked very well at an early age, and as his parents, we loved watching every stage of his life! Jackson was in gymnastics, he took swimming lessons, he tried soccer, and he even tried horseback riding, but he settled on Tae Kwon Do and really thrived in the sport. He became a big brother to Ivan at 3 ½. Jackson absolutely loved school and he loved church! He even volunteered in the nursery with his parents.

Jackson was always a very healthy little boy until May 2019 when he started experiencing leg pain. He was taken to the doctor, specialist and ER for X-rays and blood work and it was mostly passed off to growing pains. It was a confusing time because sometimes he would be ok, other times, he was crying in pain. His mother was also a surrogate at the time so when Jackson wasn’t feeling well, he would snuggle with his moms pregnant belly and he loved feeling the kicks of the baby that he knew would not be coming home with them but was so proud of.

Fast forward to July 8, 2019. Jackson’s mommy gave birth to a healthy baby boy and just 6 days later, Jackson, who was just 7 years old, was taken to the hospital after a stomach bug that he wasn’t recovering from. On July 14th, it was discovered that Jackson had a 9” tumor in his femur, a flap on his mitral valve that was releasing clots and he had several strokes. Over the span of 6 days, Jackson endured a total of 6 massive strokes and that took his life on July 20th, just 6 days after entering the hospital.

To say it was a shock is a gross understatement. Nothing made sense. Jackson had just been in summer school with his friends weeks before. 5 days before he entered the hospital, he was swimming in a pool.

His little brother Ivan, who was 3 ½, developed debilitating anxiety immediately after his brother’s death. Jackson’s death flipped our whole world upside down. 4 years later, it still feels that way. Our 4 legged table is missing a leg and we are still trying to figure out how to live without a very important family member.

In honor of her son Jackson, Carrie created Love Like Jackson, a 501c3 nonprofit that gives resources to children experiencing the devastating loss of a sibling. It aims to help children through the experience with art, music and play therapy.

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