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A Letter to My Husband: Thank You for Being a Loving Special Needs Dad

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Dear Ralph,

I couldn’t have known when we married what a wonderful father you would become. I couldn’t have known we would have a medically fragile boy who would test our faith. I couldn’t have known your inquiring mind and ability to think outside the box would be such a blessing in raising our son.

I remember being in the hospital room when you picked up the manual to Samuel’s ventilator and studied each page. Soon, you were as versed in the ventilator as the respiratory therapist, understanding the meaning of terms like positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP), pressure support and volume control. Oh, how I relied on your mechanical mind to navigate the technical aspects of our son’s care. 

Once we were home, you created ingenious methods of assisting in Samuel’s care. One favorite was the toy you attached to the oxygen tank. The lights of the spinner wand would light up automatically when we turned the oxygen tank on, reminding us to turn it off when we were done.

I remember when you attached a fishing rod to the IV pole and used two dog leashes to hold Samuel’s gastronomy tube when we moved him. All the nurses commented on how practical it was and how they wished all their kids could use it.   

I’m so thankful you are Samuel’s father. You have valiantly taken the night shift, listening and responding to our son’s heart rate and oxygen alarms. I rely on the calming effect you have on our son and love all the walks you take him on in the stroller.

You are the unsung hero in the journey of Samuel’s life. You have not only stayed by my side every step of the way, but have proved a solid commitment to our son. I could not be on this journey without you. Thank you for being an amazing, loving, kind-hearted and caring father. You are so appreciated not only on Father’s Day but every day, indeed, every hour.

Your Wife,


The Mighty wants to hear more about relationships and special needs parenting. Can you share a moment on your special needs journey that strengthened your relationship? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our “Share Your Story” page for more about our submission guidelines.

Originally published: June 15, 2015
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