BIRTHDAY BOOKS: Special Boy’s Life Celebrated

Sunday is a big day for one metro family. It would have been the youngest son’s third birthday. And, the family has a special project to honor him.

You can hear 5 year-old James trying to make his six month-old sister smile in the Lockie’s Ankeny home. If you look at the wall, you can tell someone his missing. James says, “I would give up all my toys and my house and my property for Jonathan to come back.”

Jonathan Lockie was born March 16, 2011. Mom Sara Lockie says, “At the prenatal ultrasounds they actually discovered he was missing one of his heart valves, which resulted in essentially half a heart.”

Jonathan had his first heart surgery when he was six days old and another one soon after. But, his health unexpectedly deteriorated this past September. Mrs. Lockie says, “When we got to the E.R, he was stable on the ventilator, everybody went to sleep. Then he was gone. His heart had failed.”

Six months later, his family started thinking of ways to honor his memory on what would be his third birthday. Lockie says, “Books were a huge part of Jonathan’s life, and due to the complications from surgery, books were one of the few things he could fully interact with. He wasn’t allowed to leave the house a lot, so books were his window into the world.”

The family created a virtual bookshelf called jonathansbookshelf.com to honor him. They plan to hand out a pile of his favorite books, hopefully every month. Showing a stack of books, Lockie says, “This particular stack will go to his doctor’s office.”

The family has already given out about 100 books to the Ankeny library and other organizations.