Fatherhood number one role for new dad | NevadaAppeal.com

Fatherhood number one role for new dad

by Susie Vasquez, Appeal Staff Writer

Brian CorleyBaby Patrick Morrow and his father, Charlie, are all smiles as they celebrate their first Father's Day today.

DAYTON — With a beautiful young wife, work he enjoys and a spacious new home in Dayton Valley, Charlie Morrow thought he had the perfect life. But an unplanned pregnancy and the birth of his son, Patrick Norman Morrow, changed his life forever — for the better.

Married just two years, the 38-year-old Dayton resident and his wife, Amber, were committed to work and a life that didn’t include children. He is a construction supervisor and she worked in a Carson City chiropracter’s office.

“I waited a long time to get married and we didn’t want kids,” Charlie Morrow said. “I thought raising children would be a big job and I was too old — I didn’t know how much fun it would be.”

But the crash course on parenthood was just beginning. Their lives took another turn when, on New Year’s Eve day, Patrick developed a rare intestinal ailment that could have taken his life.

Sick with flu-like symptoms, the baby developed an abnormality in the intestinal wall that causes the intestine to fold into itself. Thought to be congenital, the disease is diagnosed in babies during their first year.

“I thought he had diarrhea, but when I changed his diaper, it was full of blood,” Amber said. “We rushed him to Carson-Tahoe Hospital and they immediately sent him to Washoe Medical Center.”

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Surgeons removed five inches of intestine on New Year’s Day, just 24 hours after he developed symptoms. Patrick weighed 14 pounds, 8 ounces when he had the surgery and about 11 pounds after the ordeal. Amber said the toughest part was watching him lay there after surgery.

“When we saw him after surgery, he was swelled up from all the intravenous fluids, with tubes down his throat and into his chest,” she said. “I couldn’t hold him and he couldn’t nurse.”

The baby recovered with no ill effects. An active 9-month-old with blue eyes and very little white hair, Patrick is all boy: stout, bright, curious about everything.

Charlie Morrow still feels he knows very little about children, except this one. He emphasized that he hasn’t given up anything relevant in the name of fatherhood.

“Neither my wife nor I knew what to expect,” he said. “It was a little scary at first, but now it’s awesome, coming home and seeing him. I think he’s brought us together. He does a lot to make the whole thing work.”

“We were workaholics, until this little guy came along,” Amber said. “Before, we were never home. Patrick changed our lives forever. The things we thought were a big deal aren’t important to us anymore.

“Charlie is completely whipped over that baby,” she said. “That’s what it’s all about for him now.”

Charlie Morrow feels he’s too old to have many more children. Two sounds like a good round number, to him.