Gratitude Stories: Spencer’s recovery

We’re honored to introduce Spencer Pickell and his mother Amy for this week’s Gratitude Story.

No parent wants to hear that their child is sick. When Amy discovered that her son Spencer would need high-risk brain surgery, she knew she needed to find a way to remind him to stay strong.

Amy reached out to Tribute a month ago to rally a large group of friends and family members to share some words of support before Spencer’s operation.

Watch the video above to see a community truly show love for their brother in need.

tribute-line screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-3-03-24-pm

Spencer and his mom Amy

Why did you want to give Spencer a Tribute?

Amy (mother): He is my youngest child. His older brother also had two brain surgeries in 2007/8 and he was there at the hospital to support him. We never thought in a million years that nine years later Spencer would be going through the same ordeal. We decided to create a Tribute for Spencer to bolster his spirits and so that he’d have the wind at his back when he was wheeled into the operating room.

What were the circumstances when Spencer received his Tribute? (ie. where, when, how?)

Amy: We played the Tribute video for Spencer at 6:30 in the morning. He lay in his hospital bed at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle waiting to be wheeled down to OR.

What was Spencer’s reaction to the Tribute?

Amy: He was riveted, never taking his eyes off the screen. He couldn’t talk but when he saw my face, his dad’s and brothers faces and his girlfriend’s face on the screen he tapped the screen with a yellow stress ball he was holding in his right hand. At the end of the video there was a still photo of him on the left side of the screen and his girlfriend on the right side of the screen and he tapped the two photos back and forth as if putting him together with his girlfriend.

How did it make you feel?

Amy: I felt we could not have sent Spencer into a high-risk surgery in any better of a mental state. He knew how much he was loved and by so many. I know that on some level the video boosted his will to survive the surgery. There were so many tears in the room.

We’re happy to report that Spencer survivied his surgery and is doing better than expected. We’re sending love and well wishes for a quick and speedy recovery to Spencer and his family. You got this!

If you’d like to join us and perform your random act of kindness for the day, send love and support to Spencer & Amy by commenting on our #GratitudeStories Instagram post (@wetribute) or directly using the handles below:

Amy: @sweetsweetspot

Spencer: @lankypickle


Being connected to our community is not just a nice thing to have. Recent research has shown that weak social ties are linked with an impaired immune system, increased inflammation and even depression.

When people are going through difficult times, feeling connected to a community can provide the emotional support they need to stay positive and optimistic.

As always, if you know someone special who deserves to be celebrated, we’re here to help you make it happen.

With gratitude,

Team Tribute

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