We (Jaysun & Dana Pyatt) met in 1995 as teammates on our college track team.
Jaysun ran long distance while Dana ran sprint races and relays. Both of us competed at College National Track Meets.
In 1999, Jaysun began coaching a high school cross country team in Vancouver, WA. Dana volunteered to help coach starting in 2000. Both of us love running and competition; therefore, we find joy in sharing our passion with teenagers and watching them improve themselves over their high school running careers. It is great to hear from past athletes who have continued to run and experience success in races ranging from 5k runs to marathons to triathlons.
In 2009, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic High School opened its doors. Jaysun was hired on as a teacher at Seton and was excited to get the cross country and track & field teams running… literally.
We were hired to coach Cross Country during the fall and Track & Field during the spring. So far, we have successfully taken at least one athlete to the state competition every season.
In January 2011, we learned that we were going to have our first child.
In anticipation of having a baby, we discussed how the child would hopefully be a great middle distance runner (half distance running genes and half sprinter genes).
However, four months later at our ultrasound where we learned our baby was a boy, we also found out our son would be born with multiple heart defects.
For months we met with doctors and surgeons learning terms like cyanotic heart defect and unbalanced atrioventricular canal defect. Though the terms were overwhelming, the doctors and surgeons were confident that, after a surgery or four, our baby boy would be quite healthy. They did warn us that he would probably not be able to participate in sports due to his heart condition. Saddened by this news but hopeful of a post-surgery healthy baby boy, we were prepared to face the birth of our first child in September 2011. If you are interested in reading more of our medical story, please visit https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/djpyatt Over the nine months of waiting and wondering, we were overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support from family, friends, church members, coworkers, and people in community around the world. Compassion and comfort shown to us through the people God has placed in our lives gave us the hope and peace we needed to enjoy our baby in utero.
On September 7, 2011, at 4:54pm, our 8lb 3oz baby boy ~ Emmet Daniel James Pyatt ~ was born.
As Dana was recovering from 24 hours of labor, Jaysun was able to be with Emmet as the wonderful nurses and doctors at Legacy Emanuel took care of Emmet. Jaysun experienced the joy of changing a diaper while the doctors took ultrasounds and x-rays and ran blood tests on our brand new baby boy. After an hour of testing, the doctors gave us their prognosis. They informed us that Baby Emmet had more complications that originally diagnosed; his heart and lungs had developed their own circulation pattern and, therefore, blood was not flowing to his extremities. The surgeons said they could perform surgery but could not guarantee anything about the outcome. After months of preparing for immediate surgery, we were now faced with a decision: let the doctors operate and hope for the best or remove Emmet from the life supporting equipment and enjoy him as long as our Father would bless us with. We chose the latter.
For the three hours that Baby Emmet was with us, he was surrounded by the love of family
~ parents, grandparents, uncles and an auntie. We showed him as much love as was possible during his short little life.
Jaysun was able to bathe Emmet and dress him in the bamboo outfit we picked out for him to go home in. (pictured below)
A week later, our church was filled with people wearing blue in honor and memory of Emmet. We rejoiced for Emmet’s life and his impact on so many. We cried tears for the emptiness that was left in our hearts. We praised Jesus for his promise to never burden us beyond what we can bear. The following is an excerpt from Emmet’s memorial service: “We have days where we spend the day saying, ‘Life is not fair.’ We have days of saying, ‘We just don’t understand.’ We have days of saying nothing but letting the tears roll down our face. But, in each of these situations, we are reminded of our favorite Bible illustration.
Hebrews 12:1-2, ‘Let us throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles us and let us run with perseverance the race marked out before us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.’ We will fix our eyes on Jesus, and we will run this race that has been marked out for us.”
Our experiences through pregnancy and Emmet’s short life marked the beginning of a new journey:
a journey to help kids who have a passion for sports as well as learning and who serve other people in their community and around the world.
Through this foundation set up in memory of Emmet, we hope that his short life can continue to impact people for years to come.