Father’s Day a time to reflect on small miracles for one Carmel dad

Jet Hamblen was born 12 weeks early, and his arms were so small his father's wedding ring could easily slide around his wrist. (Submitted photo)
Jet Hamblen was born 12 weeks early, and his arms were so small his father’s wedding ring could easily slide around his wrist. (Submitted photo)

By Amanda Foust

Jackson “Jet” Hamblen recently celebrated his tenth birthday on June 8.

His parents, Jon and Lory Hamblen, did not think they would see this day ten years ago when he made an early arrival into this world after only 26 weeks and 3 days in the womb.

He was 12 weeks early, and his father considers him his miracle baby.

Jet’s story began when his mother was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition called HELLP Syndrome that called for an emergency C-section. Lory became very ill and needed to deliver right away.

“They don’t know what causes it, but for whatever reason, the body starts these things and made me really sick and in a lot of pain,” Lory said. “The only way to resolve this syndrome is to deliver the baby.”

“I’ve always been kind of a problem solver throughout life when challenges present themselves,” Jon said. “This was one problem that was new to me, and I didn’t really have any real good solutions.”

As a husband and father, he had great concern for his family.

Jet was delivered at Methodist Hospital weighing only one pound one ounce. He was taken away from the parents for treatment right away.

“It took them four hours to get him stabilized because he wasn’t able to breathe on his own,” Lory said.

Jet received ten or more blood transfusions during his four months in the hospital. And Jon was able to donate his blood to his son. From day one he did anything he could to sustain his son’s fragile life.

After five months in the hospital Jet was finally released, but the years until his third birthday were spent focused on continued development and healing.

“Once he was released, he was put into First Steps, a program for physical, occupational, speech and developmental therapy,” Lori said.

Jon said, “Jet was a little hard-headed like me and still is. From day one he would fight the fight. We would set him up, and he would fall down and get mad, and then one day he decided to just sit up. Those moments are very satisfying as a father.”

The family often recalls many good fortunes along their journey.

Jet was lucky not to develop brain bleeds, which is common for preemies. Another miracle involved the abnormal development of blood vessels in his eye, but he never needed the surgery that was expected.

On this Father’s Day, Jon said he is proud to look back on the challenges his son overcame. Jet started out as a miracle baby and has developed into a normal ten-year-old child.

He’s now a part of Boy Scouts, on the swim team at Smokey Row Elementary School and a soon to be fourth-grader at Mohawk Trails Elementary School.

He has overcome many things and has no physical disabilities despite his rough beginnings.

“I love every minute,” Jon said. “It’s been fun. It’s fantastic to see both our boys grow up and I love when they are able to find things out for themselves.”

“To be able to witness that moment when they finally figure something out like riding a bicycle after you try and try. Sit them on a bike and push them down a hill and then one day they are all of a sudden able to do it themselves,” Jon said.

For him, Father’s Day means never taking even the smallest things for granted.

Jet Hamblen is now a normal 10-year-old. (Submitted photo)