Father’s Day Guest Columnist Bud Hanley: Dear Matthew, You Are Our Son And You Will Never Be Forgotten: Part 3


Bud Hanley, a registered financial planner, lives with Joy, his wife of 18 years, and their children, Lauren, 11, and Andrew, 6, in Honea Path, South Carolina. The Hanleys, owners of Legacy Financial Group, Inc., a financial and tax planning firm, are active in church and enjoy fishing in a backyard pond with their kids. They lost their son, Matthew, then an infant born prematurely, in 2002, and founded Matthew’s Hope Children’s Ministry the next year in his memory. The charity helps underprivileged children at Christmas and throughout the year, and also offers scholarships to deserving students. Bud has long written letters to all of his kids.


Over the next two days, Bud will more of his letters to Matthew, written as the baby struggled for nearly three weeks to survive and also after his death. “I promised Matthew as he died in my arms that I would work hard to cause good to come to other people because he lived and that I would use every opportunity God gave me to share His goodness,” Bud says. For further details about Matthew’s Hope, you can reach Bud at budhanley@att.net.


Dear Matthew,

Four more days have passed . . . Since then, we went to the Anderson Hospital on Saturday and the fluid index was 6. This was great news and it gave us all a great sense of relief and we thanked and praised God for the great news. The weekend passed and everything seemed to be okay.


Then on Monday . . . the fluid index was 1.8. This news crushed us. We were so confident that the hole had closed and the fluid was still there. We are now looking at the option of going to New York to see Dr. Bruce Young.


Last night he informed me that your Mommy was the only person with a spontaneous rupture that has qualified for the procedure. The qualifications are: going a full week without delivering, no bleeding, no infection and no signs of labor. He said that he couldn’t explain why you haven’t already been born. Almost 100% of women whose water breaks deliver within a week . . . I pray every day that God will provide that “living water” for you to survive on . . . I am totally helpless and at the mercy of God. I am learning what it means to totally surrender to Him . . .


Hang in there, my little buddy. I love you with all my heart.




My Little Miracle Boy,

. . . We have made it to 24 weeks tomorrow . . . The miracle continues to unfold and you continue to fight and appear perfectly okay . . . We know that you are okay because your Papa and Great Granny says there is “Living Water” there.


. . . We decided to come to New York City to see Dr. Young . . . After about two hours there, we went on to have an ultrasound . . . It was comforting for us to hear him say that your growth was right on target and your heart appeared perfectly normal. That news only reconfirmed what we already knew. We know that God is taking care of you and sparing your life for a reason. . . The doctors continue to be amazed at how this has played out . . .


During the day yesterday, we kept seeing this other couple. Everywhere we went, they were there too. Finally, at the end of the day, we decided to introduce ourselves to them and find out why there were seeing Dr. Young . . . They were here for the exact same reason we were. This lady was the second case of a spontaneous rupture who had qualified for this procedure . . . We went on to have dinner with them and learned all about each other. We know that God orchestrated this meeting . . .


Tomorrow morning, we have to be at the hospital at 6:30 a.m. Mommy will have the procedure done sometime after that . . . I look so forward to the moment I can hold you in my arms and cuddle you. I will tell the story of this miracle as long as I live.


I love you,



P.S. – Part 4 will appear tomorrow.g.

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