Chive Nation reunites a husband with his son and family (22 Photos, Video)

Last May, USAF SSgt Mark Barrett said goodbye to his family and deployed to South Korea. At the time, his two year old son, Seth, seemed happy and energetic. Haiyley, Mark's 4 year-old daughter, loved her baby brother. She'd look after him just fine. Marked hugged his wife, Ashley, and left for a year.

Only 2 weeks ago in January, Ashley noticed something was wrong with Seth. He was mentally present at one moment, then the next he would become immediately unresponsive and distant. Seth would suddenly go stiff and 'stare off into nothing.' Ashley made a doctor's appointment.

It turns out Seth's distant spells were actually seizures. Seth was diagnosed with Petit Mal Epilepsy. This rare type of epilepsy is not characterized by the convulsive seizures we're familiar with. Instead, Seth suffers 'absent seizures.' His body seemingly shuts down entirely for a 5 minutes at a time. The bad news didn't stop there.

Seth's primary care doctor also noticed Seth's speech development was slower than most children his age, and directed Ashley to take Seth to a therapist. After a series of tests, Seth was also diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) - a type of autism that causes delays in developmental skills such as communication and imagination.

The double-diagnosis hit the family hard. Both Ashley and Mark were unfamiliar with both conditions, and began educating themselves as fast as they could. Ashley had never felt so far away from her husband. She was suddenly alone, raising two toddlers, getting very little sleep, and scrambling to get Seth to doctor appointments.

Mark Barrett was in South Korea, his thoughts were constantly with his family far away. He needed to go home…now. But finances were tight and Mark wasn't scheduled to return to Keller, TX until May. Frustrated and alone, Mark often turned to his Twitter followers for advice on his son's disorder. Mark's AMMO Troop had been featured on theBRIGADE last year and many of his Twitter followers were Chivers.

Some of Mark's Chive/Twitter followers had an idea. They created an online flyer and launched a Twitter campaign to bring Mark home to his family (visual below). The story, titled Chivenation, a Chiver Needs Our Help! quickly made its way around the Twitterverse and found its way to my desk.

This is the story of how theCHIVE's online community and theCHIVE Fund brought a Chiver home to his family...

All this was made possible by theCHIVE community banding together to help one of their own. Dozens of Chivers sent me Seth’s story. But it was the generosity of the Chivers giving freely to the Chive Fund that allowed us to act so quickly. The Chive Fund exists to support Chivers in need of smaller generosities than the headline campaigns, as well as to help underfunded campaigns meet their goals.

As many of you know, we’re not holding anything back in this new year. We believe that, many years from now when they write the books on the history of the internet, theCHIVE community will be the ones who pioneered not only a kinder internet, but helped truly make the world 10% happier.

Donate to theCHIVE Fund RIGHT HERE.

Mark’s Twitter Machine.

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  • Undershooter30

    Damn the chive is awesome. Just goes to show that there are good people left in the world. KCCO

    • WalterSobchak_

      God damn onions, got into my eyes again. Faith in humanity restored.

  • I don't know

    Rip Caleb Moore.

  • Sam

    Damn. I got some lumber in my eye again. Kcco

    • Jen

      i actually started crying, dammit! welcome home, Mark!

  • Chiver

    This is awesome! Glad to be a contributing member to the Chive Fund, this definitely makes me proud to be a Chiver!

  • Samantha

    The cubicle next to me is dicing come onions i think

    #17

    • Magic Mike

      TheChive… The only place you can have a boner one minute and then crying 30 seconds later… Happy Tears, though.

  • Kaneohe

    Great job guys.. Keep up the good work

  • Itsaatrapp

    Once again you make me proud to be part of the chive nation… I think I got some dust in my eye.

  • Bhodi

    Welcome home soldier, KCCO

  • Lambo

    Absolutely Beautiful. KCCO

  • Wantomas

    #6 Seth looks like hes already started working out! Kids yoked!

    KCCO little buddy, you'll be out kicking ass for 'merica just like your dad in no time.

    • Kcco

      Kid has a bigger chest and biceps than me, I can tell he's strong and can fight through this.

    • Murph1908

      The flash of red under his shirt makes me think he's got a Spiderman or other superhero costume on under it. My son has a Spiderman costume with padded muscles, and it would have looked like this under a shirt.

  • Will

    I have sandpaper in my eyes..thats not tears

  • Arthur

    #2, #13, #17

    On a day when the chive gets nationally recognized by Time Magazine for their charity, they unleash this gem. Just keeps getting better

  • Porkins

    #21 I love these stories! I never get tired of seeing videos like these.

  • Dick trickle

    Fucking onions… Damn it. There is nothing more wholesome than that!

  • Whorebait

    Come on guys, i thought i asked you not to make me cry anymore.

  • Jennifer

    #2, #13,

    Donated to the chive fund. thx for restoring my faith in humanity (quite frequently these days, boys)

  • Jeff

    Awesome.

  • Murph

    This is why I love being a part of The Chive community! Awesome work guys..

  • sfb101

    God bless & KCCO

  • bones

    Fucking tears at work. Thanks

  • AlTheChiver

    This is why I'm a member of the Chive Charities.

  • Tillman61

    #22 Damn dry weather. I can hardly see in here…

    Best of luck to all of you, especially Seth – so glad you got to come home, Mark. KCCO

  • Aaron

    On of the many reasons I love the Chive. My older son has PDD. If I could give advice to Seth’s parents it would be to be patient.

    • kashakesh

      I am glad to be part of this site yet again as well.

      I have a son with IDIC 15 (and resulting Autism) – it may be worth the genetic screen so see if there are any additional components to be aware of. I know that I am replying to a comment that someone else left, but it's really just in hopes that it will be seen.

  • http://twitter.com/Chappysohappy @Chappysohappy

    In this eff'd up world of catfishing, Beyonce and politics, it's refreshing to see true existence at its finest. Thank you Chive and Chivers for making this happen. Cheers peeps!

  • Dee

    I am sitting here alone at work in tears ❤ kcco! I wish the family all the best through this!

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