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

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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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  • Will

    No one gives a shit John, post the DAR

    • Hank Hill

      Go to hell, you sorry son of a bitch.

  • breal

    Wheres the DAR?

  • Redrustang

    where the fluff is the DAR?????

  • PnB

    RIP Dave on Wheels

  • DJYanan

    Echoing Aaron – my oldest son is PDD. Diagnosed Autistic at 2, but with patience and hard work, by 5 the school therapist couldn't pick him out of a class. Now, unless you know what you're looking for, you'd never know there's any issue. KCCO, you'll be ok.

  • Frederic

    KCCO…….How Chivesome is it that we can help our own. As a vet from the Gulf War, I can't thank you and all the Chivers and Chivettes enough.

  • Derpin

    Wow, just wow. Outstanding job Chivers.

  • Scooter Mcgavin

    Damnit Chive, I'm in class. Don't do that to my emotions in public.

  • Hank Hill

    Didn't even tear up or sniffle at this one. Nope, I was flat out cryin. I even did that weird noise you do when you wanna stop cryin but can't. Like a crying backfire.

  • Matt (KCCO)

    This is why I love this site so much. Others might jump on here for the T&A but unlike other sites that offer funny jokes and attractive women, The Chive is a community that helps one another. Great job by those involved!

  • Dak

    Working in therapy you'd be quite surprised how much a therapy swing and equipment could cost…these things were about 2000+ when I worked in pediatrics..

  • Stephanie

    The Chive is awesome. Keep up the great work! Chive Charities was an amazing addition! :)

  • AnItalianChiver

    Ops I'm late..
    Nicely done Chive..
    Chivers and chivettes said it all already..
    Love, love is what this fucked up world needs most.
    KCCO Mark, Ashley, Seth, Haiyley
    Rip Caleb Moore

    Rip Cpt. Lucas Gruenther, F16 pilot found dead 4 miles from Pesaro. It's even more sad bc with his wife they were expecting their first baby..

  • Ron R

    Great story, restores my faith in humanity, I just wish I could do more to help people like this who deserve and need our help

  • papperdollcollage

    1:22 of the video should be made into a silhouette for.. idk something it looks too bad ass

  • Ruben

    Chive! And Chivers. You rock. In so much negativity these days your positives shine through and through.

  • steve-O


  • xlgmedium

    How old was he when they had him vaccinated?

  • BallsOfSteel

    Congrats. However, no child should ever be forced to wear a faux hawk.

  • Ryan

    Damn onions

  • em3

    Truly awesome!!!

  • DJ Jonasty

    Yeah, I think it's time to take that "Probably" from under the title. This is definitely the best site in the world. Landslide victory. Great job Chivers.

  • SweetAss

    As a mom of a 17 yr son (who is a fellow chiver as well) and suffer from Aspergers (and was initially diagnosed with PDD) this little "chiver" will do great! Especially with the Chive Nation helping him out! And as a USAF (ret) spouse…yea….this Chivette is in tears! <3 this one guys! Just one more reason for me to be a loyal Chivette!!!

  • TheIrishFascist

    Don't cry very often but this definitely made me tear up… Welcome back man.

  • keef

    Well done sirs. Well done

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