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.

  • Jess

    Aww this made me cry. What wonderful things you do Chive and Chivers! Keep it up 🙂

  • Jason

    I've seen a lot of stuff on this site, Fire Departments that need help, Taylor Morris, Zoe, and while feeling the need to donate and help, I've never been brought to tears by a story. That has changed, good show Chive – there is a first for everything.

  • Todd

    That's amazing!!! Good luck to Him and his family. Great to see how much good chivers can do.

  • drew

    Hey man my eyes are leaking. 🙂

  • Bernie

    So glad this got to happen for an AMMO brother. KKCO!

  • cjay

    You're awsome Chive, keep up the good work.

  • bobbonginheimer

    Thank everyone, straight up. As the guy that made #14 and started this, + hangouts with Mark for hours – This man is 100% Chiver and worthy of this action. I did what I hope any one of you would do if asked to help in this situation! #KCCO

  • Canucks_Rule

    #2 – lovely.

  • theG_Man

    A video…can I pass? I'm already in tears. 🙂

    KCCO Barrett family

  • Frederic

    KCCO…….How Chivesome is it that we can help our own. As a vet from the Gulf War I can appreciate it. Thank you to all………

  • eyeshurt

    Someone poked me in both my eyes. Dammit if the chive isnt the greatest thing since sliced bread. STOP poking my eyes!

  • Sarah

    this just touched my heart in such an amazing way.. chive on guys!

  • jack

    Alright, who the hell is cutting onions around here?

  • ohplease

    Nice redhead you got there. mine is better.

  • billy

    He is an AIRMEN not a SOLDIER.

  • l00p

    Oh fuck right off, this happens daily, you've only ran the story because he is in the army. He chose that profession knowing he would be away from home, I bet he wont be sharing his massive pension when he retires early and is doing fuck all after he is 50.

    God the chive used to be good, now its total dog shit…

  • Greg

    Proud to be a Chiver and so grateful for the men and women that serve our country day in and day out!

  • G24

    It's great what the Chivenation did! What I'd like to know about the medication(s) is why isn't the government paying for his meds. Surely a soldier has insurance for his family? I guess not! His father is sacrificing himself and his family for our nation and that this is even an issue FUCKING PISSES ME OFF!

    I hope Seth grows out of all of his maladies SOON!

    I love my country and would give my life for it…but I fucking hate my government.

  • Billy

    Such a cute kid. I hope he gets well.
    Remind me again why the fook his Dad is in Sth K. Why would the foolish man man live his kids for that?

  • Airbornedaddy72

    Welcome home and thank you for your service. What a story…goes to show there are still good folks in the world.

  • Goldenage_Geek

    Just what I needed on a dreary winter morning.

    Welcome home!

    KCCO Seth, the Chivers got your back little man!

  • Paul

    KCCO! What an Awesome Community This is!
    Keep up the Great Work!

  • Holden McGroin

    My little sister (& fellow Chiver) had Petit Mal Epilepsy when she was younger. It was scary to see her have seizures. We called them "spells". They lasted longer & occurred more frequently. Fortunately, medication was able to control it and eventually she outgrew it. At 41, she is fine now, Well, maybe not 100% fine, that is a judgement call. After all, she is my little sister…

  • bigtommy2k1

    I've followed Mark on twitter for the past few months because one of the many awesome chivettes i follow suggested him. Who can say no to them? Either way he seems to be a truly awesome person/dad and reading this happy story made my week! Thanks for all you do Mark and keep being awesome! Also there is NOTHING wrong with 5 Popeye's biscuits for breakfast!

  • proud

    crying my eyes out. welcome home sir and thank you ❤

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