Posted by Josh Katzowitz
For anybody who has children -- especially those who have children who were born prematurely and had to spend significant time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit -- this Associated Press story about Redskins DE Stephen Bowen is heartbreaking and tragic and, at the same time, inspiring.
Bowen, who signed a five-year, $27.5 million free agent contract with Washington this offseason after spending the past five seasons with the Cowboys, is still dealing with the feelings and heartbreak caused by the death of his infant son, Skyler. Now as Bowen attempts to regenerate his football career in a completely new city, he's far away from the rest of his family.
Bowen’s wife, Tiffany, gave birth to twins -- Skyler and Stephen III -- in June, but they arrived about four months early at the 24-week mark of their gestation (this is basically the border of whether a newborn has the chance to be viable). While Stephen III still makes progress in the hospital, Skyler died 10 days after he was born.
Bowen is still trying to come to grips with his son’s death.
“Things are a lot better," Bowen told the AP. "It's still hard. I still think about the son we lost every day. He was just an inspiration for us. While he was here, he was fighting every day to try to be here for us. So the least I can do is just work my butt off and try to be the best football player I can be."
For now, Bowen must wait while Stephen III is released from the hospital -- the family is hoping for next month -- and then, his wife, 21-month-old daughter Trinity and Stephen III will travel to Washington to join Bowen.
Until then, Bowen will continue to wade through training camp, spending his days and nights consumed by football so he doesn’t have to be tortured by the thoughts of what he’s lost.
"I don't think you can know how he feels unless you've been in his shoes," coach Mike Shanahan said. "Words can't express what he and his family are feeling."
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