Teen brothers in Kalamazoo battling rare disease given new healing pond for free

Posted at 8:55 PM, Sep 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-11 20:55:39-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The Kosmerick family has been in awe of their new pond, said Jamie. Her two boys, Ethan and Nolan, woke up at four o’clock Wednesday morning and looked out their window just to make sure it was still in their backyard.

“Words can’t describe how blessed and thankful we are,” said Jamie about their pond that's surrounded by boulder rocks and has a waterfall and underwater lights that change colors.

Ethan, 15, and Nolan,13, already have plans for what they want to do with it, they said. Ethan wants it to be place of peace and relaxation where neighbors, friends and family can read a book or sleep. 

Nolan wants to make it a home for some new pets.

“I love it so much. I can’t wait to get fish in there and train them to eat out of my hand and just to swim with them,” Nolan said. “It’s going to be amazing.”

For Jamie, she hopes it bring healing to their family.

“It is a healing pond,” Jamie said. “They go through multiple surgeries every year. They have central lines. They’re kept alive through I-V nutrition 12 hours a day.”  

Jamie said her boys were born with auto-immune diseases that keeps them indoors most days. They even go to school online through Michigan Connections Academy. 

When Chris Ostrander, with Living Water Landscape Service, met the boys while working on their neighbor’s pond and learned about their journey, and Nolan’s love of ponds, he decided to build them one in their backyard.

“When you hear their story and what they’re going through and what this mother has had to go through, this is amazing,” he said. “We move dirt and rocks right. And to have what we do be able to change somebody’s life, this is pretty incredible.”

For a few days this week, 25 certified aquascape contractors, representing five different companies, flew in from all over — Canada, Long Island (NY), Indiana, Chicago — and worked a total of 400 man hours putting in the Kosmerick’s pond. 

The boys were impressed. 

“It’s really fantastic and how fast they got this done was amazing,” Ethan said. “They got the entire thing filled with water in a day.”

Ostrander said ponds like the Kosmericks cost around $25,000. However Nolan and Ethan got it for free. Aquascape Inc. donated all the supplies and materials at no cost.

“We don’t know what the future holds and we take it day by day,” Jamie said. “We’re blessed for each day that we have. And now we have this to look forward to everyday.”