Friday, February 1, 2013

Kickin' off CHD Awareness Month-My Hero-Olivia's story

What is a Hero? A hero can be many different things depending on who you ask. To some their parents may be their heros, to others it may be superman or a football star. Often times you see children pretend to be hero’s on the playground. But to me, my hero is my ten year old daughter, Olivia. And she doesn’t pretend to be a hero, she is one. She was born on December 19, 2002. This would be the day that we would learn that she was born with several rare Congenital Heart Defects. The day she was born was the day that she began to fight for her life. She has gone through more in her ten years than most do in a lifetime. She was born with Coarctation of the aorta, pulmonary stenosis, mitral valve stenosis, and an enlarged heart. She endured open heart surgery at 6 months of age to repair two of her defects where she remained in the hospital for 3 weeks and has had her second open heart surgery this past May to replace her pulmonary valve and remove a muscle bundle in the left ventricle-something the doctors have never seen before. Every day she takes numerous amounts of meds and has some limitations on what she can and cannot do. But she always smiles and tries her best not to cry and be brave when she gets a poke or test. She shows so much strength and bravery everyday of her life. She is the toughest little girl I know. In addition to her heart defects she also is going through testing for an enlarged liver and spleen and a possible bleeding disorder. You would never know by meeting her that she goes through all of this every day. She shows her courage, hope and strength through her laughter, tears and all of her energy despite her illness, for that she is my biggest Hero, my warrior. Each child is born and most believe with a predetermined path created by God. Not one journey is the same and I believe when you add the element of a congenital heart defect to a child– you have a Heart Hero. I am reminded that when I get down and feel like giving up of what she goes through and I know that I can get through it. No matter what comes her way she endures it and moves on to the next and never complains, always smiling, a true hero. My heart hero.

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