Two years ago today, January 26th, Little Miss had open heart surgery to repair her heart. The son of a family friend said, "she needed to have her heart fixed so all her love doesn't fall out." He was talking about his own sister at the time, but I think it's a pretty perfect statement for the occasion.
When she was born and we found out that she had designer genes, the doctors were very quick to listen to her heart because heart defects occur in about 50% of individuals with Down Syndrome. They discovered that she had a congenital heart defect, or CHD. Her heart defect was called a Ventricular Septal Defect or VSD. A VSD is the most common CHD which means the surgery to repair her little heart is one that occurs most often. In fact, VSDs, if they are small enough, will routinely close on their own, unfortunately hers was too large and needed to be repaired surgically with a patch at just 4 months old.
But just look at how far she's come...
The day of surgery.
1 year later, signing telephone.
2 years later:
Navigating crazy obstacles at Monkey Joe's
and getting ready for football season with her Daddy.
A letter from mama...
Words can't express the joy I have in my heart today that we get to celebrate your 2nd Happy Heart Day. I had such a hard time letting you go into that operating room, but I had to have faith and simply trust that our prayers would be answered. And look at you now, my sweet girl, you are a fighter inside and out. God gave you the strength to fight and to survive and you are doing it baby girl. Each day you are with us is a gentle reminder that we have so much to be thankful for, your heart is honest and pure and will surely take you far in this world. I'm so very blessed to have you as my daughter and to have this day to celebrate you. I look forward to celebrating many more happy heart days with you my little peanut. Happy, happy heart day to you!
DID YOU KNOW?
Nearly twice as many children die from Congenital Heart Defects in the United States each year as from all forms of childhood cancers combined. Source: It's My Heart