When life took a turn.
There have been so many twists and turns in life.
So many hurts & so many blessings.
I think the biggest time my life took a turn was when I had my heart surgery.
I’ve shared with you the journey of my heart and the fears I’ve had for A’s. That’s when my life really could have turned either way. A doctor with no successes, leading to a doctor that had one success, one loss – being the very best option, because my condition was so rare. My life was at a literal fork, it could have gone either way but as we all know, we were blessed beyond belief with a successful surgery. I cannot fathom the overwhelming fear my mom went through handing me over to that doctor knowing the odds. I would be lying to you if every time the doctor listens to A’s heart if I don’t have a quiet fear they will hear something wrong, that will always be a fear whispering into me I think it’s natural. Every time I hear nothing wrong, I get this sigh of relief and count every blessing. We really are blessed.
So, since I’ve talked about that twist and turn in many posts, I’m taking the post to tell you about a sweet 11 month old little girl in our community, Avelynn. You see, sweet Avelynn is about to go through her third heart surgery, and has more to come. We were introduced to Avelynn and her family through a co-worker of Ryan’s that is very close with the family. The moved here to Colorado from Las Vegas last year to get her the care that she needed for her heart. We had the opportunity to meet her this last Saturday afternoon at a neighborhood garage sale in effort to raise money for Avelynn. We made a nice donation, got a couple of shirts and bracelets and continued with our day after spending a bit of time there with Avelynn.
Yesterday, Ryan was going to swap out his shirt for a smaller size when he learned that after the sale, while taking loads back to their homes looters came by and stole some items including a large box of shirts, bracelets and stickers. Sadly, that loss of cost has to come from somewhere which means the sale that they hoped to put 100% of the proceeds towards medical costs now partially has to go towards covering the cost of the shirts stolen. Ryan told me last night and my heart broke that someone would do that. So, here I am sharing her story with you (there is a link at the bottom to donate if you feel moved to do so).
“Avelynn’s fight began shortly after she was conceived in January 2012. On April 20, 2012 her mommy’s body began trying to “terminate” her; her mommy was put on total bed rest at home, only allowed out of bed to use the bathroom. About a month later, on May 23 her mommy and daddy learned there was something going on with her heart and spent many days over the next few weeks going to specialists and getting opinions. They were told she would have a tough road ahead and asked, many times, if they would consider terminating the pregnancy. The decision had to be made within one week of finding out about her heart defects. Her parents spent the next few weeks researching hospitals in the U.S. and decided to move her to Colorado from Las Vegas, Nevada for the Heart Institute at The Children’s Hospital in Aurora. The family moved to Colorado on July 9 and found a rental house near the hospital. Once Sarah (Avelynn’s Mommy) contacted the hospital they helped arrange many prenatal tests and imaging. Sarah had a prenatal MRI, in which the possibility of her Hirschprung’s was discovered and also her gender! Avelynn was watched regularly on echocardiogram to keep a close eye on her heart’s development and function. Gavin (Avelynn’s Daddy) and Sarah met with many doctors that would be involved in her care; from birth, to the NICU, to surgery and the CICU. The care team made sure to answer any questions they had and make sure they were as prepared as possible for Avelynn’s arrival. After a full day of contractions and an overnight stay in the hospital, Avelynn would arrive Friday, October 5. After Mommy was able to hug and kiss her, Avelynn was taken to the ICU where her Daddy kept her company until she was taken to The Children’s Hospital where she would spend the next month. October 10 was their first attempt at a corrective heart catheter procedure, which was decided against after an X-Ray showed such a procedure could close off blood flow to her left lung. The next day she would undergo open-heart surgery for a PA plasty and a BT shunt. One week later she would have her first tummy surgery in which they would take multiple biopsies of her colon looking for active cells and perform a leveling ostomy at the first point active cells were found. No active cells were found in her colon so her ostomy is an ileostomy, or from the small intestine, instead of a colostomy from the colon. She recovered very well from both surgeries and then had to learn how to eat before she would be released to go home. Upon arriving home her parents would monitor her weight, oxygen levels and heart rate regularly to watch for signs of her outgrowing her shunt and stress. She will need to have 3 more surgeries over the next year and will have to have regular check ups with her cardiology team, surgery team and primary care doctor. Avelynn, also, will have weekly visits from her physical therapist and occupational therapist for her developmental delays and to get her as strong as possible prior to her next surgery. She continues to do well at home and loves her parents, brothers and pets!” – taken from Caringbridge.org.
Now, with this all being said, if you feel like you can make a donation of any kind to help out this sweet Avelynn and her family – you may do so here.