Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Two years ago, this very night, we were scared, scared to death as thirty minutes turned into an hour and that hour turned into two more. I remember looking across the room at Adam and knowing in my gut that the exam was taking way longer then it should. As we awaited Dr. Abraham's analysis of Ava Jane's two and a half hour echocardiogram, we became extremely nervous. If you've followed her story, you may remember this detail, we thought we were there for breathing problems, but soon realized that her issues were much worse then the need for an Albuterol updraft treatment. The words Dr. Abraham spoke still echo in my ears.  He was a different ethnicity and had somewhat broken English but he clearly stated, "she have problem, she need surgery."

We were stunned…we had no words, just a rough, chicken scratch of a picture on the examining bed paper that showed what a good heart looks like and what our sweet baby girls heart looked like with its 70% narrowed Aortic Arch. Again, we were stunned.  Sometime around 8 or 9:00 pm I called my parents to let them know we were in fact not leaving the hospital and that she needed surgery AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!

Somewhere around midnight we got moved up to CVICU and tried to settle in for the long hall. I'll never forget having a conversation with my good friend who is a CVICU nurse at about 2:00 in the morning and feeling such peace as she talked me through what we could expect.

As I sat reading back through all my blog posts from that very trying time in our life, I had tears welling up in my eyes. Reliving the oh so scary moments of not knowing whether our sweet little girl would survive was so surreal. Her RSV made her critical, she needed surgery immediately but because her lungs were so compromised she couldn't go on a bypass machine. The team of doctors waited a full week then decided they couldn't put it off any longer.

This is a picture of her within minutes of us going back to see her after the surgery. It's still hard for me to look at this picture with all the IV pumps as they tried to get her blood pressure and heart rate stabilized and then there's the blood transfusion bag at her feet. She was under a warming light to bring her body temp back up from its cooled down state in surgery so she had to have her eyes covered up. She looked so small, so fragile, so volatile with alarms sounding and beeps going off constantly…those moments are seared in our memory and will never be forgotten.

You can read more of the miraculous details of Ava Jane's amazing story here, here, here, here and here. As we sit, in November of 2014, we are so thankful and so grateful for how God has fully healed her.  We just went for her six month checkup and everything looked great. There are still some things that they are watching with her mitral valve but Dr. Bornemeier was pleased with how things looked, so we were greatly encouraged!

Two years ago I was so thankful for the sweet baby girl that God had so graciously put into our family and now, two years later, I'm still so grateful for this precious little girl who is thriving and vibrant, sweet but a little bit sassy too. She has started talking a lot and it has been so fun to see that last bit of her development coming along. We praise God for the wonderful things He has done and the way that "(she) was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on (her), and not on (her) only but also on (us), to spare (us) sorrow upon sorrow" (Philippians 2:27).

We are so grateful for this little girl and for the story of how God miraculously held her heart open until the doctors could be His hands and help to physically repair her heart. We have loved each day and every moment that we have had with her. She brings us great joy and real pleasure. We love this baby girl!

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