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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pray for Baby Matilda

Tonight I went to the monthly meeting of Hopeful Hearts at Loma Linda, a support group for heart parents. It was started by my friend Shannon and her friend Camille some time ago, and I was excited to attend my first meeting! There were some people there who had been coming for a while, and some who came fresh from upstairs because they saw a flyer. During introductions you could see the need for some parents to just talk... they had been thrown into this elite club that no one exactly signs up for, and not given an instruction manual. They wanted to share their story, the timeline of events, and cry. We had a short time of that, then a guest speaker give a presentation on an organization that helps arrange services for Special Needs kids (wow, they actually help you here in California?!?!).

As the meeting wrapped up, we spoke to a guy, probably a little younger than me, who came down from upstairs. His girlfriend stayed up to feed their baby girl, Matilda. Their baby was born on 6-10-10 and diagnosed shortly after birth with Tetralogy of Fallot, a once recently fatal heart condition that over the past few decades has turned into a legendary repair. He had so many questions, and was a broken man. His baby girl was sick, and he has no clue what the future holds, and he was scared about tomorrow which will be her repair surgery for her ToF. Not only is having your first baby scary enough, he was facing this as well. We spoke a little about what they have faced the past week and extended our support. He left, but came back with his precious girlfriend. These people were definitely people that needed to be around others who have survived their babies going through heart surgery. His girlfriend was a mess, so nervous for tomorrow, so nervous for the future, so where I was when Gabriella was unexpectedly diagnosed 13 months ago. After talking for a little while with them, a nurse who does the teaching on the floor and we met when Gabriella was admitted suggested we all pray together, so we did. Thats one thing I LOVE about Loma Linda, is no one is afraid of offending anyone by offering prayer.

We exchanged some more conversation and support and again I offered up my assistance since we are staying SO close to the hospital. Before we parted ways, she asked me if I would be there tomorrow with them as they waited for Matilda to get out of surgery. She said she felt a strength from me and could use having someone there that had been through something similar as they will be. It was an honor to be asked, and these kinds of moments remind me WHY God put me through what He did as a heart mom. I desire so deeply to give back and be involved- to use our experience for Gods work.

So tomorrow, that is where I will proudly be. Matilda will be going into surgery around 12 noon PST and her parents will be nervously waiting for that confirmation that she is done with surgery... something we did exactly one month prior on May 17th. PLEASE be in prayer, and that was the last thing her mom asked us all to do... just pray. Whether it be heart transplant or heart surgery, baby or child.... it is never easy to watch your precious one suffer and wonder if they will live to fulfill the dreams you had for them. I hope to be a comfort to them just as Shannon was to me last month as she sat with us before transplant- something I doubt she realizes impacted my experience profoundly.

Matilda's dad noticed a quote at the Ronald McDonald House that he said before he would have thought was hokey, before his life was thrown into perspective... Such simple words, but it is amazing how deep they can run when you are faced with the possibility of losing your child.

"Every day is a gift"
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