Adelaide Zoe was born on Thursday, September 8, 2011, to my good friends Dawn and Brian. An adorable and sweet little girl for two wonderfully deserving people.
That following Monday, however, I got a phone call from Dawn, who was crying so hard she could barely speak. Through a ridiculously fortunate series of events, the doctors had just discovered that Adelaide had a serious heart defect - hypoplastic left heart syndrome, to be exact. This meant that she was born with a severely underdeveloped left ventricle, and would need a series of three surgeries to "fix" it. And by "fix," I mean rewire the heart so that the right ventricle would take over all heart function. (You can read about the series of procedures here, here, and here.) The first of the surgeries took place a little over a week after the diagnosis.
Over the last month, Adelaide has remained at the hospital, getting stronger and recovering from her surgery. But in the last couple weeks, she experienced some setbacks, and at various points was put back on her breathing tube.
This past Saturday, after a week of Adelaide not improving, Dawn texted me to tell me that her doctors were recommending that they put her on the transplant list. I can't begin to imagine how it feels to put your six-week old daughter on a heart transplant list...
On Tuesday, there was a prayer service for Adelaide held at Dawn's church. In a very Greek Orthodox fashion, we gathered together and lifted up prayers. The service involved much chanting by a variety of priests, and incense, and staying on our feet for nearly thirty pages of liturgy and prayers. I think we all poured our hearts into that liturgy, praying as hard as ever that Adelaide would improve.
Last night, Wednesday, I was in the middle of cooking late dinner when I received this text from Dawn:
8:00pm - Just got a call that they have a donor for Adelaide...they still have to check the heart in person but as long as it looks good she will go into surgery around midnight. Will keep you posted...please keep her in your thoughts/prayers!And then, as I was headed to bed:
12:03am - So here we are...got confirmation of a donor heart for Adelaide and she just went into surgery. Please keep her in your thoughts/prayers!! Will provide updates as we get them.I was full of adrenaline and worry, so I didn't sleep very well. I woke up about 3:30am, sleepily checked my phone for any updates (there were none), and rolled around in bed for a long while before falling back asleep for a few hours.
5:59am - New heart is in and she is off bypass which means it is beating on its own. Surgery isn't over yet but they are finishing up now.And THEN:
6:27am - Just talked to the surgeon - surgery is complete and she's all closed up! He said it is a great heart and things look good. Next few days are still critical, but we are optimistic! Thanks for your love and support. :)Those must have been the fastest 12 hours that have ever taken place ever, anywhere on earth, at any time. In fact, if you had gone to bed at a reasonable hour and not checked Facebook all night, you might have missed knowing about the whole transplant until it was over!
I think about this little family and how many miracles they have seen during Adelaide's first short few weeks of life. It was a post c-section pain in Dawn's leg (which turned out to be nothing) that brought Adelaide to the hospital nursery, where they realized that she had a problem. Otherwise they might not have learned of the heart defect until it was too late. Adelaide went through the Norwood Procedure like a champ, with no real complications. And now, just days after being put on the donor list, just ONE DAY after a prayer service held in her honor, at midnight during the first few minutes of Dawn and Brian's fourth anniversary, Adelaide was given a new chance at life.
There are still many prayers to be said, and many long days ahead. There are still risks and concerns, and perhaps unknown challenges yet to be faced.
But this little girl is certainly blessed.
As I said at the beginning: If there were any doubt that God still works miracles, the last 12 hours are proof that he does...