Little Hearts

Cora - born 2005

UPDATE:  February 2016
I November 2015, Cora achieved her 5k goal with her Dads thanks to inspiration from friends and coaches who fueled her belief that she could.  Cora, life her heart peers, demonstrates resilience, empathy, and optimism.  These are a direct result of compassion and understanding fro her friends and all whose kindness bolster her belief in herself and her ability to overcome.  The day before Thanksgiving that month, it was confirmed that she was to be listed for a heart transplant.  We are grateful to friends, family, and our community, current and past, who are rallying and reinforcing our faith an energy as we prepare for Cora's next medical step with strength and courage.

UPDATE:  February 2015
Hi everyone, my name is Cora. I was born with Hypoplastic Heart Syndrome. Now I am 9 years old and I am doing fine. I love to run, play piano and even horseback ride! I eat a lot of healthy food every day and take medicine to keep my heart healthy. In October, I had a heart catheterization and the next month I ran a 2 miles art my running club's 5K. I learned as I grew that even tiny babies with heart defects can grow up to do great things.

At our 20 week ultrasound we were told we were having a girl.  Ten minutes later, we were told she was missing part of her heart.  We also heard that we had a "long road ahead" and couldn't imagine what that entailed.  When Cora was born, we thought we would be devastated when she was taken away for surgical preparation but were actually at peace and happy to know Cora was in good hands.

Cora came home with a feeding tube and we didn't realize just how big the feeding issue would be for her.  We worked with her and she was doing well until she stopped after three months.  A month after being home, Cora returned to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia due to a pericardial effusion.  A month later, she was brought to the local hospital for borderline dehydration.  Just when we thought we were settling back the following month, Cora prematurely returned to CHOP for her second operation at four months of age.

It was after the Bidirectional Glenn that we saw even more wonderful progress in Cora.  She was a happy, content baby after the Norwood, but she became even more cheerful and energetic.  One of the many things we admire about her is her ability to smile, sing, and play in any situation.  Throughout the hospital stays and various complications, she has been an amazing little trooper.

Upon our last return home, Cora decided she didn't need her feeding tube any more.  This was a miracle considering she had given up eating for weeks.  Her eating continues to improve, as is her weight.  Cora had two factors against her going into her first surgery:  her small size and small aorta.  Now at six months old she is thriving.

We are grateful to the staff at the Brunswick Hills OB/GYN office, St. Peter's University Hospital, and CHOP for giving us hope and the ability to tackle each issue as it arose.  We have been overwhelmed by the selflessness of others and blessed with the invaluable support and prayers from family and friends.  Other families with heart children and those involved with Little Hearts have given us immeasurable optimism and valued friendship.  Cora's grandmothers helped us settle into parenthood and taught us to enjoy Cora for who really is - a happy, normal baby.  We are honored to be Cora's parents, and hope we can make her as happy as she makes us.

Story by Cora's Mom and Dad, Valerie and Mark - Connecticut

Brayden, born 2010
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Little Hearts, Inc.

P.O. Box 171, Cromwell, CT 06416
Phone/Fax (860) 635.0006  Toll Free 866.435.Hope
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