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Emilyn, born 2003

When we learned we were going to have another baby, we were so surprised. After our first child, Elizabeth, was born with a VSD, we decided that one child was enough. God had other plans as Emilyn was born April 21, 2003. We were thrilled to have another beautiful daughter.


The day after she was born, they told us that she had a heart murmur but not to worry. She looked perfect so I put this out of my mind and enjoyed my precious gift. When she was two days old, the doctors decided to call in a pediatric cardiologist to look at her. We will never forget the moment when this stranger came into the hospital room and told us that our sweet, perfect looking baby had Tetralogy of Fallot and that she would require open heart surgery.


Thankfully, she didn't need surgery right away and we were able to take her home so she could gain weight before her repair. We took Emilyn home and nervously waited and watched her grow. Our world went spiraling out of control. It was impossible to just sit back and enjoy this precious child as the fear of losing her was overwhelming. We saw our pediatrician and cardiologist often. They carefully monitored her weight, blood pressure, oxygen level and heart function. When she was three and a half months old, we were told it was time. We knew this day would come yet we were panicked. We were terrified of the outcome. On August 7, 2003, Emilyn had her open heart surgery at UAB Hospital. We saw God do a miracle through her surgeons hands. It is amazing what the medical world can do our "heart children".


We are so thankful for this surprise baby. She is so happy, full of life and is a live wire! If it weren't for the "zipper" scar down her chest, you would never know what her little body has been through. People are amazed when they learn about her heart defect. Her heart journey has been incredibly difficult at times and at others, a tremendous blessing. She will need to have her pulmonary valve replaced at some point but for now, every moment is a special gift!


Story by Emilyn's mother, Stephanie - Alabama

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