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Emma, 2003

Emma, born 2003

When we found out that we were pregnant with our second child, my husband and I were ecstatic. But, on January 23, 2003 during my 18 week ultrasound, life as we knew it changed. We were told that our child had a heart defect - Transposition of the Great Arteries. Devastating, yes! But as a mother, I knew my child needed me now more than ever. We hoped for the best but tried to prepare ourselves for the worst.


On June 19, 2003 at 6:32 p.m., our beautiful Emma arrived via emergency c-section. Within a few minutes, she turned blue. She was intubated and rushed to Boston Children's Hospital where she immediately underwent a catheterization to oxygenate her blood. Unfortunately, it was unsuccessful and Emma was placed on ECMO. Our heart sank deeper. Emma's changes of surviving an arterial switch were less than 50%. But without surgery, she would die.


On June 23rd at 7:00 a.m., we placed Emma in the care of Dr. Richard Jonas, not knowing the outcome. I remember telling my husband, "Don't lose faith, it's all we have left". At 12:30 p.m., our prayers were answered. Not only was the surgery a success, but Emma returned from the OR with the need of ECMO.


Over the next few weeks, Emma had some setbacks (i.e. staff infection, weight loss, feeding tube and additional chest tube to help rid her right lung of fluid). However, being a fighter from the word "go", she got stronger by the day. It's as if she was aware that she had a new lease on life and she wasn't going to waste anymore time. On July 17, 2003 we brought our little miracle home to join her big sister.


Today, thanks to God, and the amazing doctors and nurses of Boston Children's Hospital, Emma is a picture of health. She wears her "zipper" scar as a badge of courage and will tell anyone willing to listen, "this is where Dr. Jonas fixed my boo boo heart".


Story by Emma's mom, Amy - Massachusetts

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