Gabriel, born 2004
Our son, Gabriel, is a blessing in so many ways. My pregnancy was unplanned, but so very welcomed by my daughter, husband and me. After an uneventful pregnancy, Gabriel was born on October 25th. We went home two days later and it was then that things began to get a little scary. Gabriel had stopped feeding and was sleeping way too much. On October 28th, we took Gabriel to his pediatrician. The doctor heard a heart murmur and recommended for him to be checked by a Pediatric Cardiologist. It was during this visit that we heard that our son had a major heart defect, HLHS. Our worlds collapsed. But we were informed about the three step palliative procedures and were reassured that he would be given the best care in the hands of Dr. Burke at Miami Children's Hospital.
Gabriel's Norwood was frightening. We almost lost him due to hemorrhaging after the surgery and then he was left with diminished functions and a blood clot in the right side of his atrium. Nevertheless, he was home three weeks later. The blood clot was treated with the blood thinner (Lovenox) and disappeared in two weeks. He soon began to gain weight and grow, but had reflux due to a milk protein allergy. However he never needed an NG tube. He underwent a successful angioplasty in January in his aorta due to some coarctation. In May of 2005 he underwent a Bi-directional Glenn and was home 5 days later with no complication. On September 11, 2008, Gabriel underwent the Fontan procedure. His main complication was chylus effusions, but he was able to heal with a zero to low-fat diet.
Our son is a loving, happy, health, smart, active and a VERY energetic 5 year-old who is ready to start Kindergarten in the fall. He knows he has a "boo-boo" in his chest and that the doctors fixed it through "the line"(scar). He is the strongest and bravest man I've ever known. He is my strength and his journey has changed our lives and our priorities in so many ways. We enjoy every second that we can share together as a family. We realize that we are living a blessing and have participated in a miracle. God is great! Have faith!!
Story by Gabriel's mom, Cathy - Florida