Olivia, born 2005
After 24 hours of an intense labor and an unplanned c-section, you can imagine our excitement as the doctor told us in the delivery room that we had a healthy little girl. Olivia Nicole came into this world on August 19, 2005 tipping the scales at 7lbs. 8oz. The following morning we were waiting for the nurses to bring in our Olivia when a doctor came in and told us that Olivia was showing signs of respiratory distress and that they were calling a pediatric cardiologist to come in and run a few tests. The next thing we knew a doctor was in our room telling us about a condition called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.
The days followed proved to be very difficult for us. Olivia had been whisked away from us and taken to a nearby hospital that just so happened to specialize in heart defects. I was trying to quickly recover from my surgery so I could go and be with her. We were all just trying to prepare ourselves for the worst but pray for a miracle.
Olivia had her first surgery on August 23, 2005. She did very well and came home with us three and a half weeks later on September 12th. Olivia came home without monitors, without feeding tubes and without supplemental oxygen. Olivia had the second surgery on February 7, 2006.
Today, Olivia is 9 months old and weighs 21 pounds. She is 80% on the weight chart and 50% on the height chart. She is right on target developmentally and all of the doctors are amazed by her and repeatedly tell us that she shows absolutely no signs of her heart condition.
Olivia has added so much to our family and has taught us exactly how precious life is. Not a day goes by that we don't think about her heart defect. However, as we think about it we are reminded of all of the wonderful people that have come into our lives because of it. We have faith in the doctors to perform the surgeries that Olivia needs to stay strong, but most of all we have faith in Olivia that she will fight to continue to live a life that I know she loves every moment of.
Story by Olivia's mom, Christina - New Jersey