Erica, mom to Melina, heart patient
"There were days we couldn’t imagine any other life than in the hospital."
"These photos were taken when Melina was just 9 months old and recovering from heart surgery. Today, about a year later, she LOVES playing and listening to music. She loves being held and dancing around. She's saying a few words, but her favorite words are 'dad' and 'brother'. She says 'mom' only when she's upset."
"My advice to other parents? Be patient and never lose faith. Even when things seem like they won't get better, stay positive and know that they will. Never (if you can help it) bring negativity to your child because they pick up on it. I know it is easier said than done, but we have to be there for our kids and encourage them to fight. Our princess spent months intubated and we were on a roller-coaster of good days and bad, but when we felt like breaking down, we left and took a walk. Never forget to take breaks for a little while; the nurses and doctors will take great care of our babies while you take a much-needed breather. Always feel comfortable talking to the other parents around the unit because they know what you are going through and they sort of become like family. Plus it's nice to have people who know what you are feeling and can be a shoulder to lean on when you need it the most."
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