Kathleen, mother of Hana, heart patient
"When our daughter was 4 months old she developed a minor cough. It was so minor I almost didn't mention it to her pediatrician, and as predicted, he didn't think there was anything to worry about. But five or six weeks went by and her cough slowly started to sound wetter. Then one day she suddenly threw up. Then in the middle of nursing, she would suddenly stop. And I thought, babies cough sometimes and throw up sometimes and get distracted while nursing, right?"
"My daughter seemed to decline rapidly. Her heart was in severe failure. They worked on her for hours, well into the night. Things looked bad and then worse and then the next morning they sat us down and told us our daughter would need a heart transplant. We were in shock—and reeling that a persistent cough had somehow led to her needing a heart transplant. After one day, our daughter was life-flighted here to Packard Children's."
"The hardest thing is getting to know so many families with so many challenging, sad, or scary stories. It wreaks havoc on my heart. Then, when I take Hana's blood pressure, it is high, and I start to worry and my fear and mind go crazy about what might happen because I've heard it, seen it, lived it. Then, I remind myself of the truth: she is sitting on the bed and is cute and happy and I love her. That's all I know right now, so go with that and enjoy it."
"Jenny, one of Hana's nurses at the hospital, won the Daisy Award for her care of Hana! She made wraps for Hana's Berlin Heart dressing which we used instead of the ace wrap. It was better for Hana's skin, did a better job keeping things in place, was more convenient, and more comfortable. Jenny shopped for fabric, made a bunch of prototypes, and sewed a bunch of wraps for Hana in her free time. I was incredibly touched by her dedication and generosity. I think it was very rewarding for Jenny as well."
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