When you see Maggie, you see a thriving, spirited, active 10 year old girl. As her parents, we are overjoyed that she is seen as such. That hasn't always been the case, and her future has not always been as certain.
Maggie was born at 39 weeks, following an uncomplicated, healhy pregnancy. Her heart defect went undetected in utero, and for the first 6 weeks of her life.
Maggie had a 10 millimeter hole (sounds tiny, but that’s actually huge) in the musculature of her heart that was first detected when we took her to the pediatrician for an ear infection. At the time, we were so frustrated that she was heading down the same path of perpetual ear infections as her brother, who had recently had tubes put in his own toddler-sized ears. Little did we know that that particular ear infection was meant to save her from months, if not years, of questioning why she wasn't developing as a baby her age was supposed to do. The doctors explained that the ear infection got her blood pumping hard enough that they could actually hear the defect through the stethoscope. Ordinarily, because of the size of the hole, it would have been inaudible. Because of that ear infection, we were able to seek treatment, and act quickly. It didn’t prevent her from ultimately obtaining that dreaded “failure to thrive” diagnosis at around 10 weeks of age. Those must be the hardest combination of words that a parent can possibly hear. As her mother, for me, those words made me feel so inadequate. Failure to nourish. Failure to know something was wrong sooner. Failure to mother.
It was those three words that forced the collective hands of her cardiologists to push up the date of what we knew was inevitable surgery. Maggie underwent open heart surgery on May 13, 2009. She was 14 weeks old. She was fitted with an Amplantzar device to fill the hole in her heart, and her heart muscle has grown around the device, just has the doctors had planned. We've been told that her outcome was the unlikely, yet best-case scenario.
Maggie continues to receive cardiological care at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, as a precaution. She has an irregular heart beat caused by premature ventricular contractions, but she is otherwise completely healthy.
We know how lucky we are-how lucky our Mags is. Having lived through our experience, we are also humbled to know that others haven't had the best-case scenrio, or anything even close to it.
We'd like to celebrate our 10 year milestone, in the best way we know how, by supporting the mission of PCHA-OH.
We'll be participating in the 2019 Conquering CHD walk on September 21 at Eden Park and welcome you to join us.
Maggie IS the thriving, spirited, active 10 year old girl that you see, and we couldn't possibly be more grateful for that. Thank you for your support.
The Pediatric Congenital Heart Association’s mission is to “Conquer Congenital Heart Disease.” We are accomplishing this through collaboration with patients, parents, providers, and partner organizations to improve quality and outcomes through CHD education, support, research and awareness.
The PCHA-OH chapter is a program of PCHA, aimed at improving the lives of those with congenital heart disease and their families through direct support and education – meeting families where they are. Your donation helps support our CHD kit program which provides important educational resources to families when they need them most. Funds raised from the 2019 Conquering CHD Walk will provide inpatient dinners and holiday parties, social outings, advocacy conferences, and medical research grants to local doctors and researchers.
Thank you for your support!