“Your Son Is One of The Lucky Ones”

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I have had a busy few weeks back at work for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. I have been helping schools run Jump Rope for Heart for a few years now and many schools run their event in the spring. I really enjoy going to the schools to do their kick-off presentation and sharing about William’s story and the Heart and Stroke Foundation. The schools have been very supportive and understanding of my time off for William’s open heart surgery and recovery. I have been sharing more information and pictures of William at my presentations the last few weeks and I think it really has helped the kids to connect with how important what the Heart and Stroke Foundation does is.

I presented at a school in Saskatoon this past week and just as I finished talking about how well William is doing when I had a student say, ” Your son is one of the lucky ones.” This caught me by surprise but when he continued to talk to me and share how a relative of his died at the age of 6 months old because she was born with a heart that was too small I understood where that had come from. He told me that she didn’t even get to her first birthday. It breaks my heart to hear this as I could not imagine losing a child at that age. Opening up and sharing about William’s heart condition and surgery has really caused a ripple effect of more people sharing and connecting with me. I know how important it was for me to be able to connect with people that had been through this before. This student was right; William is one of the lucky ones. I feel so blessed to have been able to talk to this student as well as many others about their connection over the last few weeks.

Congenital heart defects are one of the most common birth defects. Nearly one in every hundred  children is born with a congenital heart defect. Approximately twenty five percent of children born with a congenital heart defect will need heart surgery or medical intervention to survive. I want to encourage anyone that would like to share their story to comment or message me. Until we knew of William’s condition we didn’t realize how many children were affected. Through this experience I am am hoping to raise awareness, help others and find ways to support families going through this.

For more information on congenital heart disease please click the link below:http://www.heartandstroke.com/site/c.ikIQLcMWJtE/b.3484063/k.E84C/Heart_disease__Congenital_heart_disease.htm

The Little Hearts Family Group was a great support to our family and you can find them on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

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What a wonderful weekend!

 

This weekend was such a great a weekend! Saturday we gave William his mini sticks for hockey back for him to play with. He was very excited and he played hockey while Carly was the announcer. We then went for a walk to the creek and threw rocks, played with our puppy Buttons and of course more mini sticks. That afternoon we had good friends arrive to stay for one night. William loved playing more mini sticks with Andrew and hanging out. After the great news earlier in the week Regan and I both felt we could relax and just enjoy William being a happy, healthy three year old. William was definitely ready for bed by 7:30pm.

On Sunday after our company left both kids had a nap. We wanted to ensure they were rested prior to swimming in the afternoon. We woke William at 3:15pm to tell him that we were going swimming. He was excited but looked a little confused. Finally on the drive in he said, “Uh Oh!” We said, “What?” William replied, “This is how my heart surgery started when I went swimming.” We then realized that he remembered swimming the day prior to his surgery. That marked the beginning of heart surgery in his mind. It really amazed Regan and I that he made that connection but also made us realize that this swim would represent the end of this part of his journey with his heart condition and for us as a family. This would close a chapter and open another one in his life, one full of greater health and energy.

The look on William’s face when he realized he could actually go in the water was something I will never forget. He swam for a good hour and half and had so much fun. We then had a wonderful supper and visit with great friends. These are the moments that create the memories for our family that will last a lifetime. Everyday we are grateful that his surgery went so well, recovery went great and that we have the support we have in our lives. William is a strong and heart healthy three year old.