To My 'Heart Mom' and Best Advocate

To my heart mom,

There are no words to say how thankful, grateful and blessed I am for you. You have been my number one advocate, my cheerleader, my shoulder to lean on, and most importantly, my best friend through it all. They say heart mommas are special individuals chosen by God to take care of children with broken hearts. I believe this is a fact for sure. Being a heart mom is not a job for the weak. Heart moms sacrifice so much every day for their little miracles. They lose sleep, they don’t eat, they fear the unknown, they cry, and they fight for their babies with special hearts each day.

And that’s exactly what you did, 24/7 — with every doctor, every nurse, every battle, and every medical issue that came up.

the author's mother holding her as a baby

Thank you for memorizing all my complex heart diagnoses, medications, and medication schedules. Nobody knew how to take care of me best, except you. You would sacrifice your sleep to research your baby’s heart condition. You took the time to write it all down and understand it fully.

Thank you for giving me every medication I needed to stay alive. I couldn’t imagine how difficult it was having to administer several heavy and dangerous cardiac drugs to an infant, toddler, and child. You would drive to several different pharmacies just to get the compound cardiac drugs in the right dosage for a small child. You would have to look past the ” black box ” warning labels on the drugs and hope your child would be OK taking these drugs for the first time ever. You would have to wake up at different hours in the night to administer medications that had different dosage schedules.

Thank you for holding my hand through cardiac caths, surgeries, scans, tests, procedures and more. You helped me get through each one of them, and I could have never done it without you.

Thank you for sweating through endless echocardiograms since I was a toddler. I’ll never forget the stories where you told me you would have to hold me down as a screamed the entire time.

Thank you for hiding the fear in your face as we were told I needed another unexpected heart surgery. You never wanted me to see that you were worried, too.

Thank you for standing by my side and being my shoulder to lean on at every single doctor’s appointment. You’ve wiped every tear and gave enough warm hugs to make all my worries melt away. You kissed my head every time pain and fear would strike. Each day, you made it all OK.

Thank you for watching me as I slept, making sure I made it through the night. You lost your own sleep to make sure your baby survived. You slept on the floor of my room instead of your bed.

Thank you for entrusting, handing over, and letting pediatric cardiology surgeons fix your baby’s heart multiple times throughout her little life. As a mom, it must have been so hard to hand your baby over to a surgeon multiple times. This takes unbelievable strength.

Thank you for never giving up on me.

But most importantly, thank you for shaping me into the young women I am today. Your unbelievable strength, sacrifice, dedication, and endless love has shaped me into one of the strongest people. You, my mom, my best friend, have truly been my light in so much darkness. I’ve watched you fight for me my entire life. Your strength has taught me how to be strong. I’m so  grateful to have had such a beautiful heart mom like you. Without you, I would not be here today. The day God put me on this Earth, he blessed me with a mother like you — and for that I will be forever grateful.

Heart moms are special people. Your special purpose was to care for and nurture me so I could survive. I love you forever and ever, my brave, strong, beautiful heart mom.

I owe my entire life to you.

Image Credits: Eileen McNulty

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