Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Heart Hugs and Prayers for Miss Aly Jean

Meet Aly Jean.
She is one of Bodie's heart buddies, and her awesome mama Jenny is one of my Sisters by Heart. (Jenny is one of the women I blogged about who came out for Travis's Celebration of Life a couple of weeks ago.) Miss Aly is having her FONTAN tomorrow, Wednesday (or today, for my East Coast readers!). This is the last in the planned surgeries that all hypoplast parents are told about from the moment of diagnosis. It marks the culmination of a long and uncertain path...and the beginning of another. Although some hypoplasts end up needing additional procedures and surgeries after the Fontan, for many, the Fontan is their final surgery.

I am thrilled and excited for Jenny to be at this point - to be hours away from saying Aly is "post-Fontan." To be hours away from beginning Aly's new journey, a future with no "planned" surgeries anywhere on the horizon. I am also terrified for her - to be hours away from handing her sweet 21 month old baby girl to a surgeon, to have her chest cut open and be placed on bypass again, to have her heart mended again, to not know how long her recovery will take or what bumps in the road she may hit. Dr. Bove, Aly's surgeon, is incredible (he's at Mott's Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan - one of the top hypoplast centers in the country), so we know she's in good hands. And by all accounts, she is an excellent candidate for the Fontan. She should do very well. But still. This is open heart surgery and as all heart parents know, anything goes. So please join me tonight (and tomorrow - and all week, for that matter) in praying for Aly Jean, Dr. Bove and his medical team and Jenny and her husband Jeremy. Pray for a successful Fontan, with NO bumps in the road and that Miss Aly Jean is home safe and sound before we know it. We love you Aly Jean (and Jenny and Jeremy!).

Oh, and if you'd like to follow Aly's progress (and leave some prayers and well wishes), you can do so here.



  1. Great post! Praying heard for sweet Aly, she is going to "ROCK" the fontan!

  2. I stumbled upon your blog tonight.Not exactly sure which click got me here but I am sure you must know how that goes.Anyway,first and foremost,your little Bodie is such a handsome little guy and such an incredible miracle,which,I must say, is an awesome combination.

    We have a little miracle girl of our own,born with a more complicated than most,AV Canal Complete and her doctor was Vaughn Starnes as well.I am sure,not expecting you to remember of course, while walking/pacing the hall in front of the CTICU,you saw her picture hanging there,thanking the amazing doctors and nurses and RT's whose capable and loving hands are soley responsible for us having our little love here today.

    Zoey's heart defect is only a small part of her story,as she truly has kept us on our toes since her birth 4 years ago, as she entered this world with Down syndrome,a stroke inutero,throw ina seizure disorder for good measure AND has successfully finished treatment for leukemia there on the 4th floor at CHLA.Whew,I know?

    But the day she had her surgery is a day we refer to as her 2nd birthday.She was truly given new life that day.For 6 months she laid flat on her back.She never cried.Not once.For 6 months.I remember when she was extubated,Dr.Epstein asked if that was her normal cry,to which I could only say,I have no idea.She never smiled.Ever.For 6 months.Until we found our way to the 6th floor on day 7 and then that smile appeared.Just like magic.We left that hospital one week later believing it was nothing short of a miracle, God's grace and Dr.Starnes gifted hands, that we were given our child back.

    Well,really just wanted to introduce myself,not take up your entire comment section but I wanted to tell you what a beautiful, courageous boy you have.But something tells me,you already know this.

    Take care and I will check back on your wonder boy and all his remarkable,inspiring progress..