By: Kelly Rae Street Moles
Please join us in support of Jump Rope For Heart and Hoops For Heart; donate to the American Heart Association to help fund research into the causes, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease. I have selfish reasons to ask people to participate in Jump Rope For Heart. When I think of what the money raised can do for research, I think of my 1 year old daughter's future.
Ava was born on November 10, 2008, seemingly healthy at 9lbs 4 oz. It wasn't until she was two days old that we were made aware that she had a heart condition known as Double Outlet Right Ventricle with Pulmonary Stenosis. You can't imagine hearing that your beautiful little baby girl has a life threatening heart defect, your world turns upside down. At a time when we were supposed to be celebrating the arrival of the newest addition to our family, our celebration was changed into fear for what the future holds for our baby.
The four months leading up to Ava's surgery were filled with sleepless nights, and days of worrying about what was about to happen to our baby. We held her in our arms and constantly watched close to make sure she was breathing right. We did all we could to make sure she didn't cry for more than a few seconds - fearing that her heart couldn't take the stress. We prayed that with God's hands guiding the surgeons, the surgery would be a success and our little one would make it through.
Ava had to have open heart surgery at 4 months of age. The hardest part of the whole day was when they came and took Ava out of my arms; then I could hear her crying as they carried her down the hall. As a parent you don't want to see your children in pain. After her operation I wanted nothing more than to comfort her; after five days I was allowed to hold her for the first time. All I could think of was that I was hurting her.
We were told that this won't be her last surgery. Ava will need another operation when she is about 20 years old. This is why I am selfish; I want advances in the technology, and funds for research so that Ava's next surgery can be her last. We want her to grow up and have the future that we saw for her when she was only two days old. She has a smile that will light up a room, and melt your heart. When you look at that sweet face you can't believe what she has come through in her short life.