The majority of the blogs in this series will not be written by me. This is not my story. But it is one that needs to be told.
Our daughter and son in law have good friends named Ashley, who I will refer to as Ashley B, and Coleman. They’re all in the same age group, late twenties. Both Ashleys were pregnant at the same time. Both girls would come to our house and float in the pool during the heat of early spring and summer. They jokingly called themselves whales, which neither of them were. They were beautiful pregnant ladies.
Today they’re beautiful young moms. The babies seem to know each other already, and visit together a lot. Both young women are excellent moms.
And today these moms are both very scared.
This week Ashley B and Coleman discovered their 2 month old son Cash has a large hole in his heart which will require open heart surgery. Which is very scary, but when it’s your 2 month old son, it’s even worse, even more frightening.
Our Ashley is scared for her friends, scared for Baby Cash, who they all refer to as our 4 month old granddaughter Rachel’s boyfriend. And our Ashley and Chris now hold Baby Rachel even more often than usual, thanking the Lord she is healthy, and praying Baby Cash will be all right.
We are all praying for this family. The following was written by Cash’s daddy, Coleman, when they first discovered the problem. I have only done minor edits for grammar and spelling.
Here begins their story, as told by Coleman:
“So this is very hard for me to write, but I think it will help me from losing myself every time I have to tell someone what is happening. Yesterday Ashley and I had time stop on us. It was so unexpected! We took Cash for his two month checkup, and he was supposed to get his first three shots. Every time he has been in the presence of any doctors we have mentioned how his breathing does not seem to be normal, and we were always told, ‘Babies breathe weird and sporadic. They’re still learning how to breathe.’
Yesterday we brought it up again, and again we were told the same thing, but the doctor we had, who we had not seen before, said, ‘I’ll just listen to make sure.’ She placed the stethoscope on Cash for not even two seconds, and immediately said he had a heart murmur! Ashley and I both were totally silent and in shock, not really knowing what it was, and how big of a deal it was.
The doctor told us sometimes they are not too concerned, ‘but this one does concern me quite a bit, and I’m going to go call the cardiologist to see if they can come over here now to see him.’
She left the room, and Ashley and I were both realizing if she was calling a cardiologist to come NOW, something was seriously wrong. She came back quickly and said Cash would not be receiving his shots that day, and that she wanted us to rush straight to CHKD in downtown Norfolk. OK. Rush to CHKD???!!! We are now both sobbing uncontrollably. [Note: CHKD is Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, and an excellent children’s hospital here in the Hampton Roads area.]
We got to CHKD, and were told by the cardiology department they were going to do several tests on him, including an echocardiogram and ultrasound pictures, and then they would talk to us. You can imagine how scared we were by then.
They hooked 13 wires up to little Cash for an EKG, and took his blood pressure 10 times. They took his oxygen levels, and then they were all in the echo lab for well over an hour. The doctor must have taken a million pictures! Then they sat us down, only to be interrupted for another 30 minutes of echo pictures. Finally, we were told Cash had a hole in his heart, and diagnosed him with VSD (ventricular septal defect). They explained it was very common in infants, however the size of his hole was portrayed as very uncommon.
Their exact words were, “There are three types of holes: small ones which we do nothing for; medium which we give medication for and closely monitor; and large which require surgery. Your son’s is very large. Large holes sometimes can be closed with closed heart surgery, but his hole is too big, and will require open-heart surgery.’
Open heart surgery! This is a huge deal for anyone, let alone a 2 month old little baby. Here we were thinking our boy was the healthiest boy under the sun, and now this. Little did we know he has been eating so much, not because he’s growing so quickly, but because his poor heart is working so hard that he’s burning calories three times faster than most babies.
Certainly this is a lot to take in, and the hardest thing I think I’ve ever dealt with. On the outside, I try to stay strong and positive alongside my wife to be strong for her, but at work, when I’m alone in my truck, I can’t help but lose myself constantly. I am as scared as a five-year-old little girl. My son is the best gift ever given to me, and I don’t know how I could move forward without him. On a positive note, I am grateful for being so close to CHKD, one of the best hospitals in the world.
I am grateful I was able to take my son home yesterday, and that he has not been put into immediate surgery. I am grateful for my wonderful family and all the prayers we are receiving and would love for more! CHKD is keeping a close eye on him, and they want to try to get more weight on him before surgery to help make it easier, but they also told us they can only let his little heart work overtime for so long. He will have to see a cardiologist for the rest of his life, but for now until the surgery is scheduled, we just pray all goes smooth and my little boy is healthy afterwards.
Prayers are welcome, too. Bless you all.”
October 4, 2016
This is the first installment of their story. More to follow. Prayers are surely needed, and welcomed during this difficult time.
Cash, we love you, and we’re praying for you!
October 4, 2016