Starting school was the furthest thing from Anita Brainard’s mind as she reflected on her son Rian’s life to this point – 4 open heart surgeries, multiple setbacks and recoveries, visions of him with oxygen tubes and other breathing treatment devices, and countless hospital visits all before his fifth birthday.
Many of Akron Children’s doctors, nurses and staff travel regularly to Haiti to help care for the sick children at St. Damien Pediatric Hospital. This post is the first installment of a 3-part series by Dr. Grace Smith, who gives a first-person account of her most recent medical mission trip there.
When Andrew Testa was born in June 1995, his parents, Joe and Lisa, of Green, thought they had a healthy baby boy on their hands. Little did they know their world was about to change. A routine checkup at 4 months old revealed Andrew had a heart murmur, which earned him a referral to Akron Children’s cardiology department.
One year ago around 8 a.m. we handed our son Jonathan at 10 months old, over to his heart surgeon for his second open heart surgery. When the surgeon came to talk to us about the surgery, they told us our son was pink. Tears came falling down, tears of relief.
One thing we’ve learned is that if doctors say there is a slight chance something might happen, it will happen with Harper. We see more specialists at Akron Children’s Hospital than I ever thought possible.
Two years ago I spent four of the most peaceful hours of my life sitting in the surgical waiting area of Akron Children’s Hospital. To this day I am surprised each time I look back at just how at ease I felt during the time Rebekah was undergoing open heart surgery.