Gabrielle (2015)

Gabrielle's Story...

On February 2nd, the OBGYN called and her words have changed our life forever. At our 20 week ultrasound, we were told our 4th child, Gabrielle, was suspected to have Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. After follow up testing, the diagnosis was confirmed. We were thrown into a world of medical terms, interviewing surgeons and prayer like we've never prayed before. The left side of her heart did not develop and without immediate intervention, survival was not possible. The treatment was a series of 3 open heart surgeries within the first 2-3 years of life.

Gabi was born on June 9th, 2009 and her first open heart surgery was on June 15th at Children's Hospital of WIsconsin in Milwaukee. Our first hospital stay was expected to be between 30-6- days. Gabi was on life support for 3 days following that first surgery and her first CICU stay was over 180 days. She received her second open heart surgery on Dec. 17th, 2009 and we were able to come home on Christmas Eve. That following January, we were quickly back in the CICU for additional complications, including 2 brain surgeries, infections and a failure to thrive diagnosis. Her third open heart surgery was on July 11, 2012 and she was able to come 11 days after that.

Gabi is stable and is doing great today! Right now, our goal is for her to eat independently and be able to remove her G-tube. We spent this January and February 2015 in an inpatient feeding clinic at Our Children's House at Baylor. She has gone from 100 % g-tube fed down to 25% g-tube fed. Her siblings have supported her but also treat her like a "normal" sister.

Gabi struggles in her Kindergarten class and is currently being tested for any cognitive delays. But she loves making new friends and loves going to school. She has been on as many as 11 medications at home but today is down to only 3! We have cardiology check ups every 3 months and a heart transplant is in her future. Gabi is the sweetest little girl but definitely has the fight in her. She has taught us so much about ourselves and about our faith. We are so grateful for her.

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