23 Apr Stephanie from Lebanon, VA
Hello. I have never met your family but have been crying to the Lord and praying for you all since the beginning of April when I first heard of Kari’s struggles. She touched me so and I prayed for her so often and was terribly distraught at her passing. Since then I have prayed often for peace and comfort for your entire family.
Perhaps because of ignorance or perhaps because the Lord knew I needed some peace in this pregnancy, I never really thought our new little blessing, Geneva, would ever need heart surgery. Maybe I did know in the back of my mind that was a possibility and why I felt so connected to Kari. Although there has been concern that Geneva might have Trisomy 18 earlier on and her left ventricle was about 30% smaller at one time, I was naive. She has shown no signs of Trisomy and her heart is now a normal size so I wanted to believe that she might just have an innocent heart murmur that would require no treatment and there would be no problems.. Even though we live in Lebanon, VA, we chose to travel a distance for her fetal echo as I wasn’t comfortable at all at the office I went to in Kingsport. I had an appointment yesterday with a wonderful pediatric cardiologist in Knoxville, Dr. Bremer. It was after that fetal echo that I was first told of Geneva’s heart condition and understood the gravity of the situation. She has VSD, aortic stenosis and an interrupted aortic arch. I am already 29 weeks along tomorrow and we are trying to decide where to have surgery, what questions to ask and where we will stay. We homeschool and I will likely have the children with me before delivery as we don’t have any family close by that could stay with them. We know after recovery, I will want to/need to be with our newborn and will have family members staying at that time with the children. I’ve been told there are sometimes furnished townhouses for rent for situations such as ours so we are going to try and decide by the end of next week to go to CHOP or Vanderbilt so we can begin preparations for a short term stay there.
I know Kari has just passed away recently and I hesitated to contact you but was encouraged by a few families on our homeschool list to do so. Please know that if this is too difficult for you then I’m so sorry and have no desire to add to your pain at all.
May the Lord continue to comfort your family during this time.
Thank you so much for any help you can give,
Stephanie, Lebanon, VA