meet ella!

06 January 2015

This year our annual 5K Walk/Run we are honoring a very special 3 year old, Ella. I met Ella's mother when I was pregnant with Hayden- she was the first heart mom I ever connected with. Ella was only a few months old when we connected and Jennifer was such a source of support for me before, during and after Hayden's life. We are honored to know this family and look forward to honoring them in March. We hope you can come and help us celebrate Ella and Hayden! 

Ella Brielle Skerel is a beautiful, smart and super fun three year old girl who was born with half a heart. It was during a 20 week routine ultrasound when doctors discovered that she had a rare and serious heart defect, called hypoplastic left heart syndrome (hlhs), which meant that the left side of her heart was too small to function. She would need three open heart surgeries in order to survive, all by the time she was three. She had her first surgery at five days old, the second at five months, and the third just a month shy or her third birthday. She turned three in the hospital this past September, still recovering from that surgery. She finally came home in mid October and has been doing fairly well since, with just a few scares. 

Ella will always have a heart defect. The surgeries were not a cure. We don't know if or when she will need another surgery or a heart transplant. Little is known about these children past their twenties and before Ella was born, these facts seemed life stopping. Our hearts broke for this baby girl who would face pain no child should and for our two boys who would be separated from us for many, long hospital stays. And most of all, we feared we would lose her. That fear will never go away, but no one is promised tomorrow. She has been put through a lot, but there are countless other children put through more. We have been separated from our children for what seemed like an eternity, but it wasn't. And life didn't stop. It kept going and we wouldn't change it for anything.

3.12.12 - 8.16.12

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