Justin, Katie, Martin, and Calvin. We love our growing family.
Martin celebrates his first birthday with both families. The cake was provided by a non-profit organization called "Icing Smiles" -- they provide cakes for sick children.
Martin has reached his first birthday!
It's really rather amazing to look back on 2012 and see just how far Martin has come. Quite like looking back down the steep trail of a mountain climb. This time last year we were all in Charleston, SC and Martin was lying in the PCICU of MUSC recovering from his first open-heart surgery due to his heart condition called HLHS (Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome). HLHS is a rare congenital heart defect in which the left ventricle of the heart is severely underdeveloped.
But as of today, Martin is doing extremely well. He is doing "off-the-charts" well! Every so often we try to remind ourselves that Martin only has half of a heart and is at risk daily. But you wouldn't know it just looking at him. Out of our 4 children, Martin is our biggest baby and certainly eats better than all the others did. Speaking of eating, he is also finally OFF of the Elecare formula and so he can now eat regular food (and baby food) along with the rest of us. He seems to really enjoy Korean food too. Fancy that. He is quite the handful as he is now crawling around everywhere. He is climbing stairs, opening and closing doors, and exploring everything he can get his hands on! In a word, he is extremely active. This is actually great news for us because some months ago he went for an occupational therapy evaluation and all 4 doctors in the room concluded that he needed 3 to 6 months of weekly therapy to help him to learn how to crawl, etc. Well, just one week after that first evaluation, lo and behold Martin started to crawl on his own and the next time they saw him, they told us that he had progressed so much that he no longer needed any therapy. Hooray!
Our next big milestone will be his third and final scheduled surgery (Fontan procedure) but that won't be until he's 2 or 3 years old. Until then, we continue to raise our family normally with all of its routine. Martin gets his daily dose of aspirin and makes regular visits to the cardiologist and pediatrician. As far as they can tell, he's looking good.
Thank you for your interest in our family and in Martin in particular. He is a blessing to us each and every day. We did not choose this path, but it was thrust upon us. However, we would not change it for anything. We have learned so much, become more sensitive to other families in their need, and are learning to enjoy our family much more deliberately with the understanding that our time is very short and that each day we are given is a gift.
"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom" (Psalm 90:12).
Martin's One Year PicturesMartin reached a major milestone with his first birthday! This time last year we were in Charleston...
Jamie and I have been married since April of 2001 and have four children, Katie, Calvin, Justin, and Martin. Please be sure to sign our guestbook and drop us a note!
On February 3, 2012 our 4th child was born with a congenital heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). He will have 3 "staged reconstruction" open-heart surgeries early in life to reconfigure Martin's cardiovascular system to be as efficient as possible despite the lack of an adequate left ventricle. These surgeries do not correct the lesion, and are instead considered "palliative".
He already had his first (Norwood) surgery at MUSC in Charleston, SC. Let's give God the glory in all things. We learned this Psalm together as a family some time ago and it's very fitting: "I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth." Psalm 34.