Heart Angel Gia
Gia is one of the 4 precious lives lost each week to congenital/childhood heart disease in Australia. Gia's parents Bree and John have generously shared their story, and precious photos of their Heart Angel. We are so grateful to all of the Heart Angel and heart kid families who choose to share their stories with such kindness and in support of each other, and HeartKids.
8 babies are born everyday in Australia with a heart defect. That's 8 parents going through hell while they watch their child fight to remain earth side, and every week 4 lives are lost, that’s 4 parents now living in hell.
The pictures on the right are Gia straight after surgery in ICU, this is every parents living hell with a child that suffers from CHD. It’s an open chest and many machines and drips connected to your baby. It’s hearing a ventilator breathe for your child, it’s hearing the constant beeping noises as you watch their heart rate go up and down, it’s watching your baby almost crashing but pulling themselves out just in time.
It's a place where you celebrate one drip coming off at a time, you celebrate when there is one less drug going into their tiny body, it’s celebrating when they start to wean the ventilator.
It’s where you don’t get to hold your baby until the ventilator is off. It’s where you tell your baby not to cry because you can’t pick them up, you do everything to keep them calm. It’s where they look at you and through their eyes, you can tell that they don’t understand why you don’t pick them up.
It’s finally after waiting a whole week being able to have your baby placed in your arms and falling asleep together for a few hours. It’s the first few hours that you have actually slept.
It’s graduating from ICU into high care and watching your baby withdrawing while coming off all the drugs. It’s finally after 10 days being able to give them a bottle.
You graduate from high care into the ward and there are even less machines, and drains are now connected to your baby and you're getting closer to having the feeding tube removed.
It’s when you're finally able to leave the hospital after spending almost a month there. It’s finally being able to take your baby home and never put them down.
It’s actually being able to eat and sleep. It’s showering more than once a week, as if you went home to shower it meant your baby being somewhere you're not.
It’s being re-admitted back into hospital to be told the news no parent should ever hear. It's hearing the words that there is nothing more they can do.
It’s watching everyone around break down with you, including the doctors, as this is not something they enjoy telling parents. It’s being told your baby is in heart failure for the second time and they could have days, weeks and at best months to live.
It's when going home means something different.
It's where you're tying to make as many memories as you can. Until It’s that time, that time when you're holding you baby in your arms and you're telling them how much you love them, how proud you are of them and telling them it’s OK to go.
It’s watching them take that last breath and going up to heaven.
It’s leaving you so hurt that you honestly have no idea how to move on, it’s the tightening in your chest that never goes away, it’s the tears that will never stop, it is your heart shattered into 1 million pieces that will never be put back together.
It’s reflecting on how your baby gave you the greatest gift in life of being a mama and a daddy.
It’s seeing everyone else's life go on but you're stuck in the one without your baby.
It’s making that promise to them that you will do everything in your power to raise as much awareness and funds for this disease.
It’s where you won’t stop until those doctors that told you that there was nothing more they can do, tell me now that they could have saved Gia’s life and they could now save other babies like Gia because no parent should EVER have to walk in these shoes.
8 babies a day is too many. 4 lives a week is too many.