Saturday, August 07, 2010

On the one-year anniversary of Avery's new heart...


Excerpted from a letter written by Avery's mom... (I could not have said it better!)

Life, loss and new beginnings...

Hi everyone!!

A year ago today, (Aug 6) Avery received the gift that would save her life! At 2:00 am this morning we received the page we never thought would come to let us know "the perfect heart had been found!"
At 5:00 am she went into the operating room at Children's and 18 hours later at 11:30 pm she came out of the OR and into the cardiac ICU...bleeding and very very sick - to spend the following few months healing and recovering.

As you may remember - Avery was also 100% sensitized to her donor due to the 9 open heart surgeries (8 of which required CV bypass) , 4 ecmo runs and thousands of blood products in her 5 years life. This basically placed her at a VERY (the highest) risk for rejection within her first year especially.

On Monday - Avery had her 1 year biopsy and her results were 100% CLEAN !! No cellular or humoral rejection -- her heart function is perfect and for the first time in her entire life -- she has run , bounced, jumped and giggled as much as she can without turning blue...gasping for air or coughing to catch her breath.

She truly is celebrating a new "birth" (life) day and we are so incredibly fortunate for the miracles we have been blessed with!

What makes this year a DOUBLE gift for us...is something beyond anything we could hope for last year at this time.

A week from today - we will be meeting Avery's donor family for the first time. We have been fortunate to be in touch since last Thanksgiving -- having sent a letter through the New England Organ Bank.

Next week - we will meet his family. We will spend a week together...celebrating the life and getting to know more about the beautiful little boy who now "beats life" into Avery...as well as the extraordinary family who are beyond incredible to share what they have and will with us.

So - as we reflect on how fortunate we were to see Avery start the life she never had before this day last year...we are reminded intimately at what cost that came to another family and what they were able to gift to us at the most horrific time of their life.

They are and will always be our family...

(I will be joining them for part of this trip, and I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity.)

6 comments:

Createology said...

This is such wonderful news Kerri Jean. Avery is so precious and adorable. Now to meet the family who has helped so much will be bitter sweet. How quickly this past year has progressed. Safe travels for everyone...

Peggy Beck said...

Kerri, this was a moving piece written by your sister and reminds us all how fragile life is and how grateful we should all be at having a healthy body. Avery is so full of life now and looks so healthy. Meeting the family of the donor has got to be an emotional event but with love on all sides it will be so memorable.
God Bless you all.

Tabitha said...

beautiful! tears spring to my eyes! so glad to see Avery enjoying life! miss you!

fran p. said...

Kerri...
There are angels amongst us!!! One of them is named Avery...the other is the little boy who looks over her....

ArtPropelled said...

Kerri this post fills me with emotion. Remembering this time last year and now seeing this photo of Avery looking so well makes my day. How amazing to meet the family of the donor heart. It will be a very touching meeting I am sure.

Ellie said...

This is amazing; Some people come into our lives and totally give us sight into the miracles of God! I am so happy Avery is able to be a child again! I am sad for the family that gave the ultimate gift; the gift of life. They wanted their son to live on and he is!