Aaron's Story

The little boy behind the story...

Aaron's Story began on January 7th, 2010 (well, a few weeks before that) in the form of a positive pregnancy test. In September, we would finally become the family we had always dreamed of and prayed for. At our 20 week ultrasound in May, we were overjoyed to learn that we would be welcoming a son into the world; yet, that very same joyful day was the same day our world came crashing down. Two days and several appointments later, we learned all the details of Aaron's multiple congenital heart defects: Pulmonary Atresia (Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome), Tricuspid Atresia, Possible VSD and a severe Coronary Artery Fistula. We were given three options: termination of pregnancy, heart transplant immediately after birth or comfort care/hospice after birth. God blessed us to be the parents of His son, it wasn't our right to determine when his heart would stop beating. (More details of our experience and Aaron's diagnosis were written in this post.)

Aaron was perfectly healthy and content in utero and would show no signs of a heart defect until he was born and his lungs would have to begin working. Throughout the rest of our pregnancy, we carried on with frequent monitoring and cardiology appointments, which showed continuing heart changes...some improvements and some disappointments. Sweet Aaron kept us on our toes, to say the least, and as his due date crept up, the verdict from our doctors was to "wait and see" (you can read about this here). The majority of our pregnancy was spent cherishing every moment with our son... every kick, every punch, every roll, every hiccup...and praying for a miracle. 

 Aaron's delivery into this world was unexpected, early and abrupt via emergency c-section (blogged here); like I said... he kept us on our toes! Our firstborn son and sweet little guy, Aaron Matthew Selby was born on August 25th, 2010 at 1:26pm, weighing 5 lbs 15 oz and measuring 19.3 inches long. He let out quite a good cry to let us know that those little lungs were working fine for the mean time. After an all too brief hello with mommy, he was transported by flight for life to Children's Hospital with dad. 

So much happened throughout the next two days that much of it is a blur. In a nutshell, Aaron underwent an echocardiogram shortly after his birth, with no definitive findings.  At one day old, he underwent a cardiac catheterization (angiogram) to truly determine his heart development, "plumbing" and function in order to develop a plan of action. The doctors (and us, of course) were thrilled to see that his heart appeared much better than they had anticipated...surgery was a go! The following morning at 7 am, Aaron Underwent open heart surgery to have a BT shunt placed that would "hold him over" until his next surgery at several months old, followed by a third surgery at a couple years old. (These surgeries do not correct the heart defect; they simply "re-route" the heart plumbing and palliate the condition until, generally, further treatment/transplant is required later in life).

We were elated; Aaron sailed through his surgery! We heard these words out of our surgeon's mouth, "There's a 97% chance that Aaron will be going home with you next week." That night we were fortunate to have a wonderful nurse who allowed me to go over to Children's to kiss Aaron goodnight and love on him (not usually allowed as I had not yet been discharged from the Hospital).  Little did we know it would be our last chance to do so. As we were praying over another baby in the CICU with her parents, Aaron unexpectedly went into cardiac arrest due to undetected severe abdominal bleeding. After 90 minutes of CPR, surgery right there in his isolet, and multiple attempts by the surgeons to get him stabilized on a heart and lung bypass machine, we heard the words no parents ever want to hear...."there's nothing more we can do". Our sweet little Aaron had earned his angel wings and left us to be with our Heavenly Father. Right now, it is too painful to recount all of the details, so if you would like to, you can read about it here and here.

So, there it is. Aaron's story. The story of the little boy and a broken heart who changed us forever.  

This journey has, by far, been the most difficult path we have ever walked, yet, it is a journey that we wouldn't trade for anything but a little more time with our son. And, it is a path we walk it hand in hand, led by hope, love and faith in our Father...(along with a lot of tears).

 "There is no foot too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world"

1 comment:

  1. So sorry for your loss Danielle. It is amazing how these little lives can have such an effect on us for being in our lives such a brief time. Thanks for sharing Aaron's story and his picture...he is beautiful!


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