My now 6-year-old son William spent most of the first year of his life sick. Constantly sick. No one seemed to be able to figure out what was wrong. One doctor kept telling us William was sick because he was in daycare.
Finally, just 12 days short of his 1st birthday, William was diagnosed with scimitar syndrome (sometimes called partial anomalous pulmonary venous return). A year after that -- four years ago today -- on June 29, 2006, William's beautiful little heart was repaired at Shands Children's Hospital at the University of Florida.
We are ever, ever grateful to Dr. Mark Bleiweis for his special gift of fixing babies' hearts. We thank God often, still today, for pediatrician Dean Dalrymple and pediatric radiologist Charles Williams for their sense of urgency, curiosity and diligence in getting to the root of William's illnesses. If not for these amazing people, we might still be wondering what was wrong. And we are always thankful for William's pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Jay Fricker, who makes sure William continues to do well.
One of William's biggest supporters and cheerleaders, though, doesn't often get public praise, but he certainly deserves it for his eternal patience, his constant support, his everyday care and never-ending hugs and love. I think God specifically chose Martin as William's big brother because He knew that William would have a rough start in life and that Martin would take extra-special care of William. They have a beautiful brotherly bond, especially for siblings who are nine years apart. They are best Bubbas.
After four years, 14 years, 40 years, we will always pause on this day -- June 29 -- and thank God for His presence in William's and our lives, and for guiding us to the people William needed to be whole and healthy.
Happy Heart Day, William. We love you and are so glad you are here and whole and healthy and happy.