Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Happy Heart Day, William! Five Years!

Five years ago today, we gave our son over to the pediatric heart team with the UF Health Congenital Heart Center so they could fix his heart. Some days it feels like it was just yesterday, other days like it was a lifetime ago.

But one thing that never wavers or changes is our gratitude. Five years later, we are still so grateful to our pediatrician Dr. Dean Dalrymple and local pediatric radiologist Dr. Charles Williams, who finally diagnosed William at age 1, after he'd been so sick for a year. Grateful to Dr. Jay Fricker for taking care of William's heart until Shands hired a pediatric heart surgeon. Deeply grateful to that pediatric heart surgeon -- Dr. Mark Bleiweis -- for choosing Shands and for Shands choosing him. Because of these doctors, William is a happy, healthy, soon-to-be second grader who doesn't have a care in the world.

William, immediately after surgery to
repair his partial anomalous
pulmonary venous return, June 29, 2006.

William with big brother Martin, the day after surgery.
Uncomfortable, but loved listening to his bunny's heart.
Sitting up in a chair the day after surgery.
Not a happy camper, but when his brother
asked, "Does it hurt?,"
William replied, "No, not much."
Hanging out in bed on Day 2, still feeling sore, still hooked
up to chest tubes that drained blood from his chest cavity.
Back in the chair again on Day 3. This
time he gives his Grandma a smile.
Day 4 and feeling good. Getting ready
to go home! Yes, surgery was on a
Thursday. We were HOME by the next
Monday! That's how William and
Dr. Bleiweis roll.
"Seriously, Dr. Bleiweis. I am SO ready to go home!"
Saying so long to his favorite PICU Nurse Josh Campbell.

Since surgery, we have yearly checkups. We have echos.
We have EKGs.
Sometimes, we have CT scans of our chest
and visit our surgeon so he can see how much |
we've grown and how awesome we're doing
(doctors love to see that with all their patients!)
We even go to Gainesville to walk in the AHA
Heart Walk with our pediatric cardiologist
and pediatric nurse. We love Shands and AHA!
But mostly, we simply revel in every day. Feeling blessed that everything is going so well, and that William is happy and healthy. If you'd like to read more about William's journey, go to; his CarePage name is MasterWilliam.

Happy 5th Heart Day, William!
We love you so, so much!

1 comment:

  1. I love this post! It's so hard to hand them over to the surgeons when they're older. It brings my heart hope to hear that things went so well for you and yours.
    Wishing him many more carefree years ;)