Happy Heart Day

A heartfelt letter to a son from his mother

To my special Lil Man ♥

This time 7 years ago, we were pacing the floors on the cardiac ward at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, waiting nervously for your first open heart surgery.

We had a constant stream of surgeons, anesthetists & other medical bodies popping in to speak to us, informing us of the risks, scaring both Daddy and I to bits, we were petrified.

Every part of me wanted to scoop you into my arms and run away … But I knew by doing this that I would lose you. It had been drummed into me again and again, that with out this surgery you would not survive the next few months, that terrified me.

You were just 3 months old and had already been through so much, but now it was time to face the big one, the one we had been dreading. During the weeks that lead up to this day, I prayed for a call telling me that it was all a big mistake, prayed they would tell me your heart was fine. I prayed for a miracle, prayed that they could tell me your heart had somehow fixed itself …. I prayed so hard for anything that would stop me having to face this day.

But that day came ….. 21st November 2002 ….. A day I will never ever forget.

I saw the theatre porters come through the doors of the ward, I knew they were coming for you, I held you so close to me, I begged them not to take you from me. They were nice, they were kind, they could see my pain and allowed me to carry you down to theatre. I got into the corridor and froze, my legs turned to jelly, I could not walk, Daddy held onto me and with his help we took you down to the anesthetic room, I then kissed you goodbye and handed you to the anesthetist.

It was the hardest thing I’d ever had to do.

I sobbed, I sobbed like I have never sobbed before. I had never known pain like it, I had no idea how I was going to get through the next few hours.

I was trying to block out the fear, the fear that I might never see you again, the fear that I had just kissed you for the last time, those fears were deep inside, but to this day, fears I have never been open about. I knew Daddy feared the same.

Daddy and I walked away, holding each other tight, neither of us saying a word.

To this day I have no idea what we did during the next 9 hours, it is still a weird blur and I do not remember anything of that long wait.

I do however remember being taken up to the cardiac intensive care unit and being told that you were back from theatre, we then had to sit in the waiting room and wait …. I do not know how long we waited, I had no idea what we were waiting for, but it seemed to last forever. I had mixed feelings, part of me wanted to be with you, but there was a part of me that still wanted to run away. Id been warned about how you would look and all the tubes, machines and wires and I was not sure I could cope.

We were eventually shown into the unit and there were lots of beds all round the big room, it was so noisy, as we walked through, I could see each bed had a sleeping child on with parents sat by their sides. But in the far corner there was a tiny little warmer crib, there was lots of doctors and nurses running about attaching wires and programing machines … I already knew it was you. I had a huge knot in my stomach, I was once again fighting the urge to turn around and run away.

I held onto Daddy’s hand so tightly and we walked towards your cot. I saw you laying there, you looked so peaceful, I then saw the tubes and wires attaching you to all the machines and the big white bandage all the way down the front of your chest, your eyes were taped shut … I sobbed and Daddy held me so tight.

The surgeon came in and spoke with us to tell us all about the surgery that you had.

He was a confident man, I liked that.

During the next ten days you struggled, it was such a worry … You made me strong, lil man, you made me grow up, I stopped feeling the need to run away. You needed me and I had to be strong for you, I finally accepted that I could and would cope.

Over the next few weeks you got stronger and stronger and finally we were able to take you home.

Now seven years on, I look back on that day and smile with pride, you were and still are so brave, such a fighter. That day gave us the life we have with you now and for that I am always eternally grateful.

♥ Happy Heart Day Lil Man ♥
Thank you for choosing me to be your mummy
Thank you for being so brave and strong
Thank you for fighting all that is thrown your way
and most of all,
Thank you for being you.

All my love and special squidgy huggles ♥


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