Highlighting our readers’ experiences with heart disease from their own
perspective. We’re always looking for contributions, so please send us
yours. Before submitting, please review our Writer’s Guidelines.
Facing the Inevitable
By Robin Resch, Caregiver | University Park, Florida
“Your baby’s only
hope for survival is
a heart transplant.”
No parent is ever prepared to hear those words. And you
never forget them, nor who said them, nor the day they
I heard them during an ultrasound in my fifth month
of pregnancy with our first child. They turned my whole
world upside down. Due to cervical surgery a year earlier,
I needed a special sonogram to make sure my body
could hold the pregnancy. Not knowing what was about
to happen, I was all smiles as I watched the screen image
wiggle and move. That was our baby! MY body was
making a tiny human being. My husband Todd and I had
made someone. Just…wow!
But as I caught a glimpse of the sonographer’s face,
my elation faded. I could see worry in her eyes. And when
I asked if anything were wrong, she attempted a smile and
said she needed to get the doctor. I don’t remember much
after that … just that I was being referred to All Children’s
Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, and that our baby had
something called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS).
Basically, our baby had half a heart. The walls seemed to
come in on me. I felt lightheaded; I wanted to scream.
Todd couldn’t make the appointment that day, so I
asked the sonographer to write down the baby’s sex, fold
the paper, then tape it shut so I couldn’t see it. I wanted to
share with my sweet husband the moment God revealed to
us whether we would have a son or a daughter. With that
note, I left … in tears. How I got home is still a mystery to
me. And when Todd arrived home, I fell into his arms and
we cried together. Once we found the strength, we opened
our note — we were having a boy.
The next months brought weekly hospital appointments
for echos, lab work, EKGs, medicine to keep his heart
strong, and more prayers than I could count. We hold dear
a special printout from that ultrasound — in it, right next to
our baby’s face, is the face of another. We were not having
twins. We were sure it was his angel.
We had actually gotten used to the fact our baby was
sick, but that he was safe as long as he was in the womb.
I didn’t want to give birth until he was 30 years old, but
God had other plans. Our sweet boy made his way into this
world, pink and strong … and so beautiful. We expected a
“Superboy” survivor TJ Resch