Thursday, November 12, 2009

This Changes Things...

A while back I gave a short summary of what was going on in our lives, which included a scary visit we had with my cardiologist. Since that date, we decided it would be best to get a second opinion just to try to get a better idea about how my heart is doing and how pregnancy will affect the function of my heart.

NOTE- I am not pregnant. I am not planning on being pregnant soon. But I am living proof that things happen when you are certainly not planning on them.

After we decided to get a second opinion, then came the daunting task of trying to decide who I would even see. The problem is I can't go to a normal cardiologist. I tried that. They mostly know about heart failure, mainly older adults who's hearts have worn out. They aren't trained to know about congenital heart defects, and even more specifically in young adults. We have to find an adult congenital heart specialists who focused on issues with the valve.

I'm amazed that we even worried about how we would find someone. My favorite verse is Psalms 37:23 - The Lord directs the steps of the godly, He delights in every detail of their lives. I was in an admission session when I noticed that the mother had a scar on her chest. Having a scar here is very normal in my eyes, and it always takes a few moments for it to trigger that it is not every day I see one on others. I was bold and asked her about it, and through the course of our conversation found out she had a cardiology specialist at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. Her son, a senior, was gracious to spend a good portion of his admission session letting us talk about surgeries and the praises she had for this hospital. After I made it home that day and was telling my mom about the situation, she was floored that at the same moment I was in the admission session, she and Bami (my grandmother if you're new around here) were talking about the Cleveland Clinic and all of the positive things they heard about it.

This spurred us on to pursue an appointment with the Cleveland Clinic. Interestingly enough, the doctor I will see up there is actually from San Antonio. I always love workin' with a Texan.

So, on December 6, my mom and I will fly out to Cleveland and spend a few days there meeting with the doctor and surgeons. We are telling ourselves that the scheduled appointment with the surgeon is just a precaution; it's easier to cancel that appointment than try to schedule it the day I'm there. Our flights, hotel and rental car are reserved and waiting for us to head out.

When we received the news from my cardiologist back in September that I would need surgery again, the questions we were thinking focused around when, where, who's the doctor, what would they do, etc. There was never once a moment that we stopped and said "No, we can't. It's too expensive." Expense was lingering in the back of our minds, yet it would never be a determining factor in whether or not I got the surgery.

Take a few minutes to watch this video. It is a little graphic, so if you have a queasy stomach look away in those parts. If the video doesn't load all the way through, you can go here to see it.


My heart felt so heavy during as I watched the video unfold. I was first crying for the opportunity at life Mohammad was receiving, and yet broken by how I take my own opportunities and privileges for granted. I am so blessed in that I truly cannot fathom not being able to have a surgery if Cody and I couldn't afford it. I know that someone would step in if it was a matter of my life. I will blog another time about the convictions I've felt about spending as we enter this holiday season. If you're someone in my family who might be looking to buy me a gift or if you want to make a difference with your money, then consider donating $25 to help provide a life-changing heart surgery. I will put my money where my mouth is, so family members, act surprised!

I actually have a friend that was in my sorority who is spending 6 months in Iraq working with this organization. You can check out her blog here:
or the Preemetive Love's blog here:


1 comment:

  1. Abby,

    I'd love to have you post something on our blog about your heart condition, the way Mohammad's video has affected you, and what comes next for you in your treatment in the States.

    Send me an email:

    Merry Christmas! And thanks so much for your friendship to Ashley and your support of her and our work.

    In Christ,

    Jeremy Courtney
    Preemptive Love Coalition


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