We found out Catie had heart defects before she was born, so we were prepared for her to have surgery. We were NOT prepared for how severe her defects were or the news that she would need a new heart to survive. We were so scared she wouldn’t get the heart she needed in time.
Catie weighed just 5 lbs. She needed another infant’s heart to survive. This was overwhelming. We were overjoyed and beyond grateful when she received her gift of life just 13 days after being listed- at just 5 weeks old. Because of another family, we got to keep our precious daughter and her brother got to keep his twin sister. It is both heart-wrenching and amazing. Somewhere, someone made a decision that changed our world. A selfless, difficult decision to share their child’s organs. I don’t think people realize that there are patients waiting for organs of every age and every size.
Throughout Catie’s recovery, there have been many ups and downs, but today she is four years old. She is attending preschool. She loves to dance. She is very sassy and knows what she wants. She loves to dance and play with her dolls.
Catie knows that she has a very special heart that was a gift. She knows that she must always take her medicine, listen to her doctors, and take care of her heart.
I am so very grateful to have the opportunity to be her mom because someone said yes to organ donation.
Update: Catie passed away on February 9th, 2021. Catie’s family would like to thank everyone involved in her care for their years of dedication and love.