Warriors, Angels, and Heroes

I think this blog needs a special place to honor those who fight the battle that is CHD.  The babies born with it, the parent’s who live with it, the adults who have paved the way for those to come, the doctors who care enough to heal, the researchers who discover, the families who press on in spite of anguish and discouragement…to all who have been touched by CHD.  This page is for them. (If you have a CHD warrior, angel, or hero you would like profiled…please leave a comment or email and I will get your story told).

Two CHD warriors, One family

You may already be familiar with this unbelievable story about a family here in Brentwood, CA.

The Brentwood Press ran an article on Aaron, 110 Degrees Magazine did a beautiful spread on the family, in their March ‘09 issue (page 48), called “Aaron Tanner’s War,” and most recently the ABC News Story: Boy’s Broken Heart Tests Doctors and Family by Lauren Cox. If you haven’t heard about their story, open your heart and read on.

The Tanner family’s life has been anything but normal for the past 4 years. No family should ever have to endure this much in an entire lifetime. Not long after the meeting and after God profoundly laid this on my heart, I spoke with Elizabeth (Mom) and got to experience her incredible spirit and unwavering faith, I can’t help but to call her a hero.

Before Elizabeth and Mark’s 4th son Aaron was born he was diagnosed with a congenital heart condition — only the right side of his heart was working, “hypoplastic left heart” they called it. After he was born he had to remain at UCSF for 6 weeks. Elizabeth would bring Aaron’s cheerful 2 year old brother Ethan with her to visit, who delighted in kissing his new little brother.

A week after they finally got to bring Aaron home, 2 year old Ethan came down with what seemed to be the flu but he was inconsolable. With baby Aaron in her arms they took Ethan to the hospital. When he didn’t respond to an oxygen mask they decided to intubate him.

As the tube entered his chest they discovered his chest was saturated with fluid that came rushing out, drowning any chance the medical team had of getting him the oxygen he needed. Their beautiful little Ethan died. “Pertrophic Cardiomyopathy” they called it, that doesn’t, unfortunately give much warning, death is often one of the first symptoms.

Elizabeth buried a part of her soul with Ethan but remaining completely dead was not an option for her. She had to stay positive for her husband, for their 2 older sons and of course for their precious Aaron.

Aaron, now age 4, and 3 open heart surgeries later, just found out on Monday that he now faces his biggest challenge yet. Due to renal failure that is putting too much pressure on his heart, he must have a heart and kidney transplant simultaneously in order to survive.

Rare Transplant Surgery

A double organ transplant in a 4 year old is one of the rarest surgeries there is. They are back at UCSF as of July 31st,  for two to three weeks so he can undergo tests to determine just how long he has to find donors. They’ve been informed that UCLA is the only hospital that performs the dual transplants that he needs.

They will have to travel to UCLA for what they have been told could be anywhere from 3 to 6 months So Elizabeth will have to relocate there with Aaron for as long as necessary.

They REALLY need our prayers, big miracles & any monetary donations if you are in a place to give. Due to the huge financial strain this would put on any family, let alone one that has already lost one child. On top of all the medical issues they are dealing with there home may be going into foreclosure. They need HUGE miracles.

Aaron takes some 10-12 different medications a day to regulate his heart beat, blood pressure and for his kidney failure. They have a $350,000 cap on their insurance which they are dangerously close to as it is (before this 2 week “investigative” stay in the hospital or his double organ transplant).

A non profit foundation has been set up in Aarons name & non-profit number for donations. Please do not feel obligated to give, if you can be a prayer warrior — they need you, if you can forward this story to everyone you know — they need you. It doesn’t matter if you give a $1 or $10,000, it all adds up to make a big difference.

Please Pray!

When pure intentions meet an honest need and many are called together to rise and meet that need, miracles do happen. I can’t seem to lift this heaviness from my heart, I keep picturing myself in their shoes and I can’t fight back the tears. No parent should ever have to endure such sorrow, loss and worry.

If you are in a place to make a donation here are a couple of options:

Make a check payable to The Aaron Tanner Heart Foundation and mail it to:

Bank Of Agriculture
c/o Aaron Tanner Heart Foundation
2251 Balfour Rd., Brentwood, CA 94513

Or Donate through their website at www.saveabrokenheart.com

(This article was taken from Aaron’s website listed above)


1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Jennifer Walker  |  July 1, 2011 at 11:10 am

    As a mother of CHD, i also know what heartache is, My 6 year old son Kameron was born with several defects, ASD, VSD, Coarctations, and also had to have a transposition of the great vessels at 4 days old. I had to have a emergency c- section with him and then he was flown upon some 24 hours, all by himself, they would not discharge me from the hospital and said if i tried they would call security, that i had to be well before i could take care of my son.My mother and father attended this surgery, after 14 days i was allowed to see my son. Where i has a c-section and had clamps, they were afraid i might carry a staph infection . After several heart caths, Angio as they call them, lots of DR. visit traveling 5 hours away for 6 years now, he is up for his 2nd open heart surgery as of July @6th @ 6:00 am he will be on a long journey, they have to repair his aortic arch in Morgantown , WV. I have never felt such pain, grief, heartache and love until he had arrived. Kameron is definately my little Anger Warrior.
    Jennifer Walker


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