February 18, 2019
This week we welcomed heart transplant patient, Josh, and his family to our Dreamer apartment at Yellow Door.
Young Josh's journey has been anything but easy. Even before his birth, mom Paulina knew that Josh had hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS).
According to the Mayo Clinic, hypoplastic left heart syndrome is a complex and rare heart defect present at birth. The left side of the heart is critically underdeveloped in hypoplastic left heart syndrome, so it can't effectively pump blood to the body. Instead, the right side of the heart must pump blood to the lungs and to the rest of the body. With advances in care, the outlook for these children is better now than in the past.
For HLHS patients, heart surgery is a must. Can you imagine, Josh had his first surgery at 3 days old, followed by another at eight months, and yet a third at age 3. Unfortunately, still more was needed. After living with half a heart for almost six years, Josh recently underwent a heart transplant, and in spite of some complications, his recovery is going well!
Paulina said "It's worth going through everything. To see him smiling is incomparable, to hear him say Mommy I love you, fills my whole being."
One of the issues we've encountered our first year, that we really weren't prepared for, is our inability to communicate acceptably with our Hispanic families! In my case, knowing that zanahoria means carrot isn't much help! Thankfully, we've been able to enlist the help of our good friend, 11 year old Maryeli, who's a translator extraordinaire!! Maryeli made it possible for us to get Paulina and Josh settled comfortably with all their questions answered! We're so thankful to have her as part of the Yellow Door team going forward! Gracias, Maryeli!
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