Saturday, August 31, 2013

Heart Friends

I am beyond sad tonight. We have lost 2 heart friends in 24 hours and my heart is breaking for their families.  Nothing can prepare you for the loss of a child, and having been close a few times with Caelen now, it just hits too close to home.  

I'm so grateful that Caelen is still here and thriving, but these losses are crushing. When anyone loses a child, you grieve. But when a heart friend loses a child, my whole world and every cell of my being weeps.  I'm reminded how cruel CHD's (congenital heart disease) are, and that we can't take anything for granted. 

So in tribute, here are our 2 newest Heart Angels.  Fly high James and Fly high George. 

James Roberts-Scichilone passed away yesterday at Boston Children's Hospital. He was a beautiful 1 year old who had just had his third open heart surgery. Two weeks ago he was playing at home in FL before he got rushed to Boston. His marathon surgery was Wednesday and after a difficult recovery, he suffered a massive stroke yesterday morning and he just couldn't stay any longer. He is survived by his amazing mom Mackenzie and his Dad Michael, as well as three older siblings. 

George Lagerstrom passed away this morning in his sleep at his family's cabin. He was 9 years old. We met George under the worst circumstances last fall at CHOP. He was also on ECMO after his surgery and had a very difficult path. It took a while, but George kept fighting, and fighting and fighting, until he made it back to a Minneapolis hospital on Feb 28.  George came home from the MN hospital on Mothers Day and thrived once home. He even got to go back to school recently. So although I don't know the details, I know that he had a great summer, was very happy, and was surrounded by his family when he passed. He is survived by his incredible mom Julie, Dad Ed and two older siblings. 

Scary Fact:
Did you know that twice as many children die every year from CHD than do childhood cancer. Why?  Because Childhood cancer is better known and better funded. What can you do?  Donate to The Children's heart foundation to fund research for pediatric congenital heart disease. Everyone likes a tax write off. 

Also, pleass pray for my friends and their families during the most awful of times. 

Rest in peace sweet little James, and May the Force be with you George. You've both forever stolen a piece of my heart and you will never be forgotten.  Fly high boys, Fly High!!!

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