Monday, March 12, 2012


Honestly, I should give up making promises about when I will update.  It really is near the top of my very long, ever growing list of self-improvements.  Seeing as I'm not getting very far on that front, you'll have to forgive me once again.  I couldn't go to sleep tonight, however, without sharing this.

If you are local to the Dallas area or have read this blog for awhile, you may already know about and be a fan of a documentary series on Children's Medical Center Dallas called Children's Med that is currently airing it's second season.  One of our dear little friends, Rylynn, received her angel heart last October.  She was featured on the first season of the show while waiting on a Berlin heart, and the first two episodes of this season showed the story of her transplant.  You can watch the second episode on the Children's YouTube channel or by clicking HERE.

I wanted to share this tonight for several reasons.  First and foremost, we are so happy for Rylynn and her family and want to share her story.  Second, while we may have had some issues arise over the years, our transplant team (you'll get to see Keegan's surgeon, Dr. G, and our transplant coordinator, Susan, in the show) does amazing work every day that truly deserves to be celebrated.  Additionally, it is a real life view into the operating room during a heart transplant.  This is what our son endured four and a half years ago.  Dr. G explains the transplant process very well in this episode.  Keegan did not have the same defect as Ry, but he went from a form of mechanical life support (ECMO) to bypass to transplant.  He was also only 7 days old and weighed barely 5 pounds, with the heart the size of a walnut.

More than anything though, watching this episode brought on a wave of emotions and memories that I try hard to not think about too often.  I distinctly remember Susan walking into the waiting room (in the old CVICU) and falling to my knees with exhaustion and gratitude when she said Keegan's donor heart was finally in and very "snappy."  Although I have seen my son wheeled down the OR hallway post-surgery more times than I would like to count since then, I can still see his little face peeking out of blankets and tubes.  I remember saying, just like Andrea, "he looks so good, so pink!"  But I also remember realizing, as Dr. G describes, that my son would clinically die on that table that night.  For even the briefest of moments, no heart would beat in his chest.  No breaths would be taken as an entire cardiac team waited to see if his angel heart would bring him back to life.  Back to me.  And I am rocked with that grief and yet the renewal of knowing he was given a second chance all over again.

I don't know what I would have done or what our lives would have been like if things had gone differently that day.  Or if a miracle in the form of a little boy named Johnston wouldn't have come our way.  Still, I wouldn't have chosen any other life...any other child.  I couldn't.  He was chosen for me.


If before you were born, I could have gone to heaven and saw all the beautiful souls,
I still would have chosen you.
If God had told me, "This soul would one day need extra care and needs,"
I still would have chosen you.
If He had told me, "This soul may make your heart bleed,"
I still would have chosen you.
If He had told me, "This soul would make you question the depth of your faith,"
I still would have chosen you.
If He had told me, "This soul would make tears flow from your eyes that could fill a river,"
I still would have chosen you.
If He had told me, "This soul may one day make you witness overbearing suffering,"
I still would have chosen you.
If He had told me, "All that you know to be normal would drastically change,"
I still would have chosen you.
Of course, even though I would have chosen you,
I know it was God who chose me for you.

-Terri Banish

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