I'm very excited to introduce you to a super special little girl today...our heart buddy Claire! Remember the perfect valentine that we got in a the mail a few months back? The one with the handprints that looked like angel wings? Yup, those were Claire's little hands! Last year her Mommy Rebecca contacted me asking if it was okay for her to do a Books for Charley post on their blog and to hold a little collection of their own. A month or so later I came home to find a box on our doorstep post marked North Carolina...and in that box were over 50 children's books donated by Claire's friends and family. I've said this before (and I'm sure that I will say it again) but our heart family is amazing!
So, without further ado...MEET CLAIRE!
Claire was born in October 2010 at 29 weeks with Tetralogy of Fallot with right aortic arch (congenital heart defect) and hepatic mesenchymal hamartomas (rare liver disease). She weighed only 3 lbs 2 oz and was 16 ¼” long. Claire stayed in the NICU at Duke University Hospital for 99 days before she was allowed to come home. She returned to the hospital at 4 ½ months old for her "full repair" to fix her large VSD, pulmonary stenosis, and pulmonary valve. Claire then had over 80% of her liver removed at 7 months old as well as having her appendix removed, her gall bladder removed, and 2 inguinal hernias repaired.
Although Claire’s heart is mended, she will continue to see a cardiologist at least once a year for the rest of her life. There is a possibility that she will need another heart surgery in her late teens or early twenties depending on how her pulmonary valve grows with her heart and body.
By looking at her, you could never guess all that Claire has been through. She is now a healthy little girl who is full of energy and sassiness. She loves any kind of animal, reading books, and being outside.
Although Claire and Charlotte never met, and although we may never meet Charlotte’s parents, we are connected through our children’s hearts. And we are absolutely honored to be able to participate again this year with Books for Charley and to be able to donate them to Duke University Hospital where Claire received all of her care.
To read more about Claire and her journey, go to http://babyclairesblog.blogspot.com.
Thank you Rebecca for sharing your little girl with us and for agreeing to be a part of our Books for Charley collection. You're family will forever and always have a special place in my heart and I know that our Charlotte is constantly watching over her little heart buddy!