Posted on March 4, 2019

Gratitude for Life

Faith/ Family

Note: this article was written on the day my daughter was discharged. It is being published after.

I am writing this is a state of pure thankfulness. Today my 5 year old has been given the all clear from Hospital.

My youngest was born with a Heart Murmur. I knew before she was born that she had a Heart defect and it was a dark dark time in my life. At the time my marriage was ending and I felt alone. The darkness lead to a lot of self discovery so even though it wasn’t the most memorable time of my life I am grateful for what I felt and what it led to.

Still I soldiered on as Mamas do and when Hiffy was born she looked normal. Smelt normal. Acted normal. I just assumed the Heart thing would pan out. I was grateful for having what looked and felt like a healthy baby. She opened her eyes and I’ve got to say it was love at first sight. I guess at the time I didn’t know this little person would become my doppelganger but I felt it was even more important to me to protect her and give her the best of everything. She is perfect. And always will be.

For a lot of babies a hole in the Heart ‘fixes’ itself. The human body is a bloody amazing thing! However in some cases human intervention is needed via an operation.

I was given the news that Hiffy would need surgery as she neared her first Birthday. It was a hard piece of truth of hear. Sadly my daughters specialist passed away from a Heart problem which resulted in her Heart Surgery (Key hole surgery) being delayed and transferred to another Hospital.

In October 2014 my daughter was operated on in one of the best Hospitals in the world; Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Maybe it’s the fact it’s my hometown but I felt there was no better place for my little one to be treated.

Once the procedure was done we were free to return home. We went in on the morning of the operation and discharged the same day.

That’s how awesome modern day medicine and science is. We’re blessed. The NHS is an awesome organisation. We focus on their bad side but what about the GOOD they achieve? What about the staff that does more than their job calls for? What about those midwives that stay on after their shifts to deliver a baby because they’ve bonded with the Mama?

The Cardiac Specialist told me that Hiffy would be no different to any other child so I shouldn’t treat her any different to her sibling.

That was back in 2014. Recently I received a letter asking for Hiffy to attend a clinic for a check up. Firstly four years in a huge amount of time. Secondly Hiffy understands she was born with a ‘dodgy ticker’. Explaining to her we were attending a check up freaked her out.

On the day of the check up we went about business in the normal way. I must have lost a few nights sleep wondering about the ‘what if’ but then remembered that at each and every step of Hiffys life I’ve been eternally grateful for everything. Her improving health. Her milestones. Her epic personality. Her sparkling smile. Her memorising eyes. Her quirky ways. I am eternally grateful for it all. And when you are in a state of gratitude you ATTRACT more to be grateful for.

When we attended the appointment I must admit I just painted on a brave face because the last thing you want a 5 year old to detect is you are slightly fearful of what the Specialist might say.

The staff were simply awesome with Hiffy. They offered to change the DVD for her (after she mentioned she hadn’t watched Peppa in a long time because she’s FIVE) and the Specialist (who just so happened to be from the great Birmingham Children’s Hospital) complimented Hiffy on her good behaviour and manners.

The tests instantly showed what I knew deep down was the truth: Hiffy has a strong and healthy Heart. Her ticker has mended to the best of it’s ability. It’s supporting her to be the awesome spirit that she is.

And after her tests the Specialist gave me the news that he was discharging Hiffy from the Cardiac department. He said she’s just like anyone else who was born with no problem. He reassured me that if I ever felt something was wrong their doors were open; but as it stood Hiffy is happy, healthy and just like the normal five year old. He also said I could treat her like a normal kid.

Isn’t that what I’ve been doing for the past 5 years?

And with the information Hiffy asked if she could be rewarded with a BIG chocolate for her good behaviour and the fact her ticker is fixed. Not today kiddo but yeah; Mama can stretch to giving you a BIG bar of chocolate tomorrow; because my gratitude for you as my child is never ending Hiffy.

I can now sleep easy knowing Hiffy is well, I didn’t do anything wrong for her to be born with a Heart defect and that the NHS are an awesome organisation that need to be given more credit.

Gratitude is attitude; and my attitude is I’m thankful eternally for my blessing that is my pint sized doppelganger.

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