|Author Clare Reveal|
Guest Post by Clare Revell
When A Child Has A Heart Defect
Every expectant mum says “So long as the baby is healthy, I don’t mind what it is.”
Well what if the baby isn’t healthy? How do you cope then? This happened to us in 1994. We’d been married almost two years, five days short, when Rhys was born. For the first nine weeks things were great. Well, apart from the post-natal depression and a close family friend being killed in a climbing accident. But other than that…
Then at the end of November, Rhys got a cold. The weight fell off him. The health visitor, already on my back, insisted I wake him to feed him at night. Yeah, right. He was just starting to sleep through and you know how much a new mum loves her sleep.
Only it wasn’t a cold. My GP, also a Christian, rang out of the blue to see how I was. He asked if it was me wheezing. When I said it was the baby, despite the late hour, he came over immediately. Within half an hour, Rhys was in the hospital on the children’s ward. Twenty minutes later we were whisked to ITU where he was put on a ventilator with severe bronchiolitis.
We were then hit with the devastating news that Rhys had SCTAPVD – Super cardiac total anomalous pulmonary venous drainage. In other words his heart was plumbed wrong and if it weren’t for the fact the hole in the heart hadn’t closed he’d already be dead. If they didn’t operate he’d die before he was five, probably never walk or talk.
We were sent home for Christmas, awaiting a phone call to come back for surgery.
He was little more than skin and bones, but did have his first solids on Christmas Day.
Early Jan 1995 we got the phone call and went in for surgery. The day after the doctor was about to check him over to be sent from ITU to the children’s ward, when Rhys flat-lined.
The rest of the day is a blur. We prayed, cried, chose hymns for his funeral. Our families drove 50 miles to the hospital to be with us. The whole church prayed, as they had been since he was first diagnosed.
They got him back. But he suffered from fits. They didn’t know why so started a drug regime to halt them. He’d need antibiotics before any surgery, including dental for life.
But he recovered. Turned into a cheeky baby, who put on weight, crawled, walked, a little later than other children, but we didn’t care. He was joined by a sister in November, 1995 and another in May, 1999.
This is Rhys today. Taller than me, tho that isn’t hard, loves football, walking. He hates his scar. Won’t ever go topless even in the hottest of summers.
What got me though this? Well that’s easy. God did. I yelled, screamed, cried, probably acted like a child at times throwing a hissy fit, about how unfair it was. But there were other parents in the same ITU who weren’t as fortunate as we were. We got to take him home, see him grow up. Other’s didn’t.
And this is way more than my 500 word limit. But my point is this. God’s blessings come even in the darkest of times. We just have to cling on to the Rock and never let go. And we will come out the other side, maybe a little battered and bruised, but we will get there.
CFP: Thanks so much, Clare, for sharing Rhys's story and your's. God is so good! So glad He brought you through!
Bio: Clare is a British author. She lives in a small town in England with her husband, whom she married in 1992, and her three children. Writing from a early childhood and encouraged by her teachers, she graduated from rewriting fairy stories through fanfiction to using her own original characters and enjoys writing an eclectic mix of romance, crime fiction and children's stories. When she's not writing, she can be found reading, crocheting or doing the many piles of laundry the occupants of her house manage to make.
Her books are based in the UK, with a couple of exceptions, thus, although the spelling may be American, the books contain British language and terminology.
The first draft of every novel is hand-written.
She has been a Christian for more than half her life. She goes to Carey Baptist where she is one of four registrars.
Clare can be found at:
Giveaway: Clare is giving away a PDF copy of winner's choice of book and OWG is giving away an ebook copy, winner's choice. Aren't those covers lovely? Available in ebook only.