13I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
14Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14
This year has been challenging. An understatement, right? A few examples include COVID-19, racial reflection, separation from family, and learning new ways to adapt to the world whether it be technology, economy, or being unprepared for a situation none of us planned.
Angelia is a woman I supervised a few years ago as an educator. She is about 20 years younger than me, not married and I lost track of her over the last five years.
On February 3, 2020, Angelia gave birth to a little girl, Lyndi Clare at 5lbs 11 oz. Since then, they have spent weeks in the hospital. There are times Angelia is not allowed to hold Lyndi. And she has stood by watching her and feeling helpless, as Lyndi fought for her life.
1 in 100 babies are born with congenital heart defects. When Angelia’s doctor told her of Lyndi’s diagnosis, tears rolled down her cheeks. “Your baby has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. She will require three open heart surgeries. One right after she is born, one at four to six months, and one around two to three years old.
That is the “typical” palliative course for HLHS babies. To a naïve new mother of a heart warrior, it seemed ”straight forward”. These were Angelia’s expectations. In September, during that 2nd surgery everything went wrong. Part of the surgery failed. And Lyndi had to have an emergency surgery. That straight forward plan Angelia expected when she was pregnant? Now it crumbled before her. She has had three open heart surgeries, four heart catheters, and too many x-rays, echocardiograms, and blood draws to count. And she is not finished yet!
However, Lyndi reached 10 months on December 3rd. She is healthy. They have more appointments and surgeries ahead, but they are home now. Lyndi weighs 14.5 lbs. and has more to go, but she has not thrown up in two weeks! She is eating everything and is mastering her bottle skills again!
People ask Angelia what is next for Lyndi. “Not only do I not know, but Lyndi’s medical team does not know. Lyndi’s heart is complex. It is up to her and how she is growing”. A strange and overwhelming, unknown journey continues for this mother and child.
Angelia bought Lyndi a Wonder Woman outfit for when she was released from the hospital. It is adorable and quite fitting. Lyndi is a Heart Warrior. She is a feisty, strong-willed, loving, giggling and an adorable baby. Angelia her mother is strong, kind, and courageous. They are supported by her parents, the medical team, her Heart Parent Club, her friends, and all of those that have shown the Goodness of the Lord to this small family.
I pray that we take strength, courage, and patience from Lyndi’s story and apply it to our journey this Advent. Whatever you face, know that you are surrounded by people of the Lord and they will help you endure through God’s Love and their kindness.