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A Heart For a Child is a Valentine's Day Miracle

“When my doctor walked in she looked at me and she said, "There's something wrong with your baby's heart,” said Angie. She was five months pregnant with her third daughter when a routine sonogram revealed baby Blair had  Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome- - a rare birth defect that causes the left side of the heart to be severely underdeveloped. She called her husband Jordan with the news.

“And my heart sank. I didn't like my wife crying. I didn't like the possibility of what could come from this, and I just had hurt in my heart,” said Jordan.

I had a little fear, disappointment, and shock. I was in disbelief. You never want it to be your kids. You never expect it to happen to you,” said Angie.

Baby Blair would require several corrective surgeries at birth to survive. Angie and Jordan reached out to family and friends to pray and established a Facebook page called Beats for Baby Blair.  “Without the community support, I don't know what we would have done.  I don't know if we would have had the strength to get through it without them and without their prayer,” said Angie.

They welcomed Blair into the world on September 2, 2015 with a mix of hope and fear. “I was soaking it all in. All of her fingers and toes, to see what she actually looks like in person was very exciting,” said Jordan.

“It was a relief to see her take a breath and feel her on me for a moment but it was kind of scary to see her whisked away so quickly,” said Angie.

Blair underwent open-heart surgery at eight days old. It was then that doctors made a devastating discovery, pulmonary stenosis had disabled the healthy side of her heart and her only chance of survival was a heart transplant.  “It crushed my heart.  It really did. It’s hard to keep your faith in a time like that, but there's not really another option,” said Angie.

“We kept praying because it's our backbone.  It's the only thing I felt I could do to help her.  I wasn't able to put a Band-Aid on a skinned knee. It wasn't something I could physically help her overcome. The only thing I could do to help Blair was to pray for her,” said Jordan. Once again, Angie and Jordan reached out to others to pray, including Blair’s 13,000 Facebook followers. Because of Blair’s special circumstances, their prayers were tempered with humility.

“You realize that for her to get a new heart it means that another baby died.  So you don't want to pray for that. So we would just pray that his will be done and whatever that be, we would be prepared for it,” said Angie.

Because of infections and other complications, Blair was taken off the transplant list multiple times over the next several months. Then on Valentine’s Day, the same day Blair was put back on the list, Angie and Jordan received a phone call.  “The lady on the phone says, ‘We've accepted a heart for Blair.’  And we were like, ‘Say it again?  What?’  And she says, ‘We've accepted a heart for Blair," said Jordan.  

“I was actually in disbelief.  I made our transplant coordinator repeat herself because I didn't believe her,” said Angie.  “And both of us sank in our chairs with joy hugged each other and cried. It was a very special Valentine's day and I told my wife that night before we went to bed, that this is a Valentine's Day I'll never be able to beat.  There's no flowers, no gifts would top, giving our daughter a heart,” said Jordan.

The next day Blair underwent a successful transplant surgery. After seven months in the hospital, she was finally released and welcomed home by a community parade.
“It was amazing.  “We looked at each other like, Is this really happening? To finally bring her home, it felt right.  It felt like this is where she needs to be,” said Angie.

“She's so upbeat. Such a happy baby, rolling around, sitting up, playing with all of her toys.  She always has a smile. She's just a happy, happy baby,” said Jordan.

Blair has some catching up to do, but is expected to be on track developmentally by age 4. Now each Valentine’s Day, her parents are reminded of the love of God and the prayers of the faithful as they celebrate the day their little girl was given a brand new heart.     

“Angie and I both believe if it weren't for the prayers of us, our family and our community, and all the people that followed us all over the world, that we wouldn’t have Blair home today,” said Jordan.

“I feel like this is her purpose, is to share her story and to give other people hope and to give other people strength and to give other people faith. You definitely never give up faith and you just – you pray.  When there's nothing else to do, you pray.”

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