Big Hearts 4 Sam
Big Hearts 4 Sam grew out of yours and his extended family's big hearts. Just after Mother's Day 2016, the doctors informed Mommy (Dacia Harris) that the left ventricle of Sammy's heart had not formed. The diagnosis that soon followed was hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) and heterotaxy-- a complex and serious congenital condition in which Sammy's internal organs were found to also be affected.
The doctors say Sammy will need specialized heart surgery soon after birth and probably two more more times before he starts kindergarten. It is yet unclear what treatments and/or surgeries he will need to address the additional issues with his stomach, liver, intestines, and spleen. While we are thankful for what Daddy's (Mike Harris) health insurance will cover, the $10,000 annual deductible and anticipated extended hospital stays out of state for Dacia, extra travel for Mike and big brother, Jack, will-- and already have begun to-- place a significant financial burden on the family.
Many of you have Big Hearts and have asked how you can help. First, we ask for your continued prayers. Sammy's name comes from the Biblical story of Hannah, who named her son Samuel because she had prayed so fervently for him. The name literally means "God has heard." We are doing the same, praying fervently and expecting God to hear, and we graciously ask you to join us in praying for our Samuel. We have no doubt that God has a special plan for his life, and you can follow Dacia's blog, "WholeheartedlyBlessed.com " for ongoing updates on how God is working through our brave Super Heart hero, Sammy. Where doctors see half of a heart, we see that Sammy Baby has enough heart to grow our own hearts beyond what we ever believed was possible.
The second way you can help is financially, if you are in a position to do so. Money raised will be used for medical, family, and travel needs. We are truly very grateful for you and those who suggested this very practical and meaningful way to support Mike, Dacia, Jack, and Samuel during this difficult journey. You--our friends, family, and friends yet to meet--- have shown us what it means to have a Big Heart--and we thank you from the very bottom of our own grateful hearts.
We hope Sammy's heart journey to wellness encourages you as you travel your own life’s journey. Follow Sammy's amazing journey here and at WholeheartedlyBlessed.com
Linda (Gigi) Harris
After a disconcerting pediatric visit today (Super Sammy Braveheart is sick & had disheartening growth measures), Dacia received a call from OU Children's Medical Center indicating they could see Sammy for swallowing issue on 11/8!!! (21 days away!)
Two things make this even more remarkable than we can hardly believe.
1.) Dacia has been turned away numerous times by OU because they had 100+ kids ahead of Sammy. (God bless a mother's love. She. Has. Persisted.) They even refused to consider scheduling a long range appointment. No chance. #ButGod
2.) No confirmation yet, but Mike's insurance may cover some of the costs. They won't know until the appointment, but it sounds like OU is at least willing to pursue payment via insurance--and insurance has paid for other OU services. (Keep praying on that!)
What a week it has been! Therapist found! Therapist not approved by insurance. Kidney shows significant improvement! Growth chart triggers medical concern. Then we sent out a prayer request to you.
Yes, it's still hard to post soul-bearing concerns and needs, but we so desperately need your prayers--and God answered through you--and in ways that reveal it could only have been Him.
Thank you Team Sammy from the bottom , sides, corners, and crevices of our very thankful hearts.
"God will make a way where there seems to be no way" Isaiah 43:16
As you know, Sammy has had a miraculous first year. He is bigger and stronger than many, probably most heart babies. And we need to keep him that way. So, we're asking for your prayers again.
Many of you know Sammy has had difficulty transitioning from bottle to table food. This may be a complication from surgery intubation.
Sammy Baby just can't swallow. Instead, he gags and throws up. He spent a night in the hospital in August and had to have a procedure for something that had gone in, but he couldn't get out. While we're really grateful that has not happened again, this little boy has been h.u.n.g.r.y. for real food and has tried numerous times with the tiniest mashed bits. However, the resulting gagging has caused him to now start rejecting food.
After 8 months of trying to get him appropriate therapy, Dacia has finally found someone who can provide therapy, and the insurance company has rejected coverage. They are appealing, but we all know how that tends to go. Your prayers are especially needed now for Sammy to maintain wellness. If you are able to make a contribution and share Sammy's story, that would be greatly appreciated. Blessings friends!
Encouraged by your prayers and altars of remembrance the Lord has provided along the pathway to and since Sammy’s birth, we have seen our Heavenly Father answer so many prayers, it seems fitting that for Father’s Day 2017, we share news from Sammy’s cardiologist appointment this past week. From Dacia’s Facebook page:
We had a great echo and cardio appointment! In fact, we won't be back for six months That will feel strange...are they sure? So for now we focus on development. There is some talk that Sammy may not need the Fontan, his next open heart surgery. We won't know for sure until he's two or three. If he turns blue, we do it. But right now he has forward flow Dr. Ikemba didn't want to get me too excited, but she said it is a question we should ask each visit. So that's our big prayer request! It would be so rare that not only did he skip the first surgery, the Norwood, but to skip the Fontan too is just another miracle. The longer he can go without another intervention lowers the chance of him needing a heart transplant, so we will take as long as possible. So glad we serve a God who hears and is very much present. #SuperSammy
A final note: The attached picture was taken at the RMDH Walk for Kids last weekend. When I first saw this picture of Sammy so relaxed in his daddy’s arms, I exhaled--deeply. I was taken by the sheer joy and peace on Sammy’s face and the utter trust he expressed by leaning back into his daddy in full surrender—so he could take in the gentle breeze softly kissing his cheeks. I also think he knew he was safe in his heavenly Father’s arms all along. Just as we all are. Peace to you, Team Sammy! I trust you feel the gentle breeze of the Father’s love upon you this day and always. Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads and surrogate dads out there! We love you! #wholeheartedlyblessed; #SuperSammyBraveheart;
Happy Thanksgiving to you little Sammy, and your wonderful family too!
Wow! What a difference! Thank you Jesus!
Bless the creator! I am so relieved to hear this. Go Sammy!