My 8 month old is Cooper. Also known as Cooper the Trooper to his doctor's! We found out at 25 weeks pregnant that they thought there was some type of deformity with his heart. This started a journey I could of never imagined. Cooper's "story" is something called Hypo-plastic Left Heart Syndrome. His left ventricle did not develop. His valves do not function normally. Right now, he's what's known as a "single ventricle baby." Because his left ventricle was not developed, his right ventricle does what the left ventricle was supposed to do. The left ventricle is the pumping chamber of the heart. It is the biggest and the strongest. It is supposed to have that workload. The right ventricle only has to pump to the lungs-so it only has a short little distance that it has to pump. They had to re-wire things so that his right ventricle can now pump for the body. He has a shunt that goes from his right ventricle to his pulmonary artery. The shunt is acting as his right ventricle and his right ventricle is now pumping for the body.
So far, Cooper has undergone two surgeries. The first one took place within the hour of his birth. The second surgery was supposed to be performed when he was one week old, but he crashed at one week and he went into complete organ failure. That pushed his surgery back until he was one month old. Then started another 5 months of holding our breath for his heart function to improve. Through that time we have had daily victories and daily struggles that nearly cost Cooper his life.
Our Trooper has been home nearly 2 months as he was considered "healthy" enough to finally meet his big 3 year old sister and 1 1/2 year old brother and that has been the biggest blessing so far! However, his heart function did not improve and this week we had to make the hardest decision thus far....yes, to do a heart transplant. Next week he gets his work up and then put on the top of this list as he is struggling more and more every day.
This brings me to why we are making another hard decision, to ask for help. To take care of Cooper full time I had to quit my job as a nurse and now we are a one income family of 5. We have been making it work as best we can. Now that we are being faced with going to another state to do the transplant, there will be lodging and meals and travel expenses plus every unknown that we can't even fathom yet all the while why trying to maintain the house back home during this time and the piling medical bills we have collected and will collect to do this expensive procedure. We are thankful for places like the Ronald McDonald House and other housing establishments offering some support when this happens and with that we still need help. Any that you can provide, we appreciate it and say THANK YOU! In fact, if you would like to read a little more about us, here is a link to our local paper that reached out to help earlier this year. http://www.courierpapers.com/washington_courier/article_f145f4cc-8ff2-11e2-9158-001a4bcf887a.html. It was wonderful of them to set up a fund for our friends and family to donate to. We appreciate what has been given but times have been very tight in our town which is why we are needing to reach out a little further. No matter if you are able to give or not, could you say an extra prayer for our Cooper the Trooper because he needs all the support he can get!
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