This ministry was started because of one little boy. He only lived 72 days, but God has used his life and the ministry created in his honor to impact MANY.
Samuel David Owens
11.18.09 - 1.29.10
We send out comfort bags to newborns born with congenital heart defects...forced to fight for their lives from the very beginning of them with this disease that has no cure. The bags bring needed, practical comfort and help to the newborns and their their families. We know first hand what it is like having a newborn in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit of a hospital. We know what it is like to have a child who has to battle a Congenital Heart Defect (CHD). We are the parents of THREE heart children. Parker, 18 and Matthew, now aged 17 who are living and thriving despite their heart conditions, (Matthew-Bicuspid Aortic Valve, aortic and pulmonary stenosis, and aortic root enlargement. 9 heart surgeries to date. Parker- aortic root enlargement, aortic stenosis, and ascending aortic dilation) and our sweet Baby Sam who was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). Samuel passed away at 72 days old...never leaving the CICU. It was in his honor and memory that we created 4Hisheart. This unique ministry uses all that we learned while Sam was alive...to help comfort other families and newborn facing a similar journey.{Those are our sweet little Sam's actual footprints ;)}

The large bags are custom made and hand appliqued with a huge felt and fabric heart pocket on the outside. They are big enough to carry neccesary items to and from the hospital room every day and super cute to continue to use as a diaper bag later! Inside we pack each one with the following:

A gas gift card. Often the hospital is not in the families home town or even state and travel expenses add up very quickly.

A Swaddler. The swaddleme swaddlers have been pre approved by the Mayo Clinic CICU nursing staff. They wrap up the newborn so that they still feel secure while the openings allow for all of the medical gear and tubes.

A custom fleece blanket. The blankets are a special size to fit the isolettes perfectly. They are also tied in a special way without knots so that it does not create any pressure points on swollen skin.

A Sleep Sheep. This sweet little stuffed sheep can velcro onto the isolette or sit on top of wires or tubing as a "weight". It makes 4 different soothing white noises to cover up and drown out the harsh and loud CICU environment.

A Little Engine That Could book. While Sam was in the hospital one one of his nurses gave him that nickname. It stuck...and trains and engines have become a symbol for Samuel's life. Sometimes parents don't know what to do or say to their little one who is so sick. It helps to have a book they can read out loud to them.

A Devotional Book. Every bag is packed with a copy of the book A Different Dream for My Child. It is specifically written for the hearts of parents who have a chronically or critically ill child.

A Classical Music lullaby CD. When Sam was alive, every time his classical lullaby cd was played in the room he seemed to settle down a little easier. It also helped drown out the CICU noise and alarms and machines.
SOON every 4Hisheart bags will also include a crocheted little heart that families can snuggle next to their sweet babies. I am SO SO excited about this!!

The bags cost us around $75.00 each...sometimes a little more depending on sale prices, and whether or not I am able to buy in bulk which saves us a TON! The price to ship each bag runs anywhere from $14 to 25 depending on where we are shipping to and if we are sending it priority or overnight.

To date...we have sent out more than 1000 bags in the last (not quite) 8 years. 300 of those we have sent out in the last year and a half. The need is evident, the ministry is growing at a pace I did not forsee, and more often than not, we have a waiting list of families who request our help.

That is why this could NOT have come at a better time! God's timing...always perfect.

PLEASE consider donating to 4Hisheart. NOW is the perfect time and your donations will be put to use to IMMEDIATELY help these tiny little ones with broken hearts and the families who love them with all of theirs!!!
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Joy Swanson Owens 
Pleasant Hill, IA
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