Harrison's Big Heart

Every parent's worst nightmare is their child getting sick... On April 3rd 2018 this nightmare began for the McDowell family when 14 month old Harrison was diagnosed with pneumonia. On April 6th the family found themselves in the ER at New Hanover Regional Medical Center because their baby was not improving, and quickly had their world turned upside down. Harrison never had pneumonia it was his HEART all along! Their son's condition was so much worse than they could fathom, and they were told that baby Harrison needed to be airlifted to UNC hospital right away because something serious was wrong with his heart and there was nothing more NHRMC could do.Gabby and Bobby McDowell had to kiss their sweet baby goodbye as he was transported via a 55-minute helicopter ride to UNC Hospital... They had to get back into their car with an empty car seat, a mountain of fear smothering them, and drive two and a half hours to be with their son.Harrison is mostly smiles in the UNC PICU. He doesn't understand why he can't be at home playing or why strangers keep poking at him, but he is such a brave boy eventhough his heart is not functioning as a normal 1 year olds heart should be. His left ventricle is extremely dilated and his heart is enlarged which is causing labored breathing. His resting heart rate has been around 160, and the normal for his age is 80-120. Harrison will have to see a Pediatric Cardiologist infefinitely and as of right now doctors think he will be on five different medications and he will need regular echocardiograms for his heart when he's allowed to go home.... This baby's heart may be broken but his spirit is not!Out of nowhere this family's worst nightmare has become reality! A reality no one ever wants to find themselves in... an emotional and extremely expensive waiting game with their son's heart on the line. This is now the McDowell family's new normal. Bobby, is sleeping in a chair and Harrison and his mama, Gabby, snuggle in a hospital bed in the UNC PICU room. They are not comfortable or at peace but they are together!Doctors do not know what caused Harrison's heart condition yet because answers require so much more testing. So for now the family simply waits, knowing there is no cure, but hoping and praying that his heart condition can be managed with medications.Harrison' s condition is exceptionally emotional and stressful but it's also a continually rising financial burden! Your prayers during this time are greatly appreciated and if you're able any donations or social media shares would be greatly appreciated! Let's gather around this family and help bring a little peace and ease some of this heavy burden by supporting them during this awful season of life

Donations ()

  • Stacey DelVacchio 
    • $30 
    • 24 mos
  • Ray & Marilyn Wetter 
    • $3,000 
    • 25 mos
  • Jeff Schorr 
    • $100 
    • 25 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 25 mos
  • Mallory Bennett 
    • $30 
    • 25 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Harry's squad (2)

Gabrielle McDowell 
Organizer
Wilmington, NC
Desirae Mastro 
Team member
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