But Kyle is very different from other 10-year-olds in many ways as well. Kyle was born with congenital heart disease in 2007. There’s nothing that can prepare you for that as a parent. Nothing.
We should have been home enjoying our new bundle of joy. Instead, we were in a strange hospital quickly learning medical terms like double inlet left ventricle, tricuspid atresia, L-malposed great vessels, pulmonary stenosis, mild pulmonary artery hypoplasia, and atrial septal defect secundum.
And then, when our sweet son was 3 months old, he went into congestive heart failure, and we quickly learned the names of the procedures surgeons would perform during open heart surgery: bidirectional Glenn, atrial septectomy, and pulmonary artery band.
We placed our beautiful baby boy in the hands of surgeons we’d just recently met and prayed that all would go well. Our prayers were answered. The surgeons did their job and brought our baby Kyle back to us.
Then, in 2010, we did it all again. At age 3, Kyle had his second open-heart surgery; it was 9 hours long. And once again, we prayed. And once again, the surgeons did their job and brought our bright-eyed toddler back to us.
But Kyle wasn’t out of the woods. At age 7, he began losing weight again. Because of his heart defects and disease, Kyle’s body is burning major calories by just keeping his heart beating. A feeding tube was placed in 2014.
The more weight Kyle loses, the harder his heart must work. The harder his heart must work, the more weight Kyle loses. It’s a vicious cycle, ending eventually in heart failure. At that point, Kyle will need a heart transplant. Doctors have warned us all along his heart would most likely fail around the age of 10. Kyle is 10 now. He’s lost another 10 pounds from his already undersized body in the last few months. He’s on the verge of being admitted once again to the Herma Heart Center at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.
We never know how our tomorrows will be, but we’ve made it this far. Kyle will make it through this, too, because he is strong. Our family will make it through this, too, because we are strong.
However, we need your help. Our insurance will not cover Kyle’s feeding tube equipment or the nutritional formula he requires. Those supplies are $900 per month. It’s a cost we can no longer bear on our own. In addition, doctor appointments and another possible hospital stay mean unpaid time off work on top of copays and deductibles. We’ve set a goal of raising $10,000 to cover 8 months of feeding supplies and uncovered medical expenses. Through your financial support, you will literally be feeding our son.
We are reaching out to you—family, friends, and strangers—in the hopes you will help our spunky Kyle. Please keep him in your thoughts, prayers, and hearts as he moves down this next path of his medical journey.
Eric and Tammy
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