You may know I have a soft spot for cardiac kids because of my own kiddo, Kane, and his heart story. So when Ronald McDonald House staff contacted me about this family I was planning to slot them in as my November family. But when I spoke with Nash’s mom, Ashley, and learned he had recently become a member of the zipper club, well…meet Nash!
Ashley and Gavin found out at their 20 week ultrasound that their baby had congenital heart disease (CHD). Here’s how Ashley described what brought them to Ronald McDonald House. “Nash was born in Saskatoon and then flown to the Stollery when he was 4 days old. We first thought we would be here for the Norwood procedure for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. However, when we got here the doctors decided that his left ventricle could manage and instead he only needed his aortic arch repaired. They are now monitoring him to make sure that the rest of his left heart can do the job that it needs to do.”
When I asked if there was anything they would like to have photographed they mentioned Nancy Tillman’s picture book, You’re Here for a Reason. This instantly created another connection for me. The page they are reading from contains my favourite quote from the book.
Gavin’s parents are proud of him for so many reasons, but one thing in particular was that Nash kicked ass after surgery, getting his chest closed up just two days post surgery. These images were taken two weeks post surgery and look how great he looks!
When I asked Nash’s parent to use three words to describe him they wrote, “brave, trickster, strong”
Enjoy those cuddles, Nash!
To follow Nash’s story check out his Facebook page, Baby Balysky-Crawford Heart Adventures. It fills my heart that this family is sharing their hospital story and normalizing the experience for others. And as always much love to the Madden DeLuca Foundation.