Baby Simone was born with half a heart. Here’s her story.
Do you remember how it felt when you were expecting your first baby? Or when a close friend or family member had their first child? It’s a unique kind of joy that’s hard to put into words, isn’t it?
For Hannah and Brandon, it was all that and much more. Every milestone filled their hearts with overflowing joy and love – the most incredible feeling ever.
Joy quickly turned to fear, when the ultrasound revealed their baby girl had only half a heart.
Can you imagine the crushing heartbreak when hearing the words congenital heart defect from your doctor? Sadly, we can. At Ronald McDonald House Charities Ann Arbor, we’ve been helping keep terrified, heartbroken families close to their seriously sick children for 35 years.
Hannah and Brandon were immediately referred to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Sweet baby Simone was born right on schedule. She had her first open heart surgery at four-days old and remained in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit for a month and a half.
While Brandon needed to get back to his coaching job at Skyline High School, Hannah stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in Ann Arbor for the next two months, to be close to baby Simone. Brandon would drive to the hospital each night to see Simone and give Hannah a desperately needed emotional and physical break.
“It was great having a place to escape the beeps and noises and everything of the hospital, to take a nap or cry in the shower, but still be close to Simone,” said Hannah.
Simone endured her third open heart surgery in March. She celebrated her third birthday in October. She can’t wait for the holidays to get here!
Keeping families close to their seriously-ill children is what we do and have done at RMHCAA for the last 35 years. But we can’t do it without you. Please give.
And thanks to the generosity of our long-time friend and supporter Geraldine Kilsdonk, your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $35,000 – in celebration of our 35th anniversary!
With sincere gratitude,