Sweet Little Abe was born with half a heart. Here is his story.
Can you picture it? Kristina and Chris Peace were gleefully expecting their second child just in time for the holidays. “Our long-awaited second child arrived on November 13th. We named him Abrahm – Abe for short.” Their hearts were bursting at the seams with joy. Especially Sam’s little heart. He was so excited to be a big brother!
“We didn’t know anything was wrong. The nurses said he looked a little blue. So, they took him to the neonatal intensive care unit, just to have him looked at,” Chris said.
Imagine Chris holding his perfect bundle of joy in his arms for the very first time. Now imagine a moment later, as nurses suddenly took Abe from dad and raced him to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). They assured Chris and Kristina, it was just a precautionary measure. Chris waited patiently in the NICU waiting area.
As minutes turned into hours, their fleeting joy turned to devastating fear. Chris and Kristina will never forget the first time they heard the words, Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Sweet little Abe was missing half of his heart.
“Our lives were literally uprooted into this completely foreign world,” said Kristina.
Within hours of his birth, Abe was life-flighted to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital for his first of three nerve-racking open-heart surgeries. Chris and Kristina drove from the regional hospital where Abe was born to Ann Arbor. That ninety-minute trip was the longest drive of their lives. All the while tearfully worrying about what was happening with their sweet baby boy. Kristina shared, “I would stay at the Ronald McDonald House during the week. Chris and Sam would come up on the weekends. Those weeknight walks to the House were really hard. But there were other moms I would walk back with and that would make the walk a little easier.”
The Peace family never imagined spending Abe’s first Thanksgiving with other families at the Ronald McDonald House or calling Ronald McDonald House Charities Ann Arbor home for 11 weeks straight. They admit it was never a community they wanted to belong to. But it became a community they could depend upon, thanks to you.
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.
Because of your compassionate and generous support, Abe just celebrated his 5th birthday. But his medial journey will continue for years to come. You can help ensure Ronald McDonald House Charities will be here for Abe and other families with seriously-sick children now and forever. You’ve been there for families in the past. They need you now more than ever. Please give.
With sincere gratitude,
P.S. 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!