Since starting this blog nearly four years ago, I have written over 500 posts but by far this was the most challenging to write. I started, stopped and erased this it dozens of times because emotionally I couldn’t find the right words.
February has the unique distinction of being American Heart Month, in addition to being the month in which Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week (February 7 – 14th) takes place. In previous years, my wife and I participated in “heart walks” but it wasn’t until last year where the need for awareness hit close to home. On June 26, 2013, we were blessed with our first child as Matthew Emerson Rice entered this world looking just like every other “normal” baby. However, Matthew was / is special as he was born with a very rare and deadly heart disease known as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. In layman’s terms, he only has half a heart but a helluva lot of fight and strength in him. Fittingly, our son was diagnosed with HLHS nearly a year ago today.
I have mentioned before that during our journey, Sisters By Heart helped provide us with a sense of hope and earlier today, they shared on their Facebook page one of the most moving videos that I have ever seen. The video beautifully captures what it is like for families, especially the children, who are dealing with this same horrible and incurable disease. It features lyrics written by Carrie Walls and is performed by Nicole Bennett as the music is based on “Royals” by Lorde (see below).
It breaks my heart just thinking about the fact that there are other families going through the same thing. For those families, I can only offer words of encouragement as the most important thing is to never give up. As hard as it may be, you have to dig deeper and deeper each day to find the strength to never lose faith. For those that have personally supported our family, I can ensure you that your kindness and love will never be forgotten.
With a little over 4,000 views, I would like to ask your help in sharing this video with your friends and family to increase awareness. Please take the time to watch and share. Thank you in advance for your support!
Special thanks to all of the “Heart Moms” out there, especially my wife, who is the glue that keeps everything together. The way that you handle the ups and downs of our everyday life with grace, strength and courage is inspiring.
Together we can help create awareness and hopefully one day there will be a cure.