The story of baby Hope is one that will leave you believing that hope is never lost.

One June 1, at the 20-week ultrasound, baby Hope Larkin was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, a congenital heart defect that leaves the left side of the heart critically underdeveloped. The Centers for Disease Contol and Prevention estimates that “about 1 out of every 4,344 babies born in the United States each year” is born with HLHS.

Hope’s parents were given three options: 1. Abort the pregnancy, 2. Allow nature to take its course or 3. Go through a series of three open heart surgeries that will allow baby Hope to have a fighting chance at life. Hope’s parents decided to go with the third option.

The first stage, the Norwood Procedure, is performed shortly after birth, while the Bi-directional Glenn Operation is performed six months after the Norwood and the Fontan Operation performed 18 to 36 months after the Glenn operation. Though the surgeries do not cure HLHS, they can help restore function to the left side of the heart. Without surgery or a heart transplant, HLHS can be fatal. According to a study done by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the surgeries combined can cost at least $350,000 in hospital charges.

How Can You Help Baby Hope?

So how can you help baby Hope? According to her YouCaring page, the baby is due any day now and her parents are asking for $8,000 in donations to help offset the extensive costs of the surgeries and other medical expenses. You can help by:

  1. Contributing directly to their fundraising goal by making a donation on their YouCaring page
  2. Sharing Hope’s story and raising awareness for HLHS

In Melissa Larkin’s latest update, she wrote that they “are feeling a mix of emotions that include fear, nervousness and excitement. But overall we are ready! Please keep us and baby Hope in your prayers and positive thoughts as we welcome her into this world.”

“Hope: Have faith. One step a day, and Positive thoughts Empower your mind.”