My story. My ECHO.

Being a mother of a heart warrior is not an easy task. It requires patience, perseverance, courage, strength, and a bundle of faith in God. Here in the Philippines, when a doctor delivers the news to the parents that their child has a Congenital Heart Defect, they can’t help but feel like it’s already the end of everything – that nothing else can be done except for cherish the remaining days of your kid while they are present.

Last February 18, 2013, my 1 year and 5 month old daughter, Gabrielle underwent a 6-hour life-saving open heart surgery to fix her congenital heart disease known as Tetralogy of Fallot where her heart has four abnormalities which had to be fixed for her to live a long and normal life.

When we first learned about her condition, I did not want her to undergo an operation because I cannot bear the sight of my daughter suffering from post-operative pains. However, I thought wrong because the longer Gabrielle’s heart is ”unfixed”, the higher the risk of us losing her.

Picture taken right before she was transferred to a regular non-monitored room.

Picture taken right before she was transferred to a regular non-monitored room.

Photos captured a week after Gabrielle's life-saving open heart surgery.

Photos captured a week after Gabrielle’s life-saving open heart surgery.

To make the long story short, I finally had the courage to decide and we then started a campaign to gather funds for my daughter’s open heart surgery. Since we needed at least Php1,000,000, it did not happen overnight. It took us seven months of fund raising activities, sending of solicitation letters, and countless posts to various social media networks before we could accumulate enough resources. Luckily, we’ve got friends, families and even anonymous angels from across the globe who’ve sent their love and blessings for Gabrielle to have her much awaited open heart surgery. At this point of writing, our little angel is perfectly recovering from her surgery, and appetite is very satisfactory. She already had a follow up check up with her pedia-cardiologist last August 22, 2013 and the results were remarkably great as per Dr. Charles Cuaso.

To all other heart parents out there, I would like to share this conversation between a barber and a little boy I’ve read somewhere before:

BARBER: Do you believe that there is God?

BOY: Yes, sir!

BARBER: If there is God, then why are there still a lot of people that are suffering, homeless, and sickly?

BOY: Do you believe that there are a lot of barbers in the world?

BARBER: Of course, there’s a lot of us!

BOY: Then why are there still a lot of people with long hair?

BARBER: Well, they didn’t ask us to cut their hair.

BOY: Much like the same with God sir. He knows all of us have problems but he just wanted to hear the sweetness of our prayers. ^_^

“There are a lot of people out there willing to help. All you just have to do is ASK.”


Visit my daughter’s Facebook Page to know more about her journey through Tetralogy of Fallot.


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