Our daughter Emma was born November 16th, 2018. Four days later she was diagnosed with congenital heart disease. Emma was flown to the Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton the next day and had heart surgery on the 7th day of her life. Emma would then spend the next 2.5 weeks in the NICU's in Edmonton and Calgary recovering.
Emma had a COA, a narrowing of the aorta, along with a large VSD, a hole in her heart between the two chambers. They fixed the COA first but couldn't repair the VSD at that time. Emma would have to grow a little bigger and stronger... Three months later and countless checkups Emma underwent an open-heart surgery. Her surgery went very well, and she recovered surprisingly quickly. Only 5 days later to our disbelief Emma was discharged and we were able to take our little girl back home. This was followed again by countless checkups at the Calgary Children's Hospital.
During all of this we had the most amazing nurses, doctors and surgeons taking care of Emma; and us during that difficult time. We're tremendously grateful for everything everyone did. We are so blessed Emma is now a ball of energy, healthy, growing well and exploring the world. Emma had a very rough start but was very fortunate that everything went so well with no real complications. It had all the highs and lows of anyone you love having a very serious surgery, but in the end Emma's journey was very smooth. But what we saw and learned over all our time spend in the NICU's, checkups, and walking the hallways of the hospitals, is that not all families have such an easy ride. A lot of families must face and deal with much more difficult situations and complications. One family we met whose daughter had around the same heart conditions as Emma spent months in between the two Children's Hospitals. Their little girl ran into every complication possible... Families experience very long and hard journeys, with uncertainty and an unimaginable rollercoaster of emotions. During all of this parents have to take time off work, spend countless hours at the hospitals, and then travel to the Stollery Children's Hospital. All of this can become a big financial burden. It adds to the mental stress families are facing during these unimaginable times.
After our whole experience we knew we want to give back, and help others find a way to give, and at the same time create a nice gift for someone who may just need a pick-me-up! Maybe you or your child experienced congenital heart disease, or you know a family that had or is going through it all. Or maybe you would just love to help ease some of the burdens that a heart family is facing. Dedicated to our daughter Emma, 25% of the proceeds from a PORTRAITURE CUSTOM ARTWORK order is donated to Heart Beats Children's Society of Calgary which provides emotional and financial assistance to families of children born with congenital heart disease. www.heartbeats.ca
Thank you very much for taking the time to read Emma's story.
If a portraiture is something you'd like to consider as a beautiful gift to a loved one, yourself, or if you have any other ideas, questions, and would like to chat, please get in touch with me and we can make anything happen.