Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.

- Ambrose Redmoon

The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013



Day 19 brings us the story of Miss Teagan.  The faith of her family will be an inspiration to you.  KEEP ROCKING Teagan!!

Early January 2012 we learned we were pregnant with our 8th blessing. We were excited to see her at our 19 week ultrasound and the whole family gathered in the room to see our newest addition and bet on the gender. I noticed immediately what was there, or not there for that matter, and smiled realizing we would be having a girl. This made our family even, 4 boys and 4 girls. I also thought I only saw three chambers of her heart, which seemed odd to me that I noticed that but with how many ultrasounds we have had over the years I knew what I saw. The OB confirmed, something was wrong. Ten of the longest days of our life and a level 2 ultrasound by a fetal cardiologist and we had our confirmation. Our sweet baby girl's heart had no developed on the left side the way we needed it to and she would be born with what amounts to half a functioning heart. She had HLHS, or Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. She would need three open heart surgeries to even have a chance to live and there were certainly no guarantees. We smiled and thanked God for our baby girl and her life. We prayed in the hallway after the diagnosis and thanked the doctor for the information.

June came and we had a celebration for our wee warrior surrounded by friends and family. We focused all of our energy into fighting for our daughter, lining up the best doctors and surgeons for her that were within our reach, and arming ourselves with knowledge to face what we had to directly after she entered the world. We didn't stress through the pregnancy. We smiled a lot, we lived a little more knowing that our world was soon to be forever changed, and we kept our eyes on Jesus. She was made just the way He intended. Our smiles and demeanor baffled the cardiologist. That would continue well into her journey, as our smiles have rarely wavered.

August 19, 2012, 5 weeks early, Teagan Kelly Zeitler came in this world kicking and screaming, all 5 lb 12 oz of her. She was gorgeous and feisty from the start. I was able to hold her for a whole 60 seconds before they whisked her away to the children's hospital to stabilize and treat her. The first of her three surgeries would be in five days. We smiled and thanked God for His favor on us.
She quickly began to struggle due to her anatomy. Her lungs got too much blood for how her heart was constructed and she quickly ended up with collapsed lungs. Surgery was postponed and she had to be out on a ventilator. We were devastated but we held onto hope. Days passed and she was clearly not strong enough for surgery and soon became septic, meaning she had an infection in her blood racing throughout her entire body. If there was something that could go wrong it did. She kept getting sicker, not stronger. We smiled through the storms, and we thanked God.
At three weeks old, the time came where something had to be done or we would risk losing our girl. She appeared to have beat the infection but we weren't 100% sure. The doctors wanted a few more days to be sure, but we didn’t have that kind of time. She was born with a VSD, a heart defect that was actually allowing blood to flow in such a way that it was helping her, but that had started to close and we had to go in now. We smiled and thanked God for providing such a skilled team of doctors treating our fragile baby.
She received her first open heart surgery, called the Norwood, and from a cardiac standpoint flew through it. For many weeks after she clawed her way to health. She battled numerous setbacks, including collapsed lungs, damaged lymphatic ducts, and intense gastrointestinal issues. She also received new diagnosis of Turner Syndrome, horseshoe kidney, and failure to thrive. After a long 3 months, she finally came home to us.
She has had 3 more hospital visits, for the basic cold (something that can kill babies with heart defects), non-stop unexplained vomiting, and a terribly failed attempt to place a specialized feeding tube. It has been a long hard road for such a little girl.
Friday, February 1 she received the second of the three stage series of open heart surgeries, the Glenn. She continues to recover at our local children’s hospital.
Through it all we have seen God's hand present in every step of her short but powerful life. He has moved thousands through her journey which we have chosen to share via Facebook. She has shown us what true strength is and has been worth every bit of struggle through these difficult days. And we still smile, and even more abundantly today thanking God for His gift of every day He gives us with her.

No comments:

Post a Comment