Friday, June 28, 2013

Blog from A Heart Dad

Dear Heart Friends:

It is with great pleasure that I introduce another guest blogger -- Will Patterson. I hope you enjoy getting to know this terrific heart dad as much as I have! Here's his blog!  Anna

Everyone who has a heart child knows it changes you. Blogging was something I had planned on doing for some time. I had been talking to my wife about doing it two years before our youngest son was diagnosed with severe congenital heart defects (CHDs).  I had planned on blogging about parenting, living on a budget and anything else that came to mind. 

When we went for our routine ultrasound at 18 weeks those plans changed.  It was a day I’ll never forget.  We brought our other two kids to see the baby thinking it would be a quick visit and we would find out if it was a boy or girl. The day went very differently then we planned. The ultrasound tech was measuring different parts of the baby.  When she got to the heart she took unusually long. She excused herself saying she needed to enter some measurements into the computer.  She came back and said the doctor needed to come and take additional pictures.

When the doctor finished taking his pictures he said the words that crushed us, “We can only see one ventricle, the heart is supposed to have two. You need to go to CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) where they can do more tests.”  It would be five days before CHOP could see us. We were crushed. 

Could our baby live? What’s a single ventricle? We were on the Internet constantly the next few days.  We were panicked parents looking for any information to help.  I found page after page with Adult CHDers and parents telling their story.  It gave us the hope we needed. 

When we got to CHOP and had our echo done we were put in the consultation room.  It was there I was given our son’s diagnosis hypoplastic right ventricle, large ventricular septal defect (VSD), pulmonary atresia, right ventricle aorta and straddling tricuspid valve. It was really hard to process in those few minutes. After the doctor finished listing the problems with his heart he changed his tone and told us how they going to help us.  He explained the series of surgeries our son would need.

It was shortly after we left CHOP that I knew what I had to do. My unborn son needed me to advocate for him and all the children like him.  I needed to add my voice to the CHD community to help others who needed hope and positive stories through some of the hardest parts of their lives. I stopped procrastinating and started my blog,  I can also be found at and @theheartdad.

My goal is to raise awareness for CHD, help raise funds, support families and those impacted by CHD’s.  I’m blogging about CHDs, my son and other general topics like parenting, living on a budget and reviews of different products. By covering different topics I’m hoping to reach a larger audience and introduce them to CHD along the way.  We have an incredible community.  I’m committed to doing whatever I can to help pull us together to make CHD a household term. 

Will Patterson a.k.a The Heart Dad

Please check out Will's blog and feel free to leave him a comment here!

Anna Jaworski
a.k.a. The Heart Mom  ;-)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Happy Fathers' Day!

Dearest Heart Friends, but especial Heart Dads:

Baby Hearts Press, LLC would like to extend a very Happy Fathers' Day greeting to all of you! You heart dads are amazing and we really appreciate everything you do for your heart children, your family and friends.

In honor of fathers everywhere, but especially in our congenital heart community, The Heart of a Father will be half price for the entire month of June on the website.  This is a book written by 50 men affected by congenital heart defects and is the companion to The Heart of a Mother which has over 60 stories by mothers affected by congenital heart defects from around the world.

For those of you who have read The Heart of a Mother and who may have wondered whatever happened to the amazing children in the book, you should get a copy of The Heart of a Father. Many of the men who wrote for The Heart of a Father are fathers to the children depicted in The Heart of a Mother. The Heart of a Father book was published 10 years later so many of the success stories in the fathers' book have their roots in the mothers' book.