Although Paddy is not used to meeting new people, he welcomed me with the cheekiest grin and an effervescent spirit in his sparkling blue eyes. He was an absolute flirt from the moment I walked in the door, which had us all in peals of laughter!
Paddy was diagnosed in the womb with 4 chronic congenital heart defects. They affected his aorta, aortic valve, the left chamber of the heart and he also had a large hole in his heart. All of these defects could be repaired, except one. For Paddy to be a candidate for life-saving surgery, an undersized valve had to grow at a disproportionate rate to the rest of his body during the next eight weeks.
His mum Bronya told me “We prayed, maintained hope and spoke life over our precious baby in the womb until the day the Cardiologist measured his heart again. He told us that unbelievably the valve in question had grown just enough! Paddy was now a candidate for the surgery that would save his life. Our brave boy was less than 3 days old when he underwent 8 hours of complex open-heart surgery. We were astonished at his fighting spirit that saw him recover in incredible time. Since then he has not let a day go by without filling it with an infectious mix of joy, affection and the strong spirit that has brought him through these tough obstacles. He is our miracle!”
This session had me in floods of tears in the car on the way home. Tears of heartache that such a small, sweet boy should have such a rough start in life and for the parents who endure seeing their newborn child undergo invasive, major surgery and ongoing procedures. Tears of joy that beautiful families invite me to capture what must seem even more precious moments than those in a family without major health concerns. And many, many tears of gratitude for my own beautiful, healthful children. (and maybe I cried a little bit over the bottle of Verve bubbles I was given too xx)
Thank you Bronya and Glenn. I admire your strength, determination and love for each other. You are such awesome parents which I am certain Paddy agrees.