We welcomed our son, Samuel ‘Townes’ Stephens, to the world on February 6th, 2020. He was born at 12:33 pm weighing 6 lbs 14 oz and 18.5 inches long.
He was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) which in simple terms means the left ventricle of his heart did not form properly and therefore will not function properly (i.e. push blood to his body).
Upon birth, he was immediately taken to the NICU at Vanderbilt Children’s where the doctors were able to run the necessary tests to get him stable and determine next steps. The doctors believe based on the echos of his heart and the various things they look for such as blood flow, oxygen, aortic function, etc. that a heart transplant is the best step for him. The outcomes of transplants in babies are encouraging. Receiving a new heart by way of a transplant will afford him a normal, happy and healthy childhood once he gets through this first year.
The other incredibly important factor of a heart transplant is that Townes stays healthy and strong prior to the transplant. So please be praying for continued healing and wholeness in his heart, that he remains healthy and strong and that he continues to grow!
Townes has accomplished many milestones in just a few short days! His ventilator was removed on Friday and he was breathing on his own which also meant we got to wave goodbye to many tubes and cords. He received so much freedom and joy when his hands were released and he could cuddle them by his face which is his preferred method of sleeping (adorable)! He took his first bottle yesterday! His Daddy was proud of him for finishing in 15 minutes when he had been allotted 30 minutes to eat.
We have learned that he loves worship music, when we read him books and sing over him. He has been doted on by his grandparents, all his aunts and uncles, and his godparents – what a lucky little boy!
One of our nurses asked us this weekend if humor was our coping mechanism and we said of course, what is the alternative? We declare the joy of the Lord is our strength. Humor and Jesus as we like to say at the hospital.
“Then he said to them, go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the JOY of LORD is your STRENGTH.”
We are standing on the firm foundation that like Nehemiah rebuilt the walls in record time, we are believing Jesus to rebuild Townes’s heart in record time!