Two years ago, a couple named Michael and Kelly Blumenthal were shocked to hear that Kelly was pregnant with their second child after years of fertility struggles. But at a 19-week ultrasound, they learned that their son was missing large portions of his heart and would have to have multiple surgeries to survive once he was born. They struggled with the decision of whether or not to carry the pregnancy to full term, but finally decided to "give this little boy a fighting chance," Kelly Blumenthal wrote in a Facebook page bio. They named him Finley Noah; Finley for "warrior," and Noah for "long lived."
Now, Finn is two-years-old, and recently had a heart transplant — his 12th surgery since he was born. In a post shared to the Love What Matters Facebook page, Blumenthal wrote a tribute to her brave toddler, and reflected on the chest scar he's had since birth.
"They say the strongest hearts have the most scars. Two years this scar has grazed your chest; a constant reminder to me every day of what you've gone through but also everything you have overcome," she wrote.
She listed the promises that she wishes she could make to her child — that he wouldn't feel pain, that she knew he'd be okay, that he wouldn't be scared — but knew that these are promises she can't keep. There are some promises, however, that she could make.
"I can promise you that I will light up your world as bright as I can in that hospital room," she wrote. "I can promise you that I will do everything in my physical power to have you remember the sharks in your crib and not the tubes in your chest. I'll make a fool out of myself in front of every single doctor and nurse just to have you smile. I'll scream for you, cry for you, I will fight for you. This isn't going to be easy, but I can promise you it will be worth it."
She then took a moment to thank Finn for his bravery, for being stronger than she'd ever be able to be, and for choosing her as his mom.
That surgery happened last week, and Finn did great. Blumenthal wrote in another post that, "he is walking, talking, eating, happy, has oxygen in the 90's instead of 70's and a heart rate of 90-115 instead of 150-180." He was discharged from the hospital on Thursday and working on pain management. Watching him heal is a relief for Blumenthal and her husband.
"Before surgery we were in a dark place. It's hard to even put into words what it's like living and loving a child so much that you know you could lose. It's sickening and it's tough not to let it consume you," she tells Refinery29. "But as soon as the surgeon came in and said he survived we have been on cloud 9. We're just so happy to have our baby."
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