Matthew Zheng

The Zheng family proudly welcomed their first-born child, a son, Matthew, into the world on October 2, 2014. After his birth, doctors found a defect in Matthew’s heart. He was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF), a rare congenital heart defect and high lung pressure. Despite his diagnosis, the doctors thought Matthew’s heart was strong and surgery was not necessary at that time. Unfortunately, that was not the case; and two weeks later Matthew was rushed to the hospital after he began turning blue.

Baby Merrick

A local and unexpected heart journey unfolds as we pray for and wait for Baby Merrick’s heart to grow stronger. On August 27th, 2015, Emily Blaser and Chris LeClere of Aledo, Illinois, welcomed their healthy baby boy, Merrick, to the world. Unfortunately, the day after Merrick’s birth, the family received devastating news. Merrick was diagnosed with a serious heart condition and would require immediate transportation to OSF Hospital in Peoria, Illinois, about an hour and a half away from home.

The Rippy Family

In 2008, Linsey Rippy was a happy mother of a 2 ½ year old, Madi, and was 16 weeks pregnant. While making dinner one night, her daughter woke up from a nap, unable to control one side of her body. After being taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital, they had no idea of the medical journey ahead for them.

Family Update

EKHA is reflecting upon a family we met not long ago. Maria del Carmen was born in early November, but not without uncertainties. Many times Javier and his wife were advised to abort their unborn baby, but they refused to listen.

Elijah Mrozek

After living each day of her son’s nine years wondering if he would survive, Emily Mrozek knows what it means to hope.

Molly McCoy

At five months pregnant, my wife Mary, went in for an ultrasound to find out the sex of our baby. During the ultrasound, they found an abnormality, and told Mary that our baby's heart was not completely formed. In fact, her left ventricle was not there. The defect is known as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. They went on to inform Mary that this was a very serious birth defect and that we had options (options?), abortion or a series of open heart surgeries to help fix the problem.

Jose Raul Bonilla

Ruth Bonilla decided to become a nurse after surviving the World Trade Center attacks. Her husband, older son, and Ruth, moved to Newton, Kansas, never expecting to have more children. They were excited to hear the surprising news that, indeed, they would welcome a little angel into the world. On October 1, 2013, Jose-Raul was born!

Izabella Neira

Izabella’s condition is so rare that there is no name for it. After 5 months and three hospitals, the doctors called it “surfactant deficiency,” a lung transplant the only possible cure. Born prematurely with her twin sister, Jezubelle, to Jesus, Krystina, and sister, MiaKrystina, Izabella re-located with her family to Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Florida.

Jonathan Rigdon

After the births of their two daughters, the Rigdons were finally getting settled financially as Candice returned to work. Soon after, she became pregnant with their son, Jon, and walked into her 20 week ultrasound with joyful anticipation. She had no idea that she was about to be told that he only had half of a heart.

Krystal Robertson

For most families, welcoming a new baby is a time of excitement and celebration. For Sarah Peters and Shane Robertson, it quickly turned into a long, terrifying ordeal. Their daughter, Krystal, was born with neonatal Marfans Syndrome, a serious connective tissue disorder that often causes life-threatening defects of the heart valves and aorta.

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