I told you three months ago we had a new Swedish granddaughter named Leia, and many of you know we just returned from a trip there to see her and her big sister Ella.
But, here’s what I didn’t tell you.
Leia was pre-diagnosed with a serious heart condition known as pulmonary atresia and ventricular septical defect, which is enough to frighten anyone and her parents, our daughter Allyson and her husband Tobias, were rightfully concerned.
The doctors in Sweden, however, said not to worry. They’d seen this before and it was a “piece of cake” to fix once she was born. They would simply have her delivered in the city of Lund instead of near her home in Bankeryd and perform the necessary surgery after delivery. No sweat.
Then she was born, and all bets were off. Within a few hours the doctors were scratching their heads. Leia had other heart issues. There’s a lot of medical terminology to explain what was wrong, but suffice it to say it was not good news. She had veins going to the wrong places and parts of her heart were missing.
The heart specialists said her condition was “rare and complicated” and didn’t know exactly how to fix it. Leia, however, simply sat back in her little bed and smiled. Her tiny six-pound body had rigged up a temporary solution and it was working fine. Only thing was, it wouldn’t work for long.
After 19 days of consulting with specialists all over the world, they went in to fix a broken heart about the size of a robin’s egg.
Bottom line, she’s a miracle baby and will be studied in medical schools for years to come. After six surgeries in the first month of her life, numerous machines attached to her little body, and hand-wringing months in intensive care, Leia went home a few weeks ago and is doing well, gaining weight, and crying like a normal little baby.
For all of that, and whatever lies ahead, we are all very, very thankful.