From My Heart to Yours—An Intern’s Personal Encounter With Congenital Heart Defects

Hey guys! I want to tell you a story.

My cousin’s daughter, Madi, was born with a congenital heart defect (CHD). Seeing my cousin suffer wasn’t the only reason I chose to work with PLC this summer, but it was a major one.

Madi's fight for her life began the day she was born, and it serves as a constant reminder of how important my work is here in Iraq.

Madi (short for 'Madison') spent the past nine months in the world-renowned Texas Children’s Hospital receiving constant care and, for the past four months, she has been kept alive by a “Berlin heart,” an artificial device that pumps blood for her heart until she can get a transplant, technology that does not even exist in Iraq. Since Madi began treatment with the Berlin Heart, her name has been at the top of the heart transplant list in Houston. Through all that has happened, I have seen the complexity of CHD and the importance of having a well-trained medical staff.

I’m happy to report that, on May 29th, Madi received a new heart! And this past week, after over 220 days in the hospital, Madi is now at home and ready to start the life she is supposed to live.

Our family spent months in prayer for Madi, and now we're rejoicing, grieving, and praying through all that has happened. Although God has brought Madi and her family far, their journey is by no means over.

I hope you can join me in the celebration of a saved life, realizing that this is how families all across Iraq are affected when their child is saved. To date, PLC has saved hundreds of lives and will continue to save more. But each child has their own story and their own friends and family who are deeply involved in their battle with CHD. So, wherever you are, try to enter into their story; see, feel, and think as they do, and then thank God if you have healthy children and great healthcare! You can also join us in our battle to fund surgeries, build infrastructure, and raise awareness for Iraqi families who aren’t as fortunate as my own by giving toward our brand new Remedy Fellowship campaign—help us save 300 little lives!

Want to hear more of Madi's story? Check out stories by ABC or Fox News to learn more about this amazing little girl.

“No longer will she have to struggle to catch her breath every hour of the day or feel like she can't stand and play with her toys because she's too tired. Our baby girl will get to experience what life is meant to be, not what it has had to be for the past 22 months.” —Tabitha Fleak, Madi's mom

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From My Heart to Yours—An Intern’s Personal Encounter With Congenital Heart Defects
From My Heart to Yours—An Intern’s Personal Encounter With Congenital Heart Defects
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