Zachary's Story

7Hi, my name is Ann Lengel and I have a grandson who was born with HLHS. What a shock after having four other healthy grandchildren! Zachary is my youngest daughter's only child. She took care of herself throughout the whole pregnancy, but was told at about 24 weeks that her son had this condition. We were in shock, to say the least, but I live by the belief that God doesn't give us any more than we can handle.

Zachary was born on July 6, 2005, in Philadelphia. My daughter could not even hold him after birth. He came into the room for a few minutes after they had put all the lines in and then was taken over to CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia) to the CNICU. The next day we went to CHOP - my daughter was still unable to hold him and it broke her heart.

On July 8th he had his first surgery, the Norwood. Zachary was in the hospital for 10 days and we were able to come home on July 19, 2005.

Thinking back to that time, it really was very emotional. My daughter, Jamie, is a single mother with no help from Zachary's father. I am the one who is there for them, taking them back and forth between appointments (Jamie does not drive) and I wouldn't have it any other way. Jamie is my baby and during Zachary's first stay in the hospital we became very close and were able to share a lot of our emotions with each other.7

The second surgery was on December 15th, right before Christmas. It was very upsetting to think about going to Philadelphia again, but Zachary was ready for the surgery and he needed it. Once again he came through surgery with flying colors and we were back home on December 20th. Zachary does require a lot of medications - less now that he's had his second surgery, and my daughter makes sure he gets all of them on time. Zachary not only sees a pediatrician, but also sees a cardiologist who he will have to see for the rest of his life.

I am so proud of my daughter. She takes such good care of Zachary and he is thriving! He is such a happy baby and whenever he reaches a milestone we rejoice. Right now, Zachary loves to roll from his back to his belly and back again.

We praise him for that because 7 months ago we didn't know what was in store for us. Each day we have with him is a blessing and we thank God for him. I close with this - God is so great. He answers prayers. I know, because he answers mine everyday.