What if it were my kid? What if it were yours?

by Claire Mathias

250px-Newborn_Examination_1967Ten years ago, my son was born with a hole in his heart. I will never forget the cardiologist’s visit in the hospital. He listened to my son’s heart, put his large hand over my baby’s tiny chest, and confirmed that there was murmur, most likely ventricular
septal defect (VSD).50_1683_FMech.indd

It is one of the more common congenital heart defects, but because of the location, it wasn’t likely to close on its own. On the other hand, we are lucky that it is minor and has never caused any issues. He was also born with patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) and we are lucky that it too has not caused any problems.


So, when I heard the story of the family to be featured in our end-of-year fundraising campaign, the Bursons, it hit close to home.  Debbie and Laramie’s son Logan was born with two holes in his heart due to an atrial septal defect as well as a PDA. And my son is almost the same age as Logan was when they learned that he would need surgery (11).

Logan undergoing evaluation.

Exam time for Logan

Normally writing web copy for RMHC isn’t part of my job, but I asked to do this story. I could easily put myself in the Bursons’ shoes. The initial worry when the diagnosis is made, careful watching to ensure that our son was thriving, regular visits to the cardiologist, seeing our baby hooked up to leads and wires for the electrocardiogram and echocardiogram, and above all hoping. Hoping that he would grow and thrive and that surgery would never be needed.

My kiddo training for a Kung Fu tournament.

My kiddo training for a Kung Fu tournament.

So far, so good, although I admit that I still fret when it does look like my son might – just might – be having trouble keeping up. Although judging from his Phys Ed grades, he can. Our next cardiologist visit is in a few weeks and hopefully all will be well.


Logan, looking good.

And it’s great to see how well everything turned out for the Logan and his family. Take a few minutes and look at the Bursons’ story on our web site. I am so glad that everyone at the Ronald McDonald House, plus volunteers and staff, could be there to help the them make it through that difficult time. We are grateful that they have agreed to share their story with you. I hope you will find it as inspiring as we do.

MilagrosPs Debbie Burson told me about an excellent resource for families of children with congenital heart defects, Milagros: http://www.mymilagros.org. I highly recommend it. The group offers a number of ways to connect with other families, information you can use, and links to reliable online resources.

This entry was posted in Claire, Kids & Families, Ronald McDonald House, Ronald McDonald House Charities and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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