Thaddeus’ diagnosis of an atrio-ventricular septal defect – a hole in the heart – was the beginning of a tremendous and challenging journey, shares Jennifer Lim, mother to two year old Thaddeus She.
After being born in Hospital Bintulu, Sarawak, he was diagnosed with a heart defect soon after and was admitted into the NICU for 3 months. Jennifer shares that they didn’t realise how serious the problem was going to be.
“We were definitely shocked. But at that time, we didn’t know it was that critical as many parents told us some holes in the heart will close by itself eventually. So we thought he probably just needed some time to recover but we learnt that it was not the case for him as his hole is a large one. Heart surgery was the only choice and chance for him to live on,”
Based in Sarawak, Thaddeus and his family’s journey to even getting a clear diagnosis was a long one. They had to wait almost 2 months before being able to see a paediatric heart consultant to properly assess Thaddeus’ heart condition. Within these 2 months, there was nothing much they could do except wait. At one point, Thaddeus collapsed and had to be intubated in the ICU.
He also had to be on heart failure medication, went through numerous bouts of infection and his heart became enlarged. Jennifer shares that much of their time was spent waiting, with no clear direction on what step to take next. The family also had to take Thaddeus on a flight to Kuala Lumpur for surgical treatment, which was no easy feat, especially given his condition and age.
The experience for Jennifer was a tremendously challenging and vulnerable one, she says. “Because as parents, we are the ones responsible for our child’s well being,”
“A strong and positive support system is really crucial especially for mothers after delivery. Having to face an emotional roller coaster, we also have to struggle to take good care of our physical health recovery after birth,”
The financial costs of getting treatment for Thaddeus was also another huge challenge that was difficult for their family to bear.
“For myself, this experience has taught me to lean toward God even more and see how He is real, alive and loving through all of those challenges,”
“I hope more people will be more supportive of the parents with sick children in whatever way they can to relieve the emotional and financial burden that these parents have to go through. It truly makes a big difference,”
Thank you for sharing your #WiraJantung story. We wish Thaddeus a safe journey ahead and that he grows up surrounded with love and care.