Our son Cash was born on January 15th 2016. We found out that he had a heart problem when he was about 12 hours old.
That moment right there changed our whole world.
He was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a big muscular heart. We spent two weeks in our local hospital’s NICU, then we where released. The doctors felt he was stable and his heart would improve over time and he would eventually lead a relatively normal life. That would not be the case. At his six week check-up with his first cardiologist we where informed that his heart had gotten remarkably worse over the course of two weeks and we needed to get to Denver Children’s Hospital immediately. We met with dozens of doctors, he went through two weeks of tests while they tried to make a plan. Everyone agreed that he needed a new heart, and without one, he would only live a matter of weeks. He was listed for transplant on March 11th 2016. We moved into the hospital to be with our son and spend every minute we could with him.
We waited 51 days and on May 1st he received the gift of life. His new heart came from a beautiful little girl named Ellianna in Texas. Seven days after his transplant we where released from the hospital and moved into an apartment a few miles away so we could be close for his daily appointments.
Three months later we where finally able to go home and try our best to be a normal family. I won’t lie, it has not been an easy road. The first year after transplant was pretty crazy. But we are truly blessed to have an amazing support system. Our friends and family came together to take care of everything in our lives so we could concentrate 100% on our son and his health. They organized fundraisers to help with unforseen expenses. My wife is a hairdresser, her mom stepped in and basically ran the salon, all of her clients where taken care of by other stylists while we lived out of town. I am a fireman with South Metro Fire. My brothers and sisters volunteered to work my shifts so I could be with my wife and son. They gave up their days off with their families so I could be with mine. I didn’t go to work for seven months, they covered my shifts the entire time. This was an amazing gift and one we can never repay.
If you met Cash today you would never know what he has been through. He is a full throttle toddler. His favorite things are playing in water, spending time outside, singing nursery rhymes, wrestling, and he loves numbers and letters. He knows his ABC’s already and can currently count to thirty. He is an inspiration to all that know him, an amazing boy and a tougher little guy than I ever will be. We couldn’t be prouder of the way he has carried himself through this journey.
We would like to thank the team at Denver Children’s Hospital. They are truly some of the best people on the planet. The surgeons, doctors, cardiologists, nurses, transplant coordinator, and everyone else we are forgetting, they all came together to save our son’s life. Thank you to the countless donors who have helped us financially, including the Samantha Remington Angel Heart Foundation.Their selfless work helps families like ours get through these life changing events.
We knew when we listed him for transplant what that would mean for another family. That another family would have to lose there child so we could keep ours. There are no words we can say to them that carry the weight that we feel they should. They made an amazing choice at the worst moment of their lives. This was the most amazing gift that one family can give another family. We owe them everything.