Aidan – The LaForest Family

relentless detroit aidan laforestAfter a normal and healthy pregnancy (with 8 ultrasounds) we welcomed Aidan into this world in August 2004. He weighed 8 lbs. 12 oz. and was beautiful. Hours after his birth we began questioning things; he never ate, always slept and his skin was cold. We were told many different things; “babies don’t eat right away, his tongue may be short, wrap him in a receiving blanket and finally you’re both being over protective”.

Three hours after discharge is when our lives were forever changed! Aidan began making “gurgling noises” and had “red streaks throughout his body”. We rushed him to Wyandotte Hospital where they did lab work, x-rays, a spinal tab even threw blood pressure cuffs away because they could not get a reading off him.

The Doctor finally came to us and said, “I have NO idea what is wrong with your son” and called Oakwood’s NICU. It was that Doctor who sent his transport team and medication that Aidan needed to stay alive.

Once back at Oakwood we met Aidan’s Cardiologist, Dr. EL-Khouri found out Aidan was “Revived”, how severely sick he was and of his heart defect; Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome or more easily remembered as Half a Heart! Aidan was again transported- this time to Children’s Hospital of MI where they were equipped to do the lifesaving surgeries he needed to survive.

We have seen Aidan through 3 open heart surgeries, 4 heart catherization’s, a dental procedure in the OR, 3 surgeries to remove broken/infected sternum (inside) wires and so much more.

Thankfully and Lord willing he did well and continues doing well today. Aidan is also a stroke survivor and left-sided hemiplegia (partially paralyzed on his left side). He follows his 15 Specialist’s often including PT, OT and Speech. Last year Aidan had 137 appointments. He takes 5-7 daily medications including breathing treatments.

Aidan will never play any contact sports and we have to be more careful that he does not fall or have any hard blows to his chest. The common cold or flu are dangerous for him as it could land him in the hospital quickly- so we use a lot of hand sanitizer and stay home more often in the fall and winter.

Looking at him no-one would ever imagine all that he’s endured. Aidan is a fun, super charged energetic almost 10 year old who loves life and everyone he meets. He shows his scar the “Door to his heart” proudly and will tell anyone who listens about his “Special heart”! Aidan loves being outside playing, riding bikes, swimming and most of all video games. He enjoys school, socializing and his teachers and friends. He loves doing math and science but dislikes reading and writing.

Aidan loves his siblings yet fights with them well and is even the Master of talking back to his parents. Aidan wants to learn to play the guitar and piano, he wants to take swim lessons and hopes to join a golf league someday. We do not know what the future holds for Aidan medically as his heart surgeries are considered “new” having only been around 30 some years.

We have been told that valve replacements and repairs will be required, a diagnostic heart catherization is needed every 5 years to “see what’s going on inside” and a heart transplant is definitely a possibility as Aidan’s right side of his heart is doing the work of both sides and it will eventually cause damage and or give out.

It has been an “unforgettable” almost 10 years. However, we are grateful for the lessons that have been instilled; to love more, to give more and we never take anything for granted.

Simply put we have all become better people through Aidan’s Half a Heart! We have also met many wonderful and amazing people who have become family; who love, support and pray for our Aidan and our family.

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