As we reflect back on 2013, it is truly incredible to see how far we’ve all come. Thank you all for the immeasurable amount of love and support you have given, and continue to give us. We wish nothing but love, health and happiness for all of you in 2014.
A year ago in January, Judah was still living at The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh, and every day we thought we might finally be coming home, but he was still quite sick. Though he was a happy 4 month old, he still had a long way to go before he could leave a hospital facility. In the beginning months of 2013, Judah had a number of major procedures to help stabilize his heart, including his 2nd Open Heart Surgery, a MAZE procedure, a pacemaker implant, and more. Judah was still completely ventilator dependent 24 hours a day. In late March we finally brought our son home for the first time after almost 7 months of living in hospitals. Through the Spring and Summer we began working on weaning Judah from the vent a few minutes a day, and taking trips all over town to introduce Judah to the world, including bringing him to Temple for his baby naming. In July Judah had his first 5 minute sprint off the ventilator completely, and as Summer turned into Fall we continued trips all over town, for lots of walks to the parks, the Library, the Museum, and even just hanging out on the deck outside at home. We prepared for and celebrated Judah’s 1st birthday party in September, and although this year brought many many doctors appointments, a few emergency room visits, and even a couple of brief re-admissions back to the hospital, with every passing minute Judah has gotten bigger, stronger, healthier, cuter, and happier. Judah is now completely off the Ventilator all of his waking hours, crawling and cruising like a madman, and learning how to communicate and get his way. Now as Winter falls on us and 2013 comes to a close, we can look back at truly how far he has come and just can’t believe how blessed we are and how amazing he is.
In case you missed it, on Thanksgiving day Judah was featured in another news story, this time on our local NBC affiliate, WPXI. This peice was a great story on how Judah was the youngest patient to receive the MAZE procedure at Children’s Hospital, you can read the story here, and view the video below.
December has brought a lot of time at home, as being out in public during the worst of the flu season is dangerous and an infection risk for Judah. But being at home gives us plenty of time to play, and we’ve even had a few visitors with the Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas holidays. Judah has gotten his new orthotics and shoes, and while he is not yet fully walking on his own, he is definitely gaining confidence in his balance and walking. He can however crawl from one side of the house to the other in a matter of seconds, and holding the walls or a walker he can cruise around all day long.
Judah heart remains strong, he continues to gain strength and work on getting off the ventilator completely (and eventually decannulated), and growing and developing like a regular boy. While he still has lots of doctors appointments and follow-ups, we and his entire team are very impressed and happy with his progress. Judah has been able to again come down on some of his medications, and his team continues to make adjustments to ensure he is getting exactly what he needs.
We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season, filled with love, family, joy, and good times. Be safe, and thanks for being with us.