May 6, 2012 - Exactly one year ago today, my child was on an operating table for 8 hours, fighting for her life. I did the hardest thing I've ever done and handed over my little girl for surgery. It was so hard watching them take her away. In my mind I kept saying “Oh no! Please not yet, I’m not yet ready!” Even though I knew that she was in the best hands, handing her off was heartbreaking and the wait during the procedure was so hard. For hours, I have waited alone, unsure of what will happen.
One year ago today, I will never forget seeing my daughter for the first time in recovery. Looking at her so beautiful, the surroundings disappeared. I did not care about the machines and the noises and the wires. All I cared about is my baby lying there, like a new baby. The machines were loud, but in the middle of everything is my perfect little pink girl and that is all that truly matters. Her life changed since then. Finally, after four years of suffering, my child is pain free.
I am proud of what my daughter has been through and nothing makes me happier than seeing her happy with her life like the other kids. She is a tough girl, nothing can stop her from doing the things she wants to do. She is a fan of taking her medicines, I don't have to trick her. She would always tell me: "Mommy the medicines taste yucky but I know..I know.." She is a big girl!
Today, I want to thank all the people who made this possible.
To Dr. Bob and Dr. Nancy, you have stretched your heart for my daughter like no one else can. You have provided a light to the end of our tunnel. To Suzy, Michael and Mama Conchita, thank you for the hugs, laughter and deep joy you brought us.
To Ms Stephanie of HeartGift, you are amazing in so many ways. You have done so much for us. Josh, Jake and Reagan, thank you for making Anika happy.
To Dr. Jamie, Ana and Ate Iya, Alu, Nana, Kaya and Neo, thank you for caring for us and for being the family away from home.
To Ms Deb and all the great nurses, thank you for all your extra special care and patience for my child.
I am very thankful to the great doctors and surgeons and all the staff at Children’s Hospital. To Dr. Caspi, Dr. Pettitt and Dr. Dorotan, I cannot put into words exactly how happy I truly am that you were all able to save my daughter’s life.
To Dr. Priyanshi and your staff, you did a great job of bringing a beautiful smile to my daughter's face.
Thank you all for making our stay memorable.
To my husband, thank you for taking such good care of our daughter! For all your help and support during the very sad and difficult time of our lives.
Thank you to my family and friends who prayed for my daughter’s recovery and to all the people who supported, have been touched and followed Anika’s story.
When she is bigger, I know she will be very proud to tell stories about the scar on her chest. She will know one day that it is more than just a scar but a symbol of love from all the people who have devoted their personal time and effort to become what she is today.
I'm so happy and grateful that this year was a year full of experiences during which I was so lucky to meet wonderful people on our journey. We are lucky to be able to meet so many wonderful people and became a small part of their lives.
Anika’s fight is not yet over. She will need another surgery in the next 2-3 years. I am in love with this little girl and I will do anything to keep her. I have learned a lot in this journey and for that I am stronger and I know all things are possible if you keep your faith. As long as there are so many people who love and believe in my child, I know everything will be fine.
To all of you, thank you.
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