Today, I’m deviating from my normal blog to invite you to join me in praying for my friend Dana’s baby Arabella (Bella for short.) The unusual thing is I’ve never met my friend Dana. Dana and I have three very important things in common. One, as best I can tell, is that we both love Jesus. Though we have never met and are separated by a “few” years we are both Rose Bud girls. Yes – we both grew up in the community of Rose Bud in White County Arkansas. Third and the reason we have become cyber friends is because we are both mom’s to daughters who have Down syndrome. When her baby was born with Down syndrome, mutual friends from Rose Bud sent messages about Dana and Baby Bella. You need to be friends. Facebook has helped us to do that.
Dana’s Bella was born in April. Due to health complications related to Down syndrome and a serious AV Canal Heat Defect (present in about 20% of babies with Down syndrome), she has lived in the hospital since then. Dana, her husband and family have to travel about an hour to see her and hold her each day. I am sure the nurses and other healthcare providers are having a love fest with her because I am and I only see pictures! My Rachel is 14 and did not have a heart defect. I got to bring her home and hold her whenever I wanted. I didn’t have to go to the hospital to see her or get a crash course in all kinds of heart related things. I have sat in the hospital with many families who have babies with Down syndrome during similar surgeries as Bella will have this morning at about 9 am at the most excellent Arkansas Children’s Hospital. I am amazed at the strength demonstrated by these families and that Dana and her family will have today. I am honored to have had the honor and privilege of being with these families. I am truly astonished that God has given doctors the ability to repair tiny little hearts. That is a miracle.
Baby Bella needed to make it to 10 pounds to have her surgery. She made it a few days ago and now it is time for her to have a complete AV Canal Repair. I believe one of the most beautiful things in the Down syndrome community is how we rally together to pray for our children and each other, to share information and to do whatever we can to help people with Down syndrome live beautiful lives. This morning I am inviting all of you to please join me in praying for Baby Bella, her strong family, and for her team of doctors and other healthcare professionals who will be caring for her this morning. I’ve included, with permission, some of her sweet pictures so you can picture her as you pray for her complete healing.