Blake is now almost two years post-surgery. He is about to turn five, and is healthier than he’s ever been. We always said that if we were going to subject Blake to this series of traumatic surgeries that we were going to allow him to have the most normal life possible.
Today, Blake plays soccer, t-ball, and flag football. He takes yoga and gymnastics, and walks or bikes to school most days. We are an active family living an active life, and we are making sure Blake is part of that life. We never want to push him further than what he is capable of, but we also want to be sure that he has the opportunities to at least try everything he is interested in. We make sure that he’s not doing anything that will cause trauma to his chest and always ensure that he’s well hydrated, but he’s out there playing with his friends without a care in the world.
We don’t focus every day or every conversation on Blake’s heart. We make sure that he knows he is special, and that if he feels tired or out of breath that he needs to take a break until he feels better; he has proven to be very good at self-regulating. We make sure his teachers and his coaches knows his limitations, and to look for blueness and shortness of breath. And, we make sure his friends know they can play with Blake, but they need to be careful of his chest.
We know in the near future boys will begin to be extremely competitive and likely run circles around Blake, but until then, we are just here to be sure he lives his best life and knows every day how loved he is.
Blake is doing so well because of the amazing quality of care he has received from surgeons, cardiologists, pediatricians, and specialists. His condition was detected early, and therefore we were able to intervene to get him amazing care. We hope in the future all children will be tested for CHDs at the time of birth so they may have the same opportunities early detection has afforded Blake.
Our family is so grateful from the support we have had through the years from our family (taking care of our daughter and dog and letting us move in with them indefinitely in Houston), from our friends (love and prayers), and from other heart families (inspiration and support). We can only pray that Blake gets the opportunity to pursue all of his dreams and that science keeps advancing to support our superstar.