Thursday, February 9, 2012

CHD Awareness Week Day Three: Cora's Story

Today is the third day of CHD Awareness Week. For the third day, I will feature Miss Kristen and her daughter Cora Mae @ Cora's Story.


I found Kristen's blog December 2009, a little over two years ago. Alan was only a few months old and I was a new mother, so reading the posts of Cora's last five days on the Earth honestly scared me to death. I took Alan into the doctor immediately and had him checked out for CHD, and his doctor assured me after a few short tests that Alan most likely didn't have CHD. After that, I went back to Cora's blog and have been a avid reader since. I think that Kristen is a wonderful mom, and that even now she is fully dedicated and invested in Cora.

Once again, I will only share a short summary of Cora's short life and Kristen's journey afterwards. This is only because I urge you to read her blog and spread the word to others. Here is Cora's story:

Kristen had a mostly normal pregnancy, and Cora Mae was born full term at 39 weeks the night of November 30, 2009. The doctors claimed she was a picture of perfect health. Cora's time in the hospital was that of most newborns, nothing too out of the ordinary. She met her family members and was instantly loved by all. Kristen and Cora were released from the hospital on time and they started their new life together as a new mama and a newborn. Kristen and her husband took shifts at night to care for Cora. They took cute baby and family pictures, and Kristen got used to breastfeeding. They lived a normal new parent life. That was until December 6, 2009.

This is where it gets hard for me to write. I am pregnant and so my emotions take over my brain sometimes, and what happened to beautiful, sweet Cora and her family simply breaks my heart. But I will bear through and write this because her story needs to be told. To everyone.

The night of December 6th, Kristen was nursing Cora when she spotted blood coming from her mouth and nose. Kristen instantly noticed that she wasn't breathing either and had her husband call for an ambulance. Kristen attempted to give CPR but was unsuccessful. The ambulance was taking too long, so they got into their car and headed to the hospital. A police officer met them halfway and escorted them to the hospital. Unfortunately though, by the time they had arrived at the hospital, Cora had already taken her last breath. The ER doctors tried desperately for an hour to revive her, and were unsuccessful. Cora was pronounced shortly after that. The next morning the coroner came back with the autopsy reports, saying Cora had died of Congenital Heart Disease. This was the first time she had been diagnosed with it.

I'm sorry, but I can't elaborate anymore on the pain that Kristen and her husband went through on that day. I am actually crying now, and its worrying Alan lol. :) Instead, I will write about what Kristen has done for her daughter since that awful night.

Kristen has been on a constant journey since Cora earned her angel wings. She has become an advocate for CHD Awareness and a main supporter of the pulse oximetry screening. Kristen not only has this blog, but she goes out and shares her story with anyone and everyone. Earlier this month, Cora was featured on CNN for CHD Awareness Week and to urge all pregnant women to have their newborns get screened within the first 24 hours of life. I think that Kristen is incredibly strong to have come this far. She and her husband deserve nothing but peace and happiness.

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