February is heart month and all about health and love. A family from Silverdale got to experience an extra special Valentine's Day on both counts this year. This Valentine's Day was the first one in five years that the Millers haven't been in a hospital or had a child undergoing surgery since their first child, Tessa, was born. Between Tessa and her younger brother, Gabriel, the two kids have been through six heart surgeries, for similar but not identical heart defects. It's obviously been a difficult journey for the entire family but Tessa and Gabriel are finally stable and healthy. The Miller family, including parents Ariana and Chris and their kids Tessa and Gabriel, share their incredible story, along with their cardiologist from Seattle Children's Hospital, Dr. Terry Chun.
To read more about their story, click HERE.
Tips for parents:
Make prenatal care a priority. 'The world of prenatal care has become much more sophisticated over the last couple of decades,' Chun says. Prenatal screening can help identify heart problems in utero, and can help doctors develop a plan of care before the baby is even born.
Trust your gut. Ariana encourages other families to be active members of their child's care team and to speak up if something doesn't seem right. Chun agrees that parents know their children best and may be the first to notice a new or changing symptom.
Seek support. 'It's hard to not feel like their child has the rarest, most unusual thing in the world, because a lot of the diagnoses we give to families can be pretty scary and devastating,' Chun says. Connecting with other parents who are dealing with similar diagnoses can help families as they starting their journey.