Saturday, August 30, 2008

Prayer changes things....

A few weeks ago at one of our family gatherings, Matt & Crystal shared with us that Emma's pediatrician had discovered a heart murmer. The dr. had made an appt for her to see a pediatric cardiologist the following week. The appt was this past Tuesday. We prayed as a family diligently this murmer would not be an indication of anything serious. Unfortunately, we did not get the answer we would have liked. Emma has been diagnosed with a congenital heart defect called Ebstein's anamoly. It occurs in about 1 in 200,000 births. Here is how her Daddy (the soon to be doctor) explained it to us.

"Basically, the heart is divided into 4 chambers. Normally a valve separates the atrium (top chamber) from the ventricle (bottom chamber). In Emma's heart, the valve is attached lower in the heart on one side. This results in some of the blood that is supposed to be going into her lungs goes back into the atrium. Long story short, this can lead to a heart that does not perform as well as it should. The biggest complications are heart failure and cyanosis, which means that her blood is not getting enough oxygen and she turns blue. This happens in severe disease, which Emma does not have right now. She has moderate disease, which is worse than mild, but better than severe. This is not to say that in the future it could not worsen, but for now she has no symptoms and is a completely normal baby. If it does not worsen, she will be able to participate in any activity she wants, but if it were to worsen she would have to be on medicine or even have surgery to repair the valve. There is no way of knowing how she will do in the future, so she will be checked every 6 months by a cardiologist until she stops growing. After that she might be able to go less frequently, but she will have a cardiologist for the rest of her life. We also wanted to thank everyone for their prayers. We have been blessed by a perfect child no matter what her heart might look like."

As you can see from the picture Emma is a perfect and healthy baby. Our prayer is she will continue to grow in health and happiness. Please pray for all of us. Our family is very close and when one has a burden we all do. There are things we know for sure:

  • God is in control and He has a sovereign plan for all of us. He is the Great Physician.
  • He understands the fears, doubts and anxiousness we all feel.
  • He is completely trustworthy in what concerns us.
  • He will never leave us or forsake us and walks each step with us.

Pray specifically for:

  • Emma to remain symptom free and divine healing
  • For peace of mind for her Mommy & Daddy and her grandparents on both sides
  • For our family to learn to "rest" in the Lord so we don't worry about the unknown and we all trust Him more deeply as we walk this road with Emma.

We covet your prayers. Thank you for standing in the gap for us.


Kendra J. Briscoe said...

I recently set a Google Alert for the word Ebstein's and was notified when you updated this page on Emma. I have a son, Justin, who has a more severe care of Ebstein's Anomaly than Emma, but he is doing wonderful and is just like any other two year old, despite the two open heart surgeries he's already had.

You can get some more information on Ebstein's and see just how well Justin is doing with it by checking out his website at

I will be praying for Emma daily.

With big heart hugs,
Kendra J. Briscoe
Virginia Beach, VA