TAUNTON — At 24 weeks pregnant, Taunton resident Emily Silva’s life changed forever.
During routine scans, she was referred to a high risk OBGYN and a pediatric cardiologist. They confirmed that her unborn son has hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS).
The syndrome means that her son, who is now 4 years old and named Finnley, had an incorrectly developed left side of his heart. In his case, it didn’t really develop at all. His condition is incurable.
During his first few years of life, Finnley has already had three open heart surgeries. The first was when he was only two days old. He had his second surgery at 4 months old and his latest at 3 years of age.
The goal was to allow the right side of his heart to function for both sides, but unfortunately the surgeries were unsuccessful.
In October 2020, Finnley was listed for a heart transplant. While awaiting the transplant, he has a heart pump, called a Berlin heart, that is a ventricular assistance device. It is allowing his heart a break in order to wait for the transplant.
“The hope is for him to receive a donor heart, but that is never a guarantee,” Silva wrote over email. “We hope that when he is able to receive a donor heart, that things go as planned and we don’t hit any road blocks, but we are realistic in knowing that there are so many risks involved. We hope that he is able to grow up, be a kid, and do whatever it is that he grows to love and enjoy.”
In the meantime, Silva and her husband Jonathan are doing everything they can to give their son a wonderful, happy life. Part of that has been encouraging people in the Taunton community to send cards to her son for his birthday, which was Jan. 29, while giving them updates on how he is doing through Facebook.
“Finnley has always loved getting mail, even if it was ‘junk’ mail, not addressed to him.
Everything that he has had a chance to open is quickly followed by an adorable ‘oh my gooooooodness’ which is absolutely adorable,” she said.
Silva said the family has received several USPS boxes of cards, as well as a cart full of gifts from their Amazon wishlist, which is still kept up to date with things they need.
“We’ve realized how quickly a community is able to rally together around strangers in a time of need,” she said.
Silva said people can still help out by buying from their Amazon wishlist and by sending them gas and food delivery gift cards. For those who want to give back non-monetarily, Silva recommended giving blood and becoming an organ donor.
“So many people, of all different ages, are currently awaiting a life saving transplant of some type,” she said.
But despite his illness, Finnley is still a typical 4-year-old boy enjoying life.
“He loves to be rowdy and yell at the top of his lungs. He loves Transformers, and making his toys fly across the room,” Silva said. “He is so incredibly sweet, when he wants to be, and I regularly call him my little sour patch kid. He greets everyone with a smile, he is incredibly in tune with his surroundings and has an incredibly good memory.”
Cards can be sent to Finnley Silva, Boston Children’s Hospital, Cardiology Floor 8, 300 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA 02115, but no packages.
Transplant News Sharing // “Pediatric Transplant” – Google News from Source www.tauntongazette.com