Another essay in The Washington Post? I can’t believe it. What a whirlwind week!
Rowan is getting better every single day — stronger, faster, and ready to fly. The Washington Post also published another essay from me. At the same time, I’ve been busily working on other revisions, and drinking more than enough coffee. Here’s the start of my new essay:
“I have a story to tell about something that happened to our family last week,” Jimmy Kimmel began. “And before I go into it, I want you to know, it has a happy ending.”
On his show Monday night, Kimmel went on to explain how his son Billy was born April 21 with congenital heart disease. It all began when his nurse, Nanush, noticed a heart murmur.
I turned up the volume and stared at Kimmel’s red tie. I, too, remember the exact same moment when our nurse noticed our son’s heart murmur. We went through the same wait as Kimmel, watching the echocardiogram, wondering what would happen next. Kimmel’s son was diagnosed with tetralogy of fallot and immediately rushed into surgery. He had a hole between the left and right walls of his heart. Our son had two holes, but his surgery was pushed back until he was older. At 5 years old, his condition worsened, and he had his own open heart surgery three weeks ago.
“It was the longest three hours of my life,” Kimmel said.
It was the longest seven hours of ours. We said goodbye from a tiny white room, our son already sleepy with medication, his enlarged heart beating more slowly from the pre-medication. They wheeled him down the hall to surgery, and my husband and I sat in the chairs in his empty room. I didn’t cry. I couldn’t. I had to be ready for what came next.