“When we first learned of our son’s congenital heart defect, we wanted to ensure that we were equipped to face this challenge. We are very grateful for PCHA, the information and support we received was invaluable as it properly prepared us for this journey.” – Shuntae Williams
On November 08, 2016, Carter Fidel Williams was born at Lurie Children’s Hospital. During our 20 week ultrasound appointment, we were told that something appeared abnormal with his heart and that we needed to see a fetal cardiologist. There were so many feelings, thoughts and emotions that traveled through our entire body during that appointment. When we met with the fetal cardiologist and discussed what was happening to our unborn son, we had no idea how to process it and so we began to pray. Carter was born with a congenital heart defect (CHD) -Tetrology of Fallot (TOF), Pulmonary Artresia (PA) and Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) and underwent his first surgery to begin the process to repair his heart when he was 6 days old. Thanksgiving holiday was just another day for my family as it was spent surrounded by Carter in hopes that he would continue to recover and become stable enough to come home with us one day.
Multiple surgeries, doctor visits and specialists followed with what seemed as complications in every hand. We were thankful to have a cardiac team that prepared us for both the best and worst case scenarios of what our journey would look like given Carter’s condition. Although a vast amount of our experience resulted in the worst case scenarios, we were extremely grateful to have Carter here with us. There were a few times when we prayed that he would see the light of a new day.
Carter is 2 ½ years old and striving each day! He is 100% reliable on a pacemaker, a small device that was placed in his abdomen to help control his abnormal heart rhythms. Thankfully, it does not stop him from being the fireball toddler that he is every day! I sometimes find myself sitting and staring at him, processing a true miracle right before my eyes. He has had many heart surgeries and procedures with the road ahead requiring many more.
We are thankful for every single moment that we are BLESSED to have with Carter as we know that there were many times that his chance of survival was bleak. We pray for those families who suffer the pain of losing their child to this defect and we also pray for the families who are awaiting for hearts so that their child can have a better life. We pray for strength at the 20 week ultrasound appointments that must receive the news that a follow up appointment with a fetal cardiologist is needed for their unborn child. Sharing our story with others has been so rewarding. We represent the power of prayer, hope and GOD’s love.