On today’s Katie, we met Michael Crowe, a young man who was on a heart transplant list when his heart miraculously healed itself. This story made me think of my niece Maya. Since 2004, my best friend of over 25 years has opened her home and heart to foster children. In 2009, they received a phone call in the middle of the night that there was a baby girl who needed to be placed in foster care temporarily. That baby girl was Maya, and at the time she was only four months old.
This wasn’t your typical foster placement. Maya had a bevy of health issues and required almost 24/7 care. She could not suck from a bottle and instead was being fed through a tube in her stomach. Maya was frail, and on top of all of that, she suffered from Cardio Myopathy Dilated. To put it simply, she had an enlarged heart that would only get worse over time if she did not receive a transplant. Knowing all of this, Vanessa cared for and loved this little girl like she was her own. It was really a beautiful thing to watch.
In 2010, the worst happened. Maya suddenly went into heart failure and was hospitalized. I don’t think I have ever cried so much in my life. Maya needed a heart transplant, but we weren’t sure if one was going to be available in time. That month we all pretty much lived in the hospital and made sure that we considered every option available for Maya’s recovery. With that said, we never prepared for her death. We knew she was going to get better, even if it took a miracle.
I can only hope that they can take some comfort in knowing that they saved the life of a beautiful baby girl that I had come to love.
Maya’s miracle came on December 15, 2010. After 17 days on the transplant list, a heart had become available, and Maya was going to receive it. Words cannot express the amount of emotion we all felt. We were over the moon that our little Maya would have the opportunity to live a full and healthy life. At the same time, we all felt immense sadness for the family who had lost their baby. I can only hope that they can take some comfort in knowing that they saved the life of a beautiful baby girl that I had come to love. Maya’s operation was a success and today she is a bubbly (and opinionated), four-year-old.
Maya’s recovery was a big miracle, but I try to acknowledge the small ones too. I work as Parent Coordinator for South Bronx Preparatory, where our mission is to prepare students for college in an area that is plagued with violence and failing schools. After Hurricane Sandy, we had to report to work just to assess how we would plan to welcome students back the following Monday. Despite the poor conditions, destruction and limited public transportation, miraculously 95% of our staff came in that day. My colleagues are some of the best teachers and people you can meet. Seeing true selflessness in action, to me, is a miracle. Quite frankly, it’s one I wouldn’t mind seeing more often!
The power of love and the generosity of people in itself is a miracle that I am lucky to be surrounded by. And I think if we pay attention, we can all see miracles-big and small- every day.
Have you seen a miracle? Tell us about it!