Background: Emma Anne Lein was born July 14, 2005. She started out light and long, at 6 lbs 11oz and 20″. A healthy little baby, things went very well for the first few weeks. She was very content and cried very little. Didn’t wake up during the night too much either.

Over the next month and a half, she gained very little weight. Eventually, a nurse from our church was holding her at a party, and heard a murmur from her heart. We went immediately to our local doctor, who refered us to the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, where Emma’s VSD, a hole between two chambers of her heart, was confirmed.

The VSD basically recycled much of the oxygenated blood from her lungs directly back to the lungs instead of around the body, making her work much harder and use of a lot of energy just staying at her current size. Some VSDs will close on their own. Large ones, usually considered as those larger than 0.2 mm, need surgery. Her’s was 0.8 mm. Our surgery was set up right away.

They gave us two weeks to try to bring her weight up as much as possible with enriched formula, and then surgery…