Kennedy’s Heart :: Our Journey with a Ventricular Septal Defect, Part 2

Kennedy’s Heart :: Our Journey with a Ventricular Septal Defect--Part 2Can you believe it? Kennedy is already six months old! Time has flown by in a whirlwind of firsts—her first road trip, her first taste of solid food, and even her first hikes with mom and dad. Our little adventurer is showing us every day that she’s made up of some tough stuff. Her laughter and big gummy smile brighten anyone’s day.

Over the past few months, we’ve been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support as we’ve shared about her ventricular septal defect. (Read Part 1 of her story here.) It has been truly amazing! Countless people, some who’ve faced similar heart surgeries with their little ones and others just simply checking in, have reached out. Their stories and encouragement have been a source of strength in this challenging time. We are so grateful to everyone who has taken a moment to share their experiences and offer their support.

Kennedy’s Heart :: Our Journey with a Ventricular Septal Defect--Part 2

The Jayden DeLuca Foundation has been a significant source of support. A friend recommended them, and their assistance has been invaluable in managing our cardiology bills that seem to just keep piling up. Their generosity to families like ours has provided much-needed relief and peace of mind. I can’t believe I had never heard about them before! We hope to share how they helped Kennedy as she grows up, and we will forever be involved with the foundation. Kennedy is officially one of their “heart heroes.”

Between all the people who have reached out and the assistance from the Jayden Deluca Foundation, we are reminded every day that we’re not alone in this journey.

Okay, on to the updates . . . Recently, we had another cardiologist appointment to check Kennedy’s progress. The echocardiogram revealed that while her condition hasn’t worsened, it hasn’t improved either. Our doctor decided it was time to consult with the top surgeons at Stanford. After two weeks of nerve-wracking waiting, the call came. The surgeons had reviewed Kennedy’s case and decided to proceed with surgery. The date was set for July 25th, just a couple of months away–so soon!

But there it was, a plan to fix our little girl’s heart.

Kennedy’s Heart :: Our Journey with a Ventricular Septal Defect--Part 2

Now that we had a date, I went into full planning mode. We applied to stay at the Ronald McDonald House, hoping for a cozy spot close to the hospital. We bought flight tickets and arranged a shuttle with Stanford. And then, a small miracle happened. While coordinating transportation, a kind gentleman mentioned that Southwest Airlines donates tickets to families in need through their Medical Transportation Grant Program.

Before we knew it, we had free flights to and from Stanford. Cue the happy tears!

With the surgery date on the calendar, we’re busy preparing for our journey. We’re working closely with care coordinators both here in Boise and at Stanford. They’ve been there to answer every question, no matter how small. And trust me, my notes in my phone have been filled with question after question. They have helped answer every single one.

As we embark on this next chapter to repair Kennedy’s heart, we are so grateful to be surrounded by an incredible community of supporters. Our family is gearing up for the trip in July, holding onto the positive vibes and well-wishes from everyone following our story. We are so grateful for the strength and encouragement that surrounds us.

Kennedy is a fighter, and with everyone’s support, we know she’ll conquer this.

Kennedy’s Heart :: Our Journey with a Ventricular Septal Defect--Part 2Thank you for being with us every step of the way. Your thoughts and positive vibes mean the world to us. Stay tuned, as this adventure is far from over, and we will continue to share Kennedy’s journey with all of you.



The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Boise Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.

Jaclyn Burns
Meet Jaclyn, a Boise native through and through. She is a SAHM and a Realtor specializing in first time home buyers. After spending 4 years in Europe, Jaclyn married the love of her life, Tom. They have a daughter named Kennedy whom is bravely battling a VSD (small hole in her heart). Jaclyn enjoys exploring Boise's greenbelt, sampling local brews, and spending time outdoors with her family. Being an introverted extrovert, she is the life of the party until it’s time to recharge her batteries. With Jaclyn around you can ensure there are always good vibes and laughter- lots of laughter.

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