Monday, September 27, 2010

In the Halls of CHOP

As I reflect on our recent trip to Philadelphia, I cannot get certain images out of my head. All of those images take place within the halls of CHOP. Each day at CHOP brings with it a range of emotions and activities. Some moments good, some bad. Some tears, some joy. And lots and lots of waiting. If I close my eyes, I can see the hallways clear as day.

I see the children riding their Playskool tricycles with oxygen tanks and NG tubes in tow.

I see the children who underwent heart transplants walking with their IV poles and their parents with cautious optimism in their eyes.

I see the new mom, in her pink CHOP robe, being wheeled to the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit to spend precious moments with her ailing infant.

I see beyond-nervous parents waiting for their child's surgeon in the consultation room.

I see countless nurses and doctors hovering over cribs, occupied by CHD warriors.

I see familiar faces of those whom we've shared this journey and mourn the loss of those who I want to see dearly.

But the most touching moments I saw at CHOP during our last visit remain . . . Hope and the Will to Live.

Since Zoe's birth, my eyes have opened to a much bigger, and better, world. It is true, in order to be fully aware and alive, you must experience greater joys and greater pains. But how else can one truly live if you're not fully present? As I walked the halls of CHOP in September, I was fully aware - taking it all in.

I wondered, as I walked and read the quotes mounted on the walls, How could I have missed these plaques before? Words of wisdom from those who've passed before us.

I see, in the forefront of my mind, myself.

Me, alongside my daughter, fighting. Fighting for life. The Hope in my eyes and her Will to Live. I love you Zoe Madison and am so proud to be your mom. I will fight with you, and for you, as long as I live.


  1. Stacey, this post was absolutely beautiful - especially the last paragraph and pic. Ok, now I'm crying. Thanks a lot. ;-) Heart hugs.

  2. Yowza! What a heart wrenching post! It touches me when another heart mom can so eloquently express all the emotions that I feel and have felt over the past year. I hope you don't mind me snagging a quote to post on my facebook page. :)

  3. Sweet picture. And you are such a special lady. Thank you for your post. Honestly, I look forward to them.

  4. Your experience has opened my eyes to a whole different perspective...I appreciate your situation and know your daughter is blessed to have you for a mom.

  5. Perfect. Thank you for sharing what we all feel. Love the picture of you and Zoes. My everlasting love and prayers. We love you!

  6. as i sit here in tears.. i love your post, ur quotes...and such a beautful and amazing picture!!