A friend recently told me I have a higher threshold for chaos than anyone she’s ever met. I’m not sure she meant it as a compliment, but she makes a fair point!
I’m currently running two companies while trying to raise four kids, and because things were starting to feel a little too quiet around our house last month we decided to adopt 12 chickens.
So yes, I am ALL IN on the chaos - and because of that, I’m always grateful for the rare moments that force me to step back and reflect on where we are and just how far we’ve come in the last two and a half years. Today is certainly one of those days, and here’s why.
May 19th, 2018 was my rock bottom.
I woke up that morning in the postpartum unit at Mass General Hospital in Boston. Instead of soaking in those newborn smells and snuggles with my fourth baby, I was coming out of anesthesia from an emergency C-section and still trying to process what the doctors were telling me. That after a perfectly normal pregnancy, our little girl was born with a heart defect and had immediately gone into cardiac arrest upon delivery. She was in the NICU and while they were doing everything they could to save her, it became crystal clear where they thought things were headed. My husband Ryan and I were suddenly being moved to a different recovery room in the hospital because they didn’t think it was a good idea for us to stay in the postpartum unit. I don’t remember exactly how they said it, but the point was loud and clear: your child is dying and we don’t want you to be around other moms and newborns right now.
But little did we know...little did anyone know that Georgia would ignite a medical revolution. I’ve said it many times before: Georgia Claire Bowen came here to change the world. Her left ventricle may have been damaged beyond repair at birth, but the strength of her spirit has allowed her to overcome every seemingly impossible medical setback she’s encountered. Her will to persevere was no match for the stroke she suffered on life support or the heart transplant she received at four months old. She’s not just an inspirational story or a medical miracle (though she is certainly both of those things). Georgia is actually changing how some of the best cardiology doctors in the world treat congenital heart disease.
From day one, we’ve followed Georgia’s lead. We know her work is just getting started, and so is ours. So almost exactly two and a half years removed from the worst day of our lives, we could not be more excited to share that we have established The Georgia Claire Bowen IMPACT (Imagining More Possibilities in Advanced Cardiac Therapies) Initiative at Boston Children’s Hospital.
We know that Georgia and many kids like her will need new hearts one day and that as many as 14,000 children will be hospitalized for heart failure within the next year. The GCB IMPACT initiative will tackle critical research projects and trial new therapeutic approaches that can help save and improve their lives.
We are so thankful to Dr. Christina VanderPluym and Dr. Fynn-Thompson for saving Georgia’s life. You will not find two more qualified people to be leading this work. We are beyond grateful to our families, friends and all the incredible people at Boston Children’s Hospital who helped make this happen. But most of all, we are forever indebted to our little disruptor. Georgia Claire, thank you for opening our eyes to all that can be achieved once you put your mind to it.
I’m going to start blogging more regularly so we can continue to share updates on the GCB IMPACT Initiative as well as other Petit Peony and family news. Please let me know in the comments section if there’s anything you’d like to hear more about! And stay tuned for next week, I’m really excited to share with all of you the story of our new company, GCB Medical Supply!