Sunday, July 10, 2011

Cinderella and Miss Arkansas Events

Here it is July...and time has flown by so quickly. This month, we have had 3 opportunities to represent Arkansas Childrens Hospital. Over the holiday weekend, we stopped at a Dairy Queen in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Covering the windows were hundreds of CMN balloon stickers...Haven was so excited, she had to give an employee one of her Champion Cards.
Yesterday, in Benton, the downtown association hosted 'Cinderella in the City' in conjunction with the local theatre group's production of the musical. How fun is it to dress up like a princess, especially Cinderella??? Haven was introduced at the event, and even took a carriage ride. She loved it, despite the heat! You can see her smile above.
Today was even better!!! Childrens Miracle Network has close ties with the Miss America program, so today Haven was invited to participate in the arrival ceremony for the 2011 contestants for Miss Arkansas. Haven and Eden were entranced watching all the beautiful girls arrive. Afterwards, the top 5 fundraising contestants for CMN were recognized and had their picture taken with Haven and Kate from ACH. But, the highlight for our girl was receiving her very own crown from Miss Arkansas, Alyse Eady. Haven fell in love with Alyse, and we even had to track her down after the event so Haven could see her one more time!

Friday, June 10, 2011


Blogging is a new adventure for our family--just like our life with Haven. The past 5 years have passed quickly...some months are just a blur....some moments are so crystal clear that they seem to have happened just minutes ago. When we began this journey, we had no idea what direction to take and we still are curious the see where we'll land. At every curve and mountaintop, we've made new and special friends. And, on the the days where we've found ourselves in the deepest valleys, God provided family and old friends to lift us up.
There is so much to is hard to know where to begin. We are thrilled that Haven Blu has the opportunity to represent Arkansas Children's Hospital this year for CMN. The hospital has been a blessing to us ever since the day Haven was born. We so want to do everything we can to help more childrend to be blessed by its staff and services. I guess that is why it is so amazing that Haven is the one being honored instead of the hospital. In early May, ACH and Walmart hosted a launch event, announcing Haven's honor to the public. It was so much fun! The store employees decorated and filled a basket with toys for Haven. There was a beautiful cake and lanyards with Haven's picture and story. The store manager gave a welcome and I had the opportunity to tell Haven's story again. Then, as if someone had attached rockets to her walker, Haven took off down the aisles with her sister to do some shopping with her own personal gift card!! Wow--it made her feel so special and grown up...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Champions

Champions is a Children's Miracle Network Hospitals program that brings attention to the important work being done at its 170 children’s hospitals. It does this by honoring 51 remarkable kids who have faced severe medical challenges, and helping them tell their stories.

The Champions program designates a child in every state who has bravely battled a serious injury or illness. The Champions represent the nearly 17 million children treated at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals every year. The 2011 Champions have dealt with a wide variety of injuries and illnesses including genetic diseases, organ transplants and traumas, as well as various types of cancer.

The Champions travel for a week in October, first to Washington, D.C., where they traditionally meet with their state senators on Capitol Hill, and the President of the United States during a visit to the White House. They then take a private chartered flight, provided by Delta Air Lines, to Orlando, Fla. There, champions meet Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals sponsors, hospital representatives and media partners who all convene to celebrate a year of medical miracles during the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Celebration event at Walt Disney World Resort.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Haven's Story

Age 5

Arkansas Children’s Hospital

Heart Defect

Haven has a smile that can light up a room. For Haven’s parents, a day never goes by without feeling profoundly grateful for that smile.

Within hours of her birth, Haven was rushed from the hospital where she was born to Arkansas Children’s Hospital. There she was diagnosed with pulmonary stenosis, a congenital heart defect. In simple terms, the artery that connects Haven’s heart to her lungs was almost completely closed. She also had a valve in her heart that did not close properly. To repair the defects, Haven underwent two heart procedures in her first 11 days of life.

Both surgeries were successful, but at 12 days old Haven’s tiny body suddenly began to shut down. For 58 agonizing minutes, caregivers performed CPR to keep her alive. Once stabilized, she was placed on ECMO, a heart-lung bypass machine that gave her body time to rest and heal.

Today Haven is making progress overcoming speech and motor skill delays with the help of ongoing therapy. Most importantly, she is a happy 5-year-old with a heart that works just as it should.