Owen's Heart Squad
Thank you very much for visiting our family's fundraising page. We are excited to participate in our second annual Congenital Heart Walk with the Children’s Heart Foundation. This year is even more exciting because our special warrior, Owen Giovanni Guzzo, will be there in person! As many of you know our lives forever changed last March at our 20-week anatomy scan. The words, “Congratulations you’re having a boy!” was followed closely with an uneasy tension as the technician focused on Owen’s heart.
Congenital heart defects are the most commonly occurring birth defect, approximately 1 in 110 babies born will be born with a heart defect. Of those babies, 25% will require some sort of surgical intervention in order to have a chance at surviving and of those 69% will live to their 18th birthday. We learned that our son Owen, had a defect called Tetralogy of Fallot, and was going to be part of that 25% who would need life-saving surgery in the first few months of life. We did our part to educate and prepare ourselves for what our new future held.
Owen was born on August 11th, 2019. It will forever be etched in our memories as one of the most amazing days. Despite his diagnosis, Owen looked great. His APGAR scores were on par with any non-heart warrior. Nevertheless, he was whisked away to the NICU so his heart could be closely monitored as he adjusted to the outside world.
We’ve been very lucky, Many babies born with Tetralogy of Fallot don’t get to leave the hospital until they have their surgery. Owen is what they call a “pink Tet”. Outwardly, you would have no idea his little heart is working five times as hard as the babies in his playgroup. Owen’s defects worked as such that he was able to get sufficient blood to his lungs to oxygenate his body well enough that we were able to bring our son home for four of the most precious months in memory.
On December 23rd, 2019 will forever remain the second most important day of all of our lives. On that day, we brought our happy, smiling, healthy boy to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital for his repair. As a result of decades of research and a path paved by many Heart Angels, our surgeon, Dr. Ma, was able to perform a valve-sparing, total repair of Owen’s heart. Without the contributions of those before us, our son’s chances of a full healthy life would only be a fantasy.
Owen continues to show us his warrior spirit and is recovering incredibly well. While our hope is that this will be his only surgery, the reality is we just don’t know. The beautiful thing is, because of the efforts of The Children’s Heart Foundation the prognosis continues to improve for not only Owen but those babies to come after him.
Last year, Caitlin and I were able to raise north of $25,000 for the San Francisco Heart Walk. This year with the help of friends and family we aim to tackle 1% of The CHF’s overall goal for this Heart Walk season, setting our team target at $21,930!
We look forward to walking alongside you this May and if you can’t make it in person, we appreciate your contribution to a brighter future for all of the little Heart Warriors