My son, Caden, is two years old. He has a Congenital Heart Defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. His left ventricle never developed and therefore is considered a single ventricle kid. He has had two open-heart surgeries—his first at two days old and his second at four months old. He still needs one more surgery to help his heart. Caden spent his first 56 days of life in a hospital bed. Caden has been so strong through so much. He taught me (his mother) how to use my voice again; something I had lost over years of domestic abuse. Caden taught me to fight and be strong enough to get through anything. Unfortunately, Caden’s father abused him when he was only 8 months old.
Caden has been through far more things than most two-year-olds. Caden does not let his half heart stop him from laughing and enjoying his life every single day. I am thankful for each day we are blessed with his presence. He has smiled through countless scans and tests, surgeries, hospital stays, and hardships. His perseverance is inspiring. He loves playing with his brother, Jackson (age 4). Caden and his brother love to play with Marvel Avengers (Hulk), Star Wars figures, trucks, and dinosaurs.
Caden has had a WubbaNub since he was born. After being intubated, it was the first thing he had. We gave him the Lion WubbaNub for because of his strength and named the lion, Leo. The WubbaNub helped him learn how to suck. He was not allowed to breastfeed because of the strain it would have on his heart. He sucked on his WubbaNub which taught him how to suck to take a bottle for the first time. After each surgery, his WubbaNub was right there for him. He has slept with almost two WubbaNubs his whole life.
He has had his WubbaNub in every stage of life. It has been his constant and comfort through all he’s endured. Even if the animals on the ends have changed, his WubbaNub has been the one thing he’s never let go of.