We first met at Hillsboro High School in Nashville, TN. We even dated for a little while and broke up during our senior year. Ten years later, we found each other via the magic of facebook. After almost a year of long distance dating, Dan moved back to Nashville and six months later proposed on Cape Cod. We were married on April 3, 2011.
Quickly after we returned from our honeymoon, we discovered we were expecting our first child. At 19 weeks we learned we were having a BOY and named him Paul, a Melchiorre family name.
We welcomed our second child, Georgia (after Colleen's Grandfather), on 2/14/2014 making our little family grow in a wonderful way.
Georgia was diagnosed with Bicuspid Aortic Valve (BAV) at one day old during a routine newborn echo-cardiogram done for all siblings of kids with HLHS. As of now, her valve looks great, no stenosis, no murmur, and good blood flow. It seems as if she will not need any sort of intervention until later in her adult life. BAV is generally a very mild congenital heart defect. Learn more about BAV.
On October 3rd 2011 our lives changed forever when we learned at 30 weeks pregnant our son Paul would be born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Baby Paul has two parents that love him and each other deeply. Each and every day we thank God for our family and feel so lucky to have each other.
We believe that it is our privilege to love our son for as long as he is alive, be that 10 minutes or 100 years and will do everything we can to make sure that he feels our love without condition for his entire existence.
All HLHS children go through at least three open heart surgeries throughout the first years of life. Paul underwent the Norwood, Stage One on 12/12/11 and the Glenn, Stage Two on 3/30/12. He had the Fontan, Stage Three on 7/28/14 at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Paul presented with the worst and earliest case in documented history of a rare disorder less than one day after his Fontan. Paul was treated for a condition called plastic bronchitis and waited for a heart transplant for 6 months. He received his gift of life on April 21st. He had a rocky road but as of late 2015 he is doing well. Follow Paul's journey on Facebook at pink4paul.
Our children inspire us. We LOVE them and, in spite of and because of everything we have been through we really LOVE each other. It is beyond a privilege to be in this life as a family together and we are thankful to all of you for following our journey.