Meet April’s JDP Warrior Princess - Sassy Sarah!
This little cutie came in with her parents for a family session and she pretty much ran the show. She started off shy for about…oh I don’t know…maybe 5 minutes. Then she was IN CHARGE.
Once she got comfortable she kept moving all of the little props in the studio. I would set up a little stool and then she would move it and go get something else. Then she’d give me about 10 seconds to get a picture before she decided it was time to change it again. 😂
At 24 hours old, Sarah failed her oxygen test. After an x-ray her doctors decided she needed to be transported from Killeen to Ft Worth. Sarah and her family spent 6 weeks at Cook Children’s Hospital awaiting surgery, healthy enough to wait but not healthy enough to come home to the ranch. At 8 weeks she had her first open heart surgery to put in a shunt. The shunt gave more blood flow to her pulmonary artery in hopes of growing her artery. She spent 3 weeks in cardiac ICU and then came home. After 6 months, the doctors determined she was ready to have the shunt out and put in a bovine implant from her heart to her pulmonary artery.
While she is doing ok now, her arteries keep narrowing making her right side of her heart work harder than it should. She will need more intervention. She also doesn't have a pulmonary valve so she has at least one more open heart surgery in her future, hopefully as a teenager.
Advice from Sarah’s parents
Ask questions and ask a lot questions to her entire care team. We didn’t ask enough in the beginning and I wish we had. And join support groups. It really helps to know you're not alone.
Shout out from Sarah’s parents
Dr. Tam, her cardiac surgeon. He does amazing work with very very little hearts. He has the praise of his entire hospital, from nurses to security guards.
Dr. Leavy, NICU at Cook Children’s Hospital. He definitely did a great job keeping us up to date and integrated in her care while in NICU.
The CICU doctors at Cook Children's Hospital. They were amazingly attentive and knew my daughter in and out. They took her into consideration with every decision and you can tell they really care.
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” - Pablo Picasso
If you know a family that has a child under one year old with a life-altering illness, birth defect, or injury, lives within 30 miles of downtown Austin, TX, and would treasure professional portraits of their precious baby and family, please nominate them by filling out this form.