2021 SuperHero Heart Run Ambassador- Andrew Burton

When Andrew was born we did not know of his heart defect.  He was diagnosed the next morning with Tetrology of Fallot.   As first time parents and now first time parents of a heart baby, his dad and I were terrified.  Right away Andrew proved to not be a “typical” TOF baby.  (As if there is such a thing as typical in this world) He did not require the BT shunt and he was sent home within a normal amount of time for a newborn.  We started cardiologist appointments immediately and all the things that go along with that… monthly appointments, medications, well baby visits, he thew in some extra complications requiring a few eye surgeries and we waited for surgery.  Andrew had his full repair done at 5 months old at the Iowa City Children’s Hospital.  He did pretty well with surgery and Dr. Davis was able to repair his heart better than anyone could have predicted.  I truly credit his decisions in the operating room with the ongoing health of his heart.

One of the reasons we love to share Andrew’s story is that it is one of hope and we have found that sharing his life with new heart families they find strength in his success.  We used to feel guilt because he is a “healthy” heart kid but now we feel proud and want to share his story.   Andrew has always been very successful in school, he is an avid fisherman, loves to kayak and camp.  He also has a deep seeded love for baseball and has played for many years.  He is currently running cross country on his 8th grade team and he recently joined a bowling league with his dad.  His heart doesn’t slow him down.

I wish I could tell you why… but that isn’t for me to answer.  All I know is when I see him crossing a finish line,  striking out batters or proudly showing off his latest catch, tears fill my eyes and I find myself caught off guard by the emotions that follow.  As a mother to a young heart child I never expected to see this or to have these feelings.  I never expected to be able to share such a success story with our extended heart family.  Andrew isn’t out of the woods… and he never will be.  There will be more surgeries… valve replacements… but we don’t know when and until that time he will keep running, fishing and playing baseball.  All of these  heart kids add a little magic into our lives and Andrew is no different.  But if his story can ease the mind of a new heart parent (even for a moment), give a family a little glimpse of hope when all seems to be falling apart or just make you smile because his outlook on life is so wise and his sense of humor is well beyond his years… we will call that a win!  In this heart community we share it all.  We share the fears, the scary moments and the losses but we also share the miracles, the hope and all the little wins along the way. 

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