Having a baby is a momentous occasion for any parent, and for Mindy and Rob Seay it was no different. They dreamed to cuddle their little bundle of joy who was about to fill their life with happiness, but when their baby arrived their dream was shattered to pieces; and challenges they were about to face were massive…
When Mindy from Anchorage, Alaska, was 20 weeks pregnant, the baby was diagnosed with severe heart defects. Shortly after his birth, little Lincoln needed an open heart surgery to install a shunt that would keep him going. And when Lincoln was three months old, Mindy and Rob received a devastating news: In order to survive, Lincoln needed a heart transplant.
This is their story and the story of their warrior baby who is fighting strong after one year of his heart transplant!
Rob was completely gutted when he got the bad news about his baby’s health over a year back, but realized that his wife needs his support and strength.
“If there was ever a time for me to step up as dad and husband, that was the time,” he said. He decided to relocate his family to be closer to the Seattle Children’s Hospital, he quit his job and along with the couples elder children moved base.
Rob has no time to reflect and has to react quickly. “I refused to let my family suffer,” he said.
“I made sure that every action I made was intentionally directed towards giving them the support they needed.”
And all the while Lincoln’s condition was getting progressively worse, pushing the family to desperation. Little Lincoln survived two episodes of cardiac arrest, but finally there was some relief as the some good news came: Lincoln was about to receive a new heart, as a donor was found.
Mindy wrote in an open letter posted on her Facebook page to thank the unknown donor child’s mother, “I want you to know that I will always have the utmost respect for the gift we will be given. I will treasure that heart more than I’ve ever treasured any gift. I will care for that gift to the very best of my ability and will be sure we always give reverence and respect to the child and family from which it came. We may never now you by name, but I will know you deep in my soul.”
But again fate intervened while preparations for the surgery were in full swing, suddenly Lincoln’s heart stopped! and he was declared as clinically dead…
But, his doctors refused to give up so easily. They galvanized in to action, opened up Lincoln’s chest as fast as quickly as possible, and managed to manually compress his heart, and at the same were successful in connecting him to a heart bypass machine.
In a superhuman collective effort Lincoln was brought back from clutches of death, but only temporarily. The issue of heart transplant still remained.
In terms of heart transplant in majority of cases, the time taken is a couple of hours, but in the case of Lincoln this intricate surgery only took the doctors 12 minutes! The doctors had this added challenge of considering the extremely weak and fragile condition that Lincoln’s body was. And in the end it was a miracle. The procedure was a success and baby Lincoln got a new robust heart.
The little boy has overcome the most incredible challenges and has to even face death, but he has come back. And in this epic battle, there were doctors, the staff, and most importantly a donor, behind whom there would surely be another story of great sacrifice, heartbreak, and heroism.
Everybody played a part in saving Lincoln, and they deserve to be praised and thanked—but in the midst of all this human drama, in the mind of Mindy, Lincoln’s mom, there is one unsung hero—her husband Rob.
While Mindy was taking care of Lincoln who was battling for his at the hospital, Rob was taking care of things quietly behind the scenes, doing everything from shopping, sending the children to school, and not to mention the not so easy jobs of cooking, cleaning, and doing the laundry!
For him all the struggle and all the sacrifice is more than worth it, seeing his son survive and his heart beating strong…
Look at him all all happy and smiling… What a hero!
“I could not imagine getting through this without Rob’s support. He gives his all to our family and he often sacrifices his own needs to take care of ours,” Mindy said about her husband.
Also, Mindy wrote a heartfelt thank you to the unknown donor in her open letter, saying, “You and I may never meet, may never speak, may never cross paths, but we will be connected on a divine, spiritual level. Your child and mine will be forever entertwined as the heart that grew in your womb now pumps the blood through the body of the child created in mine. They have merged in a way, and your child will forever live on in mine.”