Thursday, December 2, 2010

Scents and Memories

By Kim Rooks

Kim and Taylor after one of Taylor's
open-heart surgeries.
I think it’s interesting how a scent can take you back to the very day when you first smelled it, and how you can remember exactly what you were doing that day.

I washed my hands at the Shands cardiology clinic the other day and the soap is the same as one I used almost nine years ago, when I had to wash my hands before I could go see my baby girl for the first time in the Shands Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Taylor was 6 pounds, 9 ounces, with a heart rate of 60. 

Who knew the road we have traveled would bring fear, sadness, frustration, confusion and happiness. But most of all, it has brought family and friends closer, and introduced me to people I would never have met if we didn’t travel this road.

Taylor with her pediatric cardiologist, F. Jay Fricker.
Recently, our pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Jay Fricker, said something I thought I would never hear. 

In the past, he has said he doesn’t know what Taylor’s future holds. But that day, he said he thinks Taylor will be fine, and the only issue we will have to deal with is with her pacemakers. 

I'm so happy for our baby steps of miracles that she has had in her life. God makes things happen for a reason and we will never know why.

Kim Rooks is the mother of Taylor, who is now 9 years old. Kim is co-founder and co-executive director of Broken Hearts of the Big Bend. By day, she works with the Greater Southeast Affiliate of the American Heart Association. By evening, she is an independent consultant for several product lines. Taylor was born with congenitally corrected transposition of the greater arteries (meaning not only were her greater arteries reversed, but her ventricles were, too), a large ventricular septal defect and complete heart block. By the time she was 5 months old, she’d had a double-arterial switch, her VSD closed, and a pacemaker implanted. In all, Taylor has had more than 10 heart surgeries in her life, including two open-heart procedures. Today, she is thriving.

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