Sunday, February 28, 2016

Day 28 - Darren Xiangzi

To me, Darren has a “jumble” of heart defects, but thanks to his medical-minded mama, we know that he has L-TGA, ASD, VSD, PDA, Pulmonary Atresia, and Dextrocardia. Repairs were the Senning and Rastelli and later a stent placed in his left pulmonary artery. Besides the stent, synthetic additions to his heart include multiple baffles and a conduit. The baffles are permanent, but he’ll need one more open heart surgery to replace the conduit with an adult-size version in several years and also has examinations every six months that mainly serve as ways for his parents to convert some innocuous word or phrase from his doctors into something we can worry about until the next appointment.

In between time, there are absolutely no indications that Darren’s heart limits him in any way whatsoever. When he joined us at nearly four-years-old, he was blue, could not walk up or down stairs, and even eating led to heavy breathing. Now he’s our unstoppable bionic man, wrestling and rolling and sprinting around, twirling his arms like propellers to take flight, or buzz-saws to destroy. His personality is a force of nature. His curiosity is all consuming. At the hospital, it’s as if he’s saying “I’ll ask the questions around here”, peppering the doctors and medical staff in ways that prove that these are not just one-way examinations. They ask him his age, he answers, then asks them their age. They weigh him, he complies, then asks them how much they weigh. He reduces world-class medical professionals with extraordinary accomplishments to speechlessness, and somehow does so disarmingly and delightfully.

With Darren, you know exactly where you stand in his mind at any given moment. He’ll complain to his mom about his dad by referring to him as “that guy,” unhappily furrowing his brow. He calls his big brother a “bully” and wishes a bad day upon him. But he’s just as quick with a compliment as he is with a critique, which makes his kind words all the sweeter. He shares “I love yous” out of the blue. “Mom, you’re pretty,” he’ll say with sincerity.

He’s a younger brother to six and big brother to one, yet king of the family. His giggles can melt the world.

We are blessed to call him our son,


Christine Kreps said...

Erik ~ You are an excellent writer AND an excellent father!

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