Photo by Dawid Zawiła from StockSnap IO

There are times of our lives when it seems as though we hear bad news after bad news. Someone from our past dies at a young age. A friend is on his way to see his brother in Hospice for the last time. A sweet lady I know has been diagnosed with a devastating disease.

And sometimes when I’m researching a topic online, I get side-tracked by other “related” (at least by the search engine’s opinion) stories. It’s so easy to get sucked into reading story after story; often the more I read the more shocking the stories become. I see how people can develop an addiction-like relationship with on-line browsing.

When I was flipping through my writing ideas today, I came across a note that I had taken while talking with a friend. My friend knew someone who had a baby born with half a heart, and the baby had just gone through a heart transplant at four months of age.

I wanted to write about that, but I hadn’t done the follow-up on her story. So I searched online to see what else I could find. I was reminded to be very thankful for the monumental strides made in medicine and healthcare every day.

Being born with “half a heart” is officially known as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Normal blood flow is disrupted due to the left side of the heart not developing fully or correctly.

In America, 1 out of every 4,344 babies is born with HLHS. This birth defect means the baby will need at least three surgeries spaced out during their first three years of life. There were heart-warming stories with photos showing the children growing up. Although not every story had a happy ending (due to other medical issues that came about), I was happy to find a photo of a healthy eleven year old boy named Ian playing the drums.

Ian’s HLHS had initially been diagnosed via ultrasound when his mom was twenty weeks pregnant. The prognosis was not good, and then it got worse; tests showed Ian was also missing a small hole between the heart’s upper chambers. Without that hole, the blood would not flow correctly. There would be a tight space of time for the doctors to create a hole.

The team decided to perform a C-section delivery in a catheterization lab, so the baby could be whisked next door to a neighboring cath lab in order to save the precious moments needed. How’s that for thinking outside the delivery room?

Have you noticed that we use a lot of references to the heart in our daily speak? Heart-warming. Heart-wrenching. Let’s have a heart-to-heart talk. He’s a bleeding heart liberal. I mean it from the bottom of my heart. She had a change of heart. My heart goes out to them. He has a heart of gold. Please get to the heart of the matter. My heart just wasn’t in it. Home is where the heart is. Bless your little heart. Don’t tell my achy breaky heart. And Tony Bennett left his in San Francisco.

But now maybe we’ll think twice before we accuse someone of doing something half-heartedly.

To my readers: Share your favorite heart idiom that may not be noted above.