Brave Heart


Last week my husband asked me what I wanted for Mother’s Day. I thought long and hard and honestly I couldn’t think of something. Don’t get me wrong a new diamond wouldn’t hurt anybody, but I really don’t need anything. Then, I thought of my friend Tricia and decided to give up my wish for hers.

Almost three years ago I met her, a woman like no other in my life time. It was a hot summer day and we were both at the pool chasing after our crazy toddlers. Mine was a little over 3 and hers just 18 months old. Her contagious laugh and loud kindness are the traits that I enjoy the most when I am in her company; she masters the ability of making people feel special.

Time passed and Thomas, her baby boy, struggled to breath and eat. He was born with a congenital defect called Double Aortic Arch, which caused severe vascular compression of the trachea and air restriction into the lungs.

So, last Thursday, Thomas underwent open heart surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Children’s Hospital to correct this defect after a failed first surgery in March of last year.

From afar, Tricia has shared with me–and a couple of her friends from Florida–her little angel’s fight for his life. In the distance, I have wished I was there to spend the long waiting hours with her, but then I remember how easily I cry, so I know that I would have end up locked in the psychiatric ward.

During the last week I asked myself, how big can a mother’s heart grow to hold the love for her child? Well, I have witnessed how much Tricia’s has. In addition to dealing with Thomas’s heart condition, life thew her a second curve ball at the beginning of this year: Autism.

Any mother, including me, would have fallen on her knees and cry out loud, “Why me?”. Not Tricia. Somehow she found in the silence and confusion of his mind, and in the pain and struggle of his heart, the way to communicate with her son and make his brave heart beat to a new rhythm.

She has made her child’s challenges her own, and has made it her purpose in life to ensure his bright future. As the avid reader she is, I am positive there is no study or medical research she hasn’t read yet about her son’s conditions. When I read her text messages I feel I am reading the notes of a top specialist.

However, she is not a superhero and I know she’s had many bad days. Nonetheless, she has enough love to smile and hug if I see her in the street, and enough strength to face the sleepless nights caring for her son and searching the web for a medical breakthrough.

The road to recovery will be slow, but Tricia and and her husband are the best team Thomas can have by his side. As I publish this blog, they are waiting to get the release from the surgeon, so they can travel to Florida this weekend.

That’s my Mother’s Day wish for her; that she can spend the day back at home with her baby boy. After all the tribulations she’s endured, I don’t think it’s too much to ask.

Happy Mother’s Day to all my mom readers who’ve had the privilege of never sleeping through the night, eating mostly leftovers, and being experts in healing scratched knees.

Thanks for reading and sharing.

Xiomara Spadafora.

This column was sponsored by Zellner Insurance Agency. Many things in life don’t have insurance. For everything else call Zellner (888) 208-8119

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