I remember very clearly when my friend Nicole came up to me and said, “Kell, I need to tell you something. There’s something wrong with the baby.”
My eyes flew to her not yet swollen belly.
Nicole went on to tell me that her unborn child had a rare and serious heart condition called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Basically, her baby only had half a heart and the only way to give this baby a chance of life, was for Nicole, her husband and their son Jack to move to Melbourne in order for this child to have specialist surgery in the fist days after birth.
Since that conversation, Nicole Watson and her family have walked an amazing road. In Nicole’s own words, the journey has been one of “faith, obedience and the miracles that follow”. Nicole’s book, Sam’s Heart, follows this journey, right from the shock at the first scan, throughout the operations to the transitions in family life for the Watsons.
The average human heart beats 100,000 times a day.
Sam’s heart beats 200,000 times a day.
Sam’s Heart is written like a diary, bringing together recalled memories, inspiring words and encouraging scriptures with personal photos and snippets of the online diary Nicole wrote during the ordeal. This makes the book very real, raw and emotional because many parts are in real time. The book is both heart breaking and uplifting.
Below are some snippets I love from the book.
Only One Option
“I thanked the doctor for his honesty and we advised him that we would go ahead with the surgery. To us there was only one option and we were going to give it everything we had. This baby deserved a chance at life.”
A new life
“I remember when Sam was born I was able to hold him, all wrapped up, for a very short time before they took him away to the Special Care Nursery. Moments were stolen from us. Moments like savouring the softness and smell of my newborn baby. Watching his eyes look around in amazement at the new world he was in, letting him nuzzle at my breast and showing him that I was his Mummy.”
“I wonder if you have ever seen a human heart beating with your naked eye. When we first saw Sam after his first surgery his chest was still open, covered only by a big clear plastic adhesive. I could clearly see his little heart beating flat out. It was here that God reminded me how magnificent his creation is, how perfectly everything works together and how his life-giving power sustain it all. It also made me thankful for the amazing team of hospital staff that attended to his every need.”
The journey continues
“Our journey with Sam is far from over, and yet we have such joy and peace in our circumstances. Sometimes we can’t see the rainbow because we focus too much on the storm. Look for the blessing that is surrounding you every day and thank God for it.”
I was thrilled when Nicole told me she was writing a book (published by Even Before Publishing). Not only does Sam’s Heart show the journey of an amazing, yet everyday family, it demonstration of a life lived, not by rules and religion but by faith. And that is a beautiful thing. I was so encouraged.
Follow her on Facebook
Follow her blog: Come Follow the Watsons
**Giveaway now closed. Winner has been notified by email**
I want to give this encouraging book to one of my readers. If you would like enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment below.
1. Open internationally.
2. Giveaway closes 7 September.
3. Winner will be chosen by random number and notified by email.