“When we hold her, we treasure that moment,” her father said. “It makes the smaller stuff so much more important.”
Two-month-old Avery Moore has spent every day of her young life in the hospital.
Avery was born with multiple ventricular septal defects, which means there are numerous holes in the wall that separate the two lower chambers of her heart, Fox News reports. She also suffers from Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), more commonly known as an irregular heartbeat, and cardiomyopathy, which makes it hard for her tiny heart to pump blood to the rest of her body.
Avery’s parents never saw this coming. Her mother Alison carried her for 41-weeks, and she and her husband Steven were under the impression that their daughter was a normal, healthy baby. But the day after she was born, Avery turned blue.
Since then, Alison and Steven have uprooted their lives in Augusta, Georgia, to be by their baby girl’s side at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where she’s awaiting a heart transplant.
“We want to make sure she knows that we’re there for her,” Steven told Fox. “It’s pretty irrational, but we sit around [with the hope] that a heart with show up, and they won’t have to come and find us.”
This week, Avery underwent a risky procedure to close the holes in her heart. The procedure, which typically takes two to four hours, took doctors nearly seven hours to complete on Avery’s infant heart.
Though successful, Steven described the surgery as a “bridge to get us to the transplant”—a way to buy Avery more time.
Unfortunately, it can take months to years before a heart becomes available, and not any heart will do. Children like Avery must wait for the right size organ to become available. Her parents known full well “what it would mean” for another family to give Avery their child’s heart. But when that day comes, they hope that family can look at it as “an opportunity for their heart to live on through our daughter,” Steven said.
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Steven and Alison, who are celebrating their one-year anniversary next month, rarely get to hold their daughter. “When we hold her, we treasure that moment,” Steven said. “It makes the smaller stuff so much more important.”
The couple has set up a Facebook page for Avery, where they’ve encountered an “overwhelming” amount of support. But more than anything, they rely on each other. “It has brought us closer together as a married couple,” Steven told Fox. "When she [Alison] breaks down, I find myself being stronger in those moments.