Images Captured by Photography by Eiko
This is Julian. Isn't he adorable? Let us tell you a little bit about this boy. He loves music and, of course, the best part of music – dancing! If Julian catches a glimpse of a puppy dog, he is instantly in love. He also surprised his mom in the delivery room. His mother had been told that he was to be a girl, so she was shocked when it was announced that he was a bouncing baby boy! He almost went home in pink!
When Julian was seven days old, he went into heart failure due to cardiomyopathy. Basically, the left side of his heart was so enlarged that it was no longer pumping the oxygenated blood to the rest of his body efficiently. This resulted in him needing a new heart. At three weeks old, he underwent open heart surgery to put in the canals (tubing that is inserted into the heart and secured to the chest wall) that would exit his body through his abdomen and attach to the most amazing machine his mother had ever seen: The Berlin Heart. This allowed him to be less sedated. As a result of the trauma his body went through, he suffered a stroke on the left side of his brain which effects the right side of his body. It was now time to wait for a new heart.
On January 17th, 2009, his family was told that Julian would be going into a ten hour surgery for his heart transplant. Obviously, his mother was devastated when she first found out that her baby was sick, but with the help of her family, she pulled herself together. She had to be strong for her baby boy. She was by his side every moment, along with her family. She believes that this is what kept Julian fighting, the love he felt when his family members did not leave his side in the hospital. Finally, at four months old, her son left the hospital to go home with his mother.
His mother believes that everything happens for a reason, and although it is a struggle, Julian has brought so much to her life. He makes her a better person. She loves to watch him smile, laugh and play. Julian is now developing and growing like any other 18 month old. He recently started walking; what a proud moment for both of them! He has a drive to be independent like no other.
Julian will likely need another transplant in twenty or so years, but they will deal with that when that day comes. For now, they are living life to the fullest – living, laughing and loving.
Story by Billie Depatie