Vienna's Story

Images Captured by Baotran Pham Photography 

Little Vienna may be only 4 years old, but to her parents and big sister, this Tiny Light has opened up a whole new world of joy and wonder. 

Diagnosed with Atrioventricular septal defect (two holes in her heart) and Down syndrome while in utero, Jennifer and Joel were determined to learn as much as they could about their baby girl’s conditions before she was born.  Since then, Vienna has had numerous hospitalizations, dozens of doctors appointments, open heart surgery, and hours of therapy.  But that hasn’t been the toughest part of the journey for this family.  They have faced an uphill battle with friends and family who haven’t known how to cope with Vienna’s diagnoses. 

Along the way, this beautiful girl has constantly amazed her parents.  “I have never seen a child enjoy life and the little things as much as Vienna.”  Her eyes light up when mom and dad sing “Itsy Bitsy Spider”.  She cheers for her big sister’s soccer team by shouting “Go, go, go!” Even after a long day at the hospital, Vienna is full of laughter.  And she loves snuggling into mom’s shoulder at night. 

Her parents have so many dreams for Vienna.  “If you focus your energy on what your child is not doing, you may miss out on something amazing your child is doing currently.” And no matter what path their daughter chooses, their most ardent hope is she will be surrounded by genuine caring people who accept her. 

Written by Elaine Yong