Imagine  (a letter from Scarlet’s mom)

Imagine finding out your child only had half a heart. Imagine if  while planning to undergo 3 standard surgeries to correct it, you hear it’s  impossible and heart transplant is the only way.  Imagine if they were transferring your child  to a hospital over 3 1/2 hours away from home to wait for this transplant.  Imagine leaving your home, family, and your friends to play a waiting game with  an ending time of… unknown lengths. Imagine if this was you.

Well, for us  this imagination is a reality.

Scarlet Marie was born on June 15, 2011 with a congenital heart defect called Hypo-plastic Left Heart Syndrome. Three days  after birth in Las Vegas, Nevada at Sunrise Children’s Hospital, Scarlet  underwent a heart catheter procedure that deduced her coronary arteries were  much too damaged to perform the standard 3 surgeries and be successful. At a  week old she had her first open heart surgery (Pulmonary Artery Banding) to  help prolong the wait for the new journey we were to take. Soon after she “semi”-recovered  from that surgery, they had her on a helicopter and on her way to Loma Linda  University Children’s Hospital at just two weeks old. With short notice we  packed our bags, emptied our small savings account and were on the road to a  new unfamiliar place we’d soon be calling home.

Our social worker was trying to set us up with housing as soon as possible and mentioned an organization called Stevens Hope for Children. She gave us a number to call and get set up with one of their apartments. Within  hours we heard back from Christine, a Steven’s Hope “angel”. She set up a time  to meet with us and sign contracts. Moving to an unfamiliar place, with stress and worry heavy in our hearts for our first child, we didn’t know what to expect.

It didn’t take long after hearing what Steven’s Hope does and how  it came to be, we knew God was watching over us and sent us this blessing. It’s  so hard to express what a miracle Steven’s Hope has been to me and my family. At  the place we stayed before Steven’s Hope, although nice and helpful, privacy was  not present there like it is at Steven’s Hope, nor the space. Being so far from  family we, as a young couple, needed the support and comfort of knowing that  when family comes to visit they can stay with us, in our own apartment.

The amazing hospitality, love, support, and kindness Steven’s  Hope has showed us is more then we will ever be able to repay them. They’ve  taken us under their wings and made us a part of their family. Tony and Sandy  started Steven’s Hope due to a tragedy in their lives but have turned that  tragedy into a miracle for dozens of families, us being one of them. We are so  lucky to be part of the Steven’s Hope family and hope that they can get the  blessings back that they so willingly and gracefully give to so many families.

Steven’s Hope is part of our journey.  After being sheltered at Steven’s Hope for the past 3 1/2 long months, I am happy to write that our daughter Scarlet  received her second chance at life on September 26, 2011 and we will soon be taking her home to our refuge, comfort and safe place we call home at the Steven’s Hope apartment until we can return to our permanent residence in Las  Vegas once again. Thank you, Tony and Sandy, and everyone at Stevens Hope for Children,
we love you.

Alexis G., Las Vegas, Nevada.