Baby Aidan Caton's Heart of Fire

For: Baby Aidan Caton and Family
Mesa, AZ
Organizer: Monie Lea
Baby Aidan Caton's Heart of Fire (Baby Aidan Caton and Family)
$2,815
of $10,000 goal.
Raised by 38 donors
28% Complete

The Story

Almost 10 years ago, I met this awesome redheaded girl who made me laugh out loud at everything, so we immediately became great friends. Today, she is still one of my best friends, so I'm sharing this story for her and her family, who will soon have a new PERFECT baby boy. 

On April 18, 2017, Alexis and Steve were ecstatic to announce their pregnancy. 3 months later, on July 17, during their gender reveal ultrasound, they were made aware that their little one would be a bouncing baby boy, however, the news that followed, has forever changed their world. Baby Boy Caton was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) - a congenital heart disease that affects the growth of the left side of the heart. (https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/heartdefects/hlhs.html)

As they tirelessly searched the best possible options for their little heart warrior, Alexis and Steve have chosen to deliver at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP - www.chop.edu/), where baby will have his first open heart surgery at 1 week old. Can you imagine? 1 week old, and this little bundle of joy will go through something most of us could never fathom. After that, he will have 2 more surgeries to correct the left side of his heart, at 3 months and 3 years old. However, I know in my heart and because I've witnessed it first hand, this little boy and mommy will have the best care by the best heart surgeons, doctors, and medical staff while they are there.

For me, this news was a heartbreak when she first told me, as I have watched another dear friend go through this disease with her now 5 year old son (who is doing extremely well), but the treatment and healing process for this disease is traumatic, to say the least, for the patient and the family. This little boy is the same age as Ryan, Alexis and Steve's oldest son, and Alexis was always there following my friend's story. She even graciously donated to his fund in need when she heard about his heart warrior journey.

Now, it is our turn to give back to this amazing little family that we all love so much. A family that has always been there for me, and I know so many others, as well. Alexis and family have been traveling back and forth to Philadelphia for the last few months, getting ready for delivery. You can imagine, with all of that travel, how bills may be stacking up for them. This doesn't even start to include any medical bills, or future travel, that they will incur, once baby is here. This time for baby will take away from mom and dad's time to work, as they will be in the hospital for up to a month after his first surgery, and they will travel back to Philadelphia several more times for evaluations, treatments, and additional surgeries in the near future.

I have seen first hand the stress, heartache, and insurmountable stack of bills this journey provides a family, and this is why I have chosen to set up this YouCaring fundraiser for them. I hope with my whole heart, that as they embark on this journey, we as friends, family, and even strangers, can help ease a little bit of stress for them. Entering the holiday season, I know pockets become tight for everyone, but please remember that every little amount helps. If unable to donate, I know the family and all of their friends will appreciate all of your positive thoughts, energy and prayers for baby and mom.

The family has chosen a name for this little heart warrior, and it is very well chosen!
Aidan: Gaelic meaning - Little Fire

AIDAN
, you are going to forever be the LITTLE FIRE in our Hearts! We cannot wait to meet you!

All my love for the Ashley & Caton Families,
Monie Sanchez

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on December 20, 2017

UpdateImage

Posted on December 20, 2017

SURGERY UPDATE:

Aidan was scheduled for his first surgery today - The Norwood Procedure, but prior to surgery, an MRI revealed that he has bleeding on the brain - this is not uncommon with HLHS, but of course this is a small setback for him.  Right now, the plan is to proceed with surgery next Tuesday, December 26th.  This will allow Aidan to have a little rest and healing time.  

Most children born with HLHS will have surgery within the first 2 weeks of their life - so Aidan is just taking his time with his journey, and that's okay!

Please continue to keep Aidan and his family in your thoughts and prayers, as  they have a long and difficult road to travel, and they need all the encouragement and love we can spare.  

And remember.......share, share share!  #chdawareness #aidanslittleheartoffire #heartwarrior #chd # aidancaton #heartoffire 








Posted on December 19, 2017

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Posted on December 19, 2017

And He's Here! Our Little Heart of Fire, Aidan Robert Caton was born Saturday, December 16, 2017 weighing in at 7lbs 12oz and 20" long.  

It was a long labor for mom and baby - arriving at the hospital on Thursday December 14th to start the induction process, until Aidan's arrival at 5:37pm on Saturday, December 16th.

Alexis was a champ, and she had her coach, Steve, next to her to guide her along the way (I'm sure he took a couple punches also) - mommy is a strong soul and went as long as possible without an epidural, but it was needed once her contractions became stronger.  A relaxing break during such a long labor.

Aidan came into this world as a heart WARRIOR and his next step will be the 1st surgery, in a series of 3, to correct his heart - This surgery (Norwood Procedure) will take place next Wednesday, December 27th (unless another little heart warrior becomes more urgent).  Aidan's surgeons will create a "new" aorta and connect it to the right ventricle, as well as, place a tube from the aorta or the right ventricle to the vessels supplying blood to his lungs and the rest of his body. (https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/heartdefects/hlhs.html)

Aidan is going to be fighting the fight of his life, before he even gets to see blue skies or starry nights - after his first surgery, there will be medications pumped through his tiny little body to keep his heart function up.  This process is not going to be easy for Aidan or the family - but they are here and ready for the fight! 

The journey continues, and all the love and show of support the family has been receiving is heart warming, but of course the struggle remains with medical bills, travel and accommodations while they are in Philadelphia.  If you are able to donate (and believe me, all amounts add up), please know the family is forever grateful, and will never forget those that helped Aidan along the way.  If you are following Aidan's story, and are unable to donate, please still share with those around you!  CHD is a real life battle, and awareness is the key to understanding and finding a cure! 

Please follow Aidan's journey at  https://aidansheart.blog/ - mommy will be updating this very soon! 



Posted on November 30, 2017

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Posted on November 30, 2017

Hello all!  I've slacked a little on updates, so wanted to share a little of the happenings in the last 2 weeks....

First and foremost, Alexis and baby Aidan are doing well, and waiting for his arrival in about 2 weeks!

On 11.20.17 Alexis had a follow-up appointment at CHOP where they were able to check on baby's measurements....Aidan was weighing in at 6lbs 11oz - a growing little boy!  Alexis met with their cardiologist, OBGYN, anesthesiologist, and had blood draws and a fetal MRI completed.  They day was full, beginning at 8am for them, and finishing up with their MRI around 4pm.  A fetal oxygen echo completed showed that baby's progesterone levels are still steady and there was no change in his heart - which is all okay!  

Alexis was so thankful to have Daddy, Steve, out for this follow-up appointment, and they were even able to celebrate his birthday over that weekend!  

This week started with another follow-up appointment on 11.29.17 - mommy has gained 2 more pounds (baby is growing strong!) , and she was able to meet with her lactation specialist and progesterone study group.  

Some not so awesome changes: Alexis had to move herself into a hotel, and has applied for the waiting list for the Ronald McDonald House near CHOP.  The living situation she had arranged, didn't quite work out as planned, but they are making the best of the situation at hand.  Although, because of this they will now have daily unplanned added expenses.  

Now more than ever, any small donation would help this family tremendously.  Thank you to all who have shared and donated to Baby Aidan's Little Heart of Fire Fund!  The family is forever grateful!!! 

CHD awareness is so important, so if unable to donate, please keep sharing Aidan's story!  

Warm Holiday Wishes to you all, 

Alexis, Steve, Ryan, and Baby Aidan (and Monie too!)

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