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Amy & Abby Bass, Mississippi

by Elizabeth W. on Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Abby & Amy Bass Hattiesburg, Mississippi

The single most challenging experience of my life came through the birth of my only daughter.  In the fall of 2003, while attending a routine pregnancy exam my life changed forever.  My husband and I were told that our daughter suffered from a rare condition and that she wasn't expected to make it through the pregnancy.  The doctors gave her a 5% chance of survival.  Only by the grace of God, Abby was able beat those odds and was born in February 2004.  Upon delivery, however, Abby was diagnosed with coarctation of the aorta, a congenital heart disease and required open heart surgery when she was only four days old.  The day after her surgery, Abby coded.  

The hospital staff was able to perform CPR directly on Abby's heart due to her chest being left open after surgery.  She was then placed on a machine called an ECMO, which literally pumped the blood throughout her body giving her time to heal.  She remained on the ECMO for eight days and then continued on the ventilator for five additional weeks.  It was during these days and months that we fully came to understand God's grace.  It wasn't until we were completely helpless that we realized how awesome God is.  Abby later required a second open heart surgery at 18 months old.  Once again, God watched over her and carried us through.

Abby is simply a walking miracle.  She is now nine years old and lives near Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  She is one of the most loving people you will ever meet.  We are so proud of the person she is growing into being.  She is so kind hearted, and she has an inspiring love for people.  Abby’s presence literally lights up a room.  Through her sickness and now in her good health, she has already impacted many lives, including ours.  Abby has the best HEART of anyone that we know!

The American Heart Association has been such an important part of our lives.  So much of the technology that helped save Abby’s life is available because of the American Heart Association.  I am so honored to join an organization that has meant so much to my family.  Thank you for your continued daily support in helping save lives.  Children and adults with heart disease have hope because of advocates like you.

Watch Abby's Heart Story Video

Written by: Amy Bass (Abby's Mom); a new staff member of the American Heart Association in Mississippi