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A Thanksgiving Thank You from Mary Beth Miller's Family

Sandra Stokes Walden

Viewed: 4299

Posted by: Sandra Walden
Date: Nov 21 2012 5:52 PM


  • A Thanksgiving Thank You

    I have begun this letter in my mind and on paper hundreds of time but I guess it is fitting that I have never been able to find the words till TONIGHT. One year ago the meaning of Thanksgiving complete changed for my family and me. One year ago tonight Mary Beth had been in surgery for 5 hours at this point and was in the operating room for another 7 hours. We could have never imagined how much our lives would have changed in just a year. I never thought a year ago that it was the last time I would ever hear my precious daughter tell me she loves me or the last time I would ever hear her call me Daddy. Wow, how things change in just a year. 
    On August 18, 2011 my daughter went back into congestive heart failure and had to be flown to UAB once again. From that point Mary Beth and her mom had to live in the hospital fulltime until she received her GIFT of a new heart. We were praying that even thought a family would be experiencing the worst tragedy of their lives by losing their child that they would love us enough to share a part of their child with us to give Mary Beth a chance at life. Wow, how things have change in just a year.
    This day began a year ago with Stacee calling me having bad day. She was crying and asking me if I thought we would get a heart and I did something I have never done in our marriage. I lied. I promised her we were getting a heart before this month was over and that everything would be ok. I did not believe what I was telling her because I thought our time with Mary Beth was almost over. At this point I had lost my faith. After we hung up I pulled my car over into a rest stop and sat there crying. Mary Beth was getting so weak, so weak to the point that she never wanted to get out of bad. I cannot begin to understand how bad Mary Beth was feeling or understand why she was becoming so very emotional. One of her Doctors had told me that was not uncommon in people who were losing their fight and he told me that we had to find her a new heart SOON. Then at 10:14am I received a phone call from Stacee, when I saw her name on my caller ID my just heart sank, because I was sure of what she was about to tell me but what she told me surprised me just the same. She asked what I was doing and could I leave work, when I asked why she said the news that we and all of you had been praying so many months for. Mary Beth was going to receive her GIFT. Wow, how things have change in just a year.
    Mary Beth received her GIFT of a new heart, she received her chance at a life but God had a different plan for our family. As most everyone knows Mary Beth received a brain injury while in surgery. So we went from a little girl that could walk, use an ipad, feed herself and talk to the point where she could say the word cardiologist and knew what it meant. Now we have a little girl that can no longer do any of those things and as some of you know her Doctors are telling us that they no longer believe she will ever recover from her injuries. We don’t believe that! God has plan for her and our family and as we have always said “As long as she Fights, We Fight!”
    The Father has given Mary Beth a heart that is stronger than anything we could have hoped for and her Donor, Hanaleigh Suttles, every day is giving her the strength to fight through this injury. I as tell everyone Hana and Mary Beth are HEART SISTERS! We Love You Hana!
    So what are you thankful for this year? We are thankful to everyone in the Wiregrass area for their cards, donations and most of all YOUR PRAYERS! Stacee and I have humbled by everyone from our HOMETOWN and what they have done for us. When we moved up here we had no church family, no family, just a few friends and without each of you that have shared your hearts with us we would have never been able to survive this. There have been so many people that have shared themselves with us during this last year that if I tried to mention everyone by name I am sure I would miss someone. SO THANK YOU FROM OUR FAMILY! We love each of you and you have given us one more reason to be proud to be from the Wiregrass. We are thankful to our Donor family who loved us while they were going through the worst time in their lives. On 11/20/11 they lost 6 of their family members but through that tragedy they changed 17 people’s lives and gave them a second chance at life.
    So what are you thankful for this year? We are thankful that we have our family together, We are thankful for our friends from “back home”, We are thankful for our new friends in Birmingham that have been praying for us, We are thankful for the chance to fight, We are thankful to Mary Beth’s “New” family in Pleasant Garden, NC, We are thankful that people have taken the time to pray for our little girl, but most of all WE ARE THANKFUL TO THE FATHER FOR WALKING WITH US ON THIS JOURNEY!
    So as your family prepares to celebrate Thanksgiving remember this, We are praying for each of you and are forever in your debt for everything the Wiregrass has done for us. And remember this, “Wow, How things can change in just a year.” 
    Mark Miller
    Dad to Mary Beth, 7
    34 weeker, 3.6 pounds
    Tricuspid Atresia with a Hypoplastic Right Ventricle, Un-repairable AV Canal, VSD, Dual SVC’s, Interrupted IVC, Malrotation of her liver and spleen, Tricuspid Left Valve and Chromosome Deletions
    6 Open Heart Surgeries, 283 medical procedures
    Transplant with her Heart Sister 11/23/11


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