1/26/15 - 11/15/15
After a very complicated pregnancy, our Alena had to make her big entrance 12 weeks early weighing 1lb 7oz and 11 1/4 inches long. She endured several medical conditions but the Central-Line Associated Bloodstream Infection she contracted was far too serious for her to overcome. In addition to being a micro-preemie, Alena was IUGR/SGA and was diagnosed with Severe Pulmonary Hypertension, Pulmonary Vein Stenosis, Chronic lung disease/Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia, ASDs, VSDs, a Bi-Cuspid Aortic Valve, Severe Pulmonary Vascular Disease, Bilateral Grade 5 Hydronephrosis, Bilateral Vesicoureteral Reflux (VUR), Gastrostomy Jejunal Dependent, Bilateral femoral vein thrombosis, Severe to Profound hearing loss, Transient Hypogammaglobulinemia of Infancy (immune issues) and other heart, lung & kidney issues.
After 253 days in the hospital and a mere 40 days at home (in 6 increments) with her family, our sweet baby girl made her way to Heaven at 9 months old. She was at three different hospitals, underwent a few surgeries and countless procedures. We couldn't be more proud of the amazing fight she fought her whole life and the fact that she did so with a smile on her face was simply unbelievable. She inspired us all so much with her incredible strength. Alena touched more lives in her short 9 months than most of us do in our full lifetimes. She had such a big personality for such a small person.
Alena was known for her precious smile, her fashionable headbands, and her fighting spirit. She enjoyed special moments spent with her parents and remarkable nurses. Alena loved watching Spongebob, kicking her dancing feet and smiling on cue for mommy’s photo shoots. So little, so loved.
"There is no foot too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world."
Since the pregnancy, Anthony had several complications and was diagnosed with several medical issues that led us to Texas Children's Hospital. At 20 weeks of gestation during the pregnancy we discovered he was diagnosed with esophageal atresia. It's where the upper esophagus ends and does not connect with the lower esophagus and his stomach. As well as the tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF), an abnormal connection in one or more places between the esophagus and the trachea. Two weeks later he was also diagnosed with coarctation of the aorta which is a narrowing of the aorta. At about approximately 30 weeks of gestation he was diagnosed with CHARGE syndrome which was not confirmed until after Anthony passed away. On October 16, 2014, Anthony Jaxon Llanas was born at 34 weeks and weighed 4 lbs 7 oz. At the time of his birth he had been diagnosed with choanal atresia which prevented him from breathing through his nose. Then when he was about a week and a half he was diagnosed with severe immune system deficiency...his T-cells were lower than most normal babies at birth. Immediately after the first week of age, Anthony had his first surgery for the esophageal atresia and two days afterwards he had surgery for the choanal atresia. Without having the appropriate time to recuperate Anthony had his third surgery. He had bypass open heart surgery to repair the coarctation of the aorta which eventually caused his heart rate to increase and be off rhythm and was later placed on an ECHMO machine. This led to his left lung collapsing... we were not sure if it was due to the fact that his chest was left opened for nearly a week or if it was just another birth defect. The day after his bypass he was taken off the machine, but since his heart could not tolerate being off the ECHMO machine and he could not recover on his own, they had him placed on the ECHMO machine for a second time. He was then placed on a ventilator to help his lung, but his heart and lung were not cooperating. On Wednesday November 12, 2014 we got called in from the doctors telling us that his heart rate was steadily dropping and that his body was not recovering from the multiple surgeries, instead he was getting sicker and they felt there was nothing more that could be done. After hanging on for so long and after everything that was done to him he passed that day in my arms in a room full of the people that loved him. He was by far the strongest and the most beautiful baby boy I've ever met. As all parents who've dealt with a loss of a child, I wished I could of done things differently to prevent his death, but with the support of Zoey's Angels they've helped me understand that I did as much as a parent could do and that his memory is not erased if anything it has just begun.
Gracias mi pequeño Angelito, gracias por habernos elegido como tus padres, es un honor haber hospedado en nuestro hogar a un Angel de Dios, te extrañamos mucho pero entendemos que tu fuiste como una estrellita fugaz e iluminaste todo nuestro mundo y sabes mi amor esas estrellitas son tan dificiles de ver y nosotros nos sentimos afortunados porque tuvimos la dicha de verte y sentirte que aunque fue muy corto el tiempo siempre estaras en NUESTROS CORAZONES mi Amor Te amamos MI CAMPEON..."ANGEL DE JESUS IBARRA
-written by Angel's Mommy
Each year at our annual fundraising event in June, we honor Zoey's angel friends gone too soon. Our hope is to celebrate their angels' short but meaningful lives.
In remembrance of Zoey and all of her angel friends.
Mila, Anthony, Nathan, Abraham, Angel, Ethan, Daniel
Linnette, Isaiah, Alena, Elizabeth, Londyn
Mateo, Kaylee, Jaine Serayah, Jacob, Major, Abel, Tafari, Kalicy, Zahir
Avaree Grace, Anyely, Victoria, Noah, Jax, Francisco, Kasey, Keturah, Jose Larry, Emerald May, Adley Mae, Pablo Jesus, Gracelynn, Xavier
Lauren, Vivian, Josiah, Keaundre, Rafael, Hendrix, Chloe, Michelle
Matthew, RachelJolie, Joshua, Caiden, Rosa, Sophia, Noah, Valentina, JuliAnne, Irene, Ezra, Isaiah
Abel, Julie, Zion, Treasure
Hannah, Jason, Baby Boy Diaz, Wilson, Hunter, Nova Grace, Bless’n, Harmony, Maria, Emerson, Kendallynn, Khloe, Kingsley, Baby Boy Lee, Lucas, Emanuel, Caroline, Zola, Kayson, Khari, Hallie, Enzo, Grace
After years of trying to get pregnant, Chris and Lauren Albright finally were blessed with their first son, Nathan Thomas Albright. He was born on May 15, 2017 at 38 weeks and 7 lbs 2 oz. He was a beautiful baby boy with a full head of dark hair and the sweetest little angel face.
As soon as he was born, the doctors noticed that he did not have an opening on his bottom (an imperfriated anus). Which prompted them to look for other mid-line congenital defects. After doing a scan of his heart, they discovered a significant congenital heart defect-- he had a large hole between the 2 lower chambers of his heart. The second day after he was born, he had his first surgery, a colostomy, to allow him to pass his bowels into a colostomy bag on his tummy. The doctors said they would monitor his heart over the coming months but that sometimes these holes close on their own. After 2 weeks in the NICU at Medical City Hospital in Dallas, he went home with his family for 2 wonderful and joyfilled months.
On Labor Day weekend, he stopped eating and his breathing became very labored. So, his parents took him back to Medical City Dallas where the pediatric heart surgeon on staff performed his first heart surgery to close the hole in his heart. The surgery was successful by all accounts and Nathan recovered quickly from the surgery... but after a week he was still struggling to eat and his breathing was getting worse again.
After attempts at eating therapy and having him on oxygen on and off for a month, the doctors discovered Nathan had developed Pulmonary Vein Stenosis, which is scar tissue that forms in the veins between the heart and lungs. The prognosis for children with this condition is not good, but there were doctors in Houston that were having some success with medicated stints to treat the stenosis. So, Nathan was flown down to Texas Children's Hospital in Houston to await surgery. While in Houston, Nathan's health declined.
The week before Thanksgiving 2014, Nathan went into cardiac arrest. The doctors were able to revive him but had to put him into a medically induced coma. Although he was unstable throughout the next 24 hours, the pediatric cardiac surgeon decided to perform surgery as a last effort to save Nathan's life.
The surgery was successful, but in recovery, Nathan began having seizures that were destroying his brain. A week later, and after several attempts to take Nathan off of life support, the doctors confirmed he had suffered from brain death. On Dec 1st, 2014 Nathan was taken off the machines that were pumping his heart for him and breathing for him. At 6 1/2 months old, Nathan went home to be with Jesus that day.
Lauren and Chris think about Nathan and talk to him in Heaven every day and truly believe he is watching down on them and Nathan's younger brother, Ethan. Nathan's memory is a constant reminder of how precious and beautiful life can be, however short.
Mommy and Daddy love you, sweet baby boy!
We are saddened to hear of yet another life taken too soon, but thanks to all of our Zoey's Angels supporters, we have been able to provide a family with our first financial contribution. Though we know the financial struggles are just but a small portion of what lies ahead, our hope is to give them some relief on their journey to peace and healing. Please keep Elijah and his family in your continued thoughts and prayers.