April 3rd, 2019 is a day I will never forget. My wife (37 weeks pregnant at the time) had a routine ultrasound the day prior, or so we thought. Instead, she left her appointment with a follow-up appointment scheduled for a fetal echo ultrasound at Phoenix Children’s Hospital the following day. My wife and I spent about 4 hours at that appointment, leaving with news that shook us to our core. Our son, due within the next few weeks, had a congenital heart defect. The initial diagnosis: HLHS (If you research that condition, you will see how horrifying that is for a parent to discover). We left the hospital devastated, but with a plan that involved the best hospital and the best doctors. The plan, while not ideal, was a series of open-heart surgeries for our son, the first to take place within ten days of birth. He would be living at the CICU for at least a few months, but more likely 6 months. There was no other path to take, and we were as prepared as we could be.
Fast forward to April 15th. I’ll never forget that day either (as a CPA, my family thought it was hilarious that my wife went into labor on tax-day). Around 1 a.m. on Tuesday, April 16th our son was born. As per our plan, he was immediately air evacuated to Phoenix Children’s Hospital to start the treatment plan. Later that morning, I received a call from the surgical team. They did another ultrasound and agreed that the side of his heart that wasn’t functioning (due to stenosis of the valve) still had some “oomph” to it…and they wanted to try something different. Instead of accepting the diagnosis, they decided to use a catheter line to inflate a balloon device inside the faulty valve to see if it would expand and start functioning on its own. Miracles do happen. The procedure worked. The diagnosis, his outlook, and our lives were all changed. Our son’s heart function was restored (not perfect but functioning well). After just 6 days, we got to bring him home.
We will have regular visits to the cardiologist, and the worry will never go away (as a parent, I don’t think it ever does anyways). There is a strong possibility for a surgery needed down the road, but thanks to the amazing doctors and staff at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, we have a debt we can never repay (and no, I’m not referring to our medical bills). In honor of what they did for my son and for so many families, I will be donating to their cause for the rest of my life. I am encouraging my fellow Arizonans to navigate this link to the Arizona Department of Revenue website to see a full comprehensive list of qualifying charitable organizations that may be near and dear to your heart. One of the wonderful things about living in Arizona (besides the sunshine) is the fact that the state allows you to direct your tax dollars to a cause of your choice. This, like all topics related to tax, is subject to limitations and guidelines set by the DOR. Be sure to consult your tax professional if you need help confirming your eligibility to contribute (or, by all means, start a chat with me). Let’s all strive to support the causes that support those in need.