February is American Heart Health Month, and one local mother is raising awareness of congenital heart disease by recognizing children with heart defects.
Patricia Navarrete was the parent of baby Josiah, an infant who was born with a heart defect and was then monitored by Marian Regional Medical Center’s Medically Vulnerable Pediatric program, which cares for infants and children with special medical needs in the comfort of their own home.
“Families are not alone in this journey, and the journey doesn’t end,” said Ms. Navarette in a news release. “The flowers being presented at (a recent) ceremony are gestures of love in Josiah’s honor. Sometimes, all you need is love! Josiah’s love continues to live through all of us every day.”
Josiah died two years ago due to the defect, and Ms. Navarette is using that experience to honor Josiah’s memory and bring joy to other families and infants dealing with the disease.
In a small socially-distanced ceremony located on the hospital campus in Santa Maria, 12 MVP families joined together in the hospital’s healing garden to receive a gift basket, toys and flowers from Ms. Navarette, as well as a blessing over each of the infants.
“Our outreach to this medically vulnerable population is continuous, so we build lasting relationships with the families,” said Susan Rasmussen, Marian Regional Medical Center MVP program manager. “These families manage the ongoing care for their high-risk children, so it is especially meaningful to see them honored today.”