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PICU Nurse Adopts Patient With Life-Threatening Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

A pediatric intensive care unit nurse decided to adopt a baby boy with a life-threatening heart condition, hypoplastic left heart syndrome.

PICU nurse Angela Farnan recently spoke with People, discussing the demands of her job, and her decision to adopt a patient. Her son, Blaze, was born on May 30th, 2017, and the OSF HealthCare Children's Hospital, which is located in Peoria, Illinois. She initially became a medical foster mom, which entails caring for a child with particular medical needs, should the biological parents be absent or unable to do so. In Blaze's case, his parents were not able to care for him given his heart condition, and they eventually gave Farnan their blessing to adopt him as her own. Blaze's birth parents did not live close enough to the hospital to provide appropriate care, and they also had other children needing attention at home.

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome causes children to be born with the various aspects on the left side of their hearts underdeveloped, causing issues with the pumping of oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body. Babies born with the condition typically need a series of surgeries to improve the condition of the heart, and while there is no cure, the surgeries can be incredibly helpful with improving function.

Blaze was treated with a heart surgery when he was merely 3 days old, and while he recovered in the PICU, Farnan instantly bonded. Due to the other responsibilities held by Blaze's birth parents, when the little boy was discharged, they were unable to take him home, and Farnan and her husband became his foster parents, and eventually, his adoptive family.

It has been just over a year since Blaze's adoption was finalized, and Farnan shared that the last 12 months have been wonderful. While Farnan continues her PICU career, Blaze is sometimes left in the care of other nurses who have been more than happy to step in to help.

While Blaze's medical condition makes his care challenging, we could not think of anyone more qualified or right for the job than the Farnans. We are so thrilled that this little boy has found a loving home and a massive support system!

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