Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Heart for Hearts

Three stories.

The first one is about my dad. When I was about 10, my friends all signed a card to me with well-wishes for my dad’s health. It all happened quickly for me so I didn’t know enough to be scared but Dad was in the hospital.

Dad says that he went in for a regular check up at the doctor’s. The doctor heard something in Dad’s heart and sent him to a specialist. Next thing is that Dad needs surgery on his heart to replace a valve. [As an aside, my dad will always say that he liked Pastor Boaz because Pastor came to see him in the hospital, even though my dad didn’t come to church with us].

Today, Dad’s heart clicks and it is a good sign that the valve is working.
Years later at the university, I’m sitting in Spanish class which tends to have a few athletes also enrolled. This class includes a young freshman on the swim team. He’s looks healthy, pays attention in class, participates, has a friendly smile.

Later on in the semester, teammates found him at the bottom of the university pool. I heard it said that he died from a heart condition. It may have been some other health complication, reports say he did not take drugs and tested clean. So I remember undiagnosed heart condition.
Just last month, friends and I traveled to North Shore to watch the Billabong Pipeline Masters. It was a beautiful day. Over the speakers, every so often an announcement came for a car wash at a nearby church. The funds raised by the car wash was going to Friends of Kehau Sullivan. Kehau is the daughter of a surfer, Pancho Sullivan. The friend that drove didn’t need a car wash so we passed the wash and went home.

A couple days later, I’m listening to a podcast. The host, whom lives and works in CO, was in HI over the holidays. He stayed somewhere at the North Shore. One of the families he met on this trip was the Sullivans. So now I’m hearing for the second time about little Kehau. In the middle of the podcast, I felt God telling me to help.
I think about the heart often. It’s difficult not to when I hear Dad click or when I’m stressed out and in pain. At times I worry that I am actually feeling my heart hardening and I pray to God to keep it soft.

Today, my heart feels strong and I thank God.

Please donate blood at a blood drive if you are able.

Kehau’s heart is strong, but needs some help for the long run, much like my dad needed help in his condition. She was born with a heart defect known as Tetralogy of Fallot. Click here to check out more of Kehau’s story. Check out the “Donate” tab and/or say a prayer for Kehau. Please give what you are able.