When Maria found herself 7 months pregnant with twins and at a hospital 99 miles away from her home, she knew she needed to find a place to provide comfort and care to her family during the most stressful time in their lives. Elias and Silas were born at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) on July 21, 2015 and within hours, Maria and her family began to learn just how fragile Silas’s life truly was: born with Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome, a rare type of congential heart disease, Silas would have to fight for every breath and every beat of his little heart.
While Elias grew stronger, Silas spent his days and nights in the hospital, surrounded his mother’s love and the constant sounds of machines and alarms as his breathing became labored and his heart beat irregularly. As the seasons changed, Michael, big brother to the twins, was able to enjoy all of the fall festivities that the House provides through generous volunteer groups. Whenever Maria needed relief from the stress of being in the hospital, she returned to a home where her mother, older son and newfound community of supporters could provide an encouraging word, an understanding smile and shoulders to lean on.
Silas and Elias celebrated their second birthday at the House, while Silas is admitted to a feeding program at CHOP to help him progress in his journey to becoming a healthy and strong boy. He continues to receive treatment for his heart which in the future could require more surgeries. In the quest to give Silas’s heart the help it needs, Maria and her family have stayed at RMHSNJ for 138 nights since 2015.
Together, we are keeping Silas and his family close to the best medicine of all: the kind of LOVE that makes your heart feel full.