In November 2011 my husband Rob and I found out that our second baby was diagnosed in utero with a significant heart defect (HLHS). I was scared out of my mind at the unknown of all of this, but found a way to build a community of supporters around the idea that praying for Hayden would keep him safe. In August of 2012, Hayden passed away unexpectedly from a medical error after a procedure. The moment Hayden took his final breaths in my arms, I felt completely isolated and found myself running away from God. I was so angry he hadn’t answered our prayers and hadn’t spared my sweet boy’s life. I didn’t know where I belonged and felt every community or tribe of people I had once felt safe in — and was able to relate to before — was gone.
Soon after he passed, we founded Hayden’s Heart — a nonprofit organization to support families affected by congenital heart defects. While supporting others who are going through something we once did felt amazing, I still felt like there was something missing through his legacy, and I personally felt like I needed something more to help me heal.
Three years in we hosted our first”Healing of the Heart” retreat — a retreat for mothers who had lost a child. It was there that I was able to find my purpose and was able to cultivate a new community of people to relate to — feel safe with — and gave me a sense of belonging, which was all I was looking for since losing him. We all want to feel like we are a part of something, and want to be surrounded by people who can simply say ‘me too.’ It was in this space that I found that — as well as a link to my reconnection to my faith and trust in God.
I knew this feeling I had after being at this retreat was something that all mothers and fathers needed to have the opportunity to attend — not just those hurting from a congenital heart defect loss — and not just a chance to attend once a year, but to find a way to offer these retreats to these broken souls all year round. I had found God again — and I had found my purpose.
This brings me to the present. In the last 2 years we have established Hayden’s House of Healing — with a mission to provide a safe, tranquil space for bereaved mothers, fathers, couples, children and families to heal and connect through a variety of methods and activities offered to assist in the healing process.
We are in the final stages of closing on a house in New Jersey that will allow us to host retreats YEAR ROUND for bereaved parents and families and WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!
Here are some ways you can support us in our mission to support these families:
THANK YOU for listening to our story and for your support!
Please reach out if you have any questions!!