Arden’s first nominator Tori writes
“Hi, I saw your post on a friends page and if it’s not to late I would like to nominate a special little girl whose was born with a rare heart disease, and continues to shine through everything even on her darkest days! She has a smile that lights up the room, she’s been in and out of the hospital since the day she was born, she waited a while for a new heart! She’s a fighter, and deserves to be treated as a queen for a day! This little girl’s name is Arden, she just turned two:) Her parents are amazing! Please pick this little girl, the second you meet her you will fall In love with her! She’s a little ray of sunshine:)”
Arden’s other nominator Angela writes
“I don’t know if this is going to work, but at least it’s a good shot for a friend of mine. her daughter almost from the second or even before she was even born has been fighting for her life every single day. she was born with a very rare disease and has already had a heart transplant. Arden is the most bravest little girl that I have known in my life, I’ve known her mother since I was a young child and if there is anything that we could do to just make her happy a little bit considering all the awful days that she has to handle with a smile I want to do anything I can to help. if you could nominate Arden for this it would probably mean more than you could ever think for her mother. Thanks for taking the time to read this, I hope she wins this!!!”
Arden’s mother writes
“Arden was born via emergency c-section at 32 weeks on July 11, 2012. She is our first born and we were so excited to meet her even though we knew she was coming unexpectedly early. Arden came out breathing on her own and was the most beautiful baby we had ever laid our eyes on. She looked like a doll. As a new family, we were working through the NICU journey until Arden reached 6 weeks old. One day she started to have breathing problems. A chest X-ray revealed a much more terrifying image then what was expected. The X-ray revealed that Arden’s heart was enlarged. Her heart was taking up 3/4 of her chest cavity and crushing her lungs. She went from breathing room air to a ventilator within 3 days. Due to the significance of her heart failure we were transferred to a larger hospital about 2 hours away from our home. We packed our bags and followed the ambulance without turning back yet scared of what may happen. Our lives were yet again going to change forever.
In short, Arden needed a new heart in order to survive. No other interventions were working and her heart was increasingly becoming worse with every beat. On October 22, 2012 after just three weeks of waiting after being listed, we received “the call” that would change Arden’s fate. We were told that her second chance and gift of life was on the way! The doctors found a heart that would be perfect for our little girl. Arden was just 3 months old at the time. The journey would not be easy, but it by far would be much better than the alternative. We were willing to take whatever came our way as long as we had our little girl in our lives. Arden’s transplant was a success. Arden was able to come home for the very first time when she was exactly 5 months old on December 11, 2012. She was our most perfect Christmas gift.Since transplant, Arden has been thriving but with many obstacles. She is primarily tube fed and will be on many medications for the rest of her life. She is required to have continuous monitoring of her heart and other organs to make sure everything is working as best it can be and to keep her heart rejection free. As time passed, we noticed that Arden was very slow to progress and she was just having some other deficits that the “normal” child should not be experiencing. With many tests and a long time waiting we finally received genetic results. Results we were looking for but not what we wanted to hear. In March of 2014, Arden was now diagnosed with a mitochondrial disease known as Leigh’s disease. This form is terminal with no known cure. Currently we are managing Arden’s symptoms as they arise and give her all the love in the world. Arden attends physical, occupational, and speech therapies several times a week along with seeing all her specialists to keep her as healthy as possible. Despite her many setbacks, Arden continues to shine. She is the most loving and happy little girl you will ever meet. She enjoys rolling around and making noises and of course smiling at whoever will show her any type of affection. She was put here on this Earth for a reason and we strongly believe it is to continue to defy the odds and spread awareness for organ donation and mitochondrial diseases. She is the true definition of a fighter. Arden loves life and life loves her back. Each day is a gift and she is our miracle!”
Arden is a FIGHTER, you can see it in her eyes. I’d say it’s the first thing you notice about her, but really the first thing you notice IS her eyes. Somehow, she’s really beautiful in the face too even though she looks JUST like her daddy. And I mean, JUST like him.. I wish I had gotten to see that huge giant toothy smile in a few of mommy’s photos above, but Arden was so confused about everything we were doing that she didn’t give one up at all, and all three of us tried SO hard. I got a few half ones, but that’s it. But she talked to me a lot, perhaps giving me an earful about what she thought of that dress and wings. Her eyes are such a gorgeous color of auburn brown too, they just are like deep pools of thought. She thinks hard about everything… You can tell that she’s really all there mentally, her body just doesn’t cooperate with her. To follow her on facebook, go here: https://www.facebook.com/LittleRaysOfSun