Sunday, November 9, 2008

CHIEF Graduation

Bela Milne graduates! This was a celebration at St. Joe's honoring the babies who graduated from the CHIEF program this year (babies in the CHIEF program are those with the most severe CHD's who needed an intense home follow up program). We used to be seen once a week, sometimes more, and I would talk to Beth, our amazing nurse practitioner practically everyday before her surgery and for about a month after it. But Bela has now 'graduated', meaning she is much more stable and doesn't require being watched sooo closely! It is such a WONDERFUL feeling!! We even just moved to a MONTHLY schedule and we have clearance to travel! (not far and not by plane, but we'll take it.) So, Bela and all her miracle heart friends got their diplomas and graduated..




This is the famous Beth.. She has been as much a part of our life this last year as our mothers have been. She has put in countless hours (at all hours of the day and night) into Bela.. We couldn't have done it without her. THe next picture is her cardiologist, Dr. Pophal. I was hoping to get a picture of her surgeon as well, Dr. Nigro. These three people are our heroes..

Notice Bel looking at her doc.. she's a big fan too.


This is the President of St. Joe's holding Bela. They were taking picture for publicity and Bela was chosen to be in her arms.. She did great and gave lots of smiles, although I didn't catch any on my camera..



This is Bela's boyfriend Mark.. She always gets so excited to see him. Mark and Bela had their 2nd surgeries a day apart so they're good buddies. Little Mark is still in the hospital with some post op complications, but he is getting better every day.. He's been such a trooper..



It was a simple thing, but meant more to us that I can say. It was a celebration of life and it was a beautiful experience to be a part of.

26 comments:

The Silly Nilly Family said...

That's amazing, incredible!

Ryan and Holly Gibb said...

Congrats to Bela on graduating! What an accomplishment. Love the certificate and pictures with the docs and nurse. I bet they just love her!

Lily's Mama! said...

She's getting so big Avery, I can't believe how much weight she has put on. What a chuncky monkey...I mean that in the best way possible. Congrats to little Miss Bela for Graduating, must feel good to take a break from the Dr. office. I remember the day they told us we didnt have to see then for a month, I was so thrilled, I came home and told EVERYONE.

I hope the bottle feedings get better. I need to schedule Lil's for a swallow study, I think she is aspirating when she is eating her baby food so i have stopped until I get her in for one.

I have the next few days off but I think Lily is coming down with a cold, otherwise I would say this would be a prime time to get the girls together. I will look forward to hearing from you. Give little Miss a kiss for us.

Sending you all our Heart hugs and Love.

Jenna and Lilyana

S and K said...

Way to go Bela! Just add another accomplishment to the long list, GRADUATE!!! She is such an amazing little miracle! I still can't get over how calm she was the other night!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She just doesn't stop amazing me.

lundgrenville said...

Bela is such a little Angel. I know I tend to repeat this often..but I think she is one of Gods sweetest little Angels that continues to change the lives of others. She has touched my life, and surely, she will touch the lives of many more. The Lord takes care of His children...all of them!
Hugs-
Ps. She is darling! I could hold her all day long. :)

Wendy said...

Oh my gosh, that post made me tear up! I am so happy for you guys. Bela looks GREAT! I love how happy she is. What a miracle we've all witnessed through little Bela! I can't wait to meet her...someday!

angie said...

yay!

Simmons Family: said...

HAPPY GRADUATION DAY!!

Email me... andreanicolesimmons@hotmail.com

I picked up the nuby set at Walmart on San Tan Pkwy and Williamsfield. They have a bunch. I'm going tomorrow to pick a couple up for Baby Gracie in UT, her mom can't find them anywhere.

LOVE the cups!

Andrea

Erin said...

Totally awesome Bela...you keep going big girl!! How exciting I had no idea all these great things were happening...I have been so out of the blogging world lately. That is some great news and now all that hard work is paying off! Keep up the good work and before you know it you will begin to forget what the inside of St. Joe's looks like:)

Brittany & Barry said...

So awesome to hear! She's darling!

Sally said...

Every post still gets me teary. I am so happy that I have been able to have you as my normal friend the last few weeks...I know kind of selfish, but really I am more happy for you because it means Bela is getting better.

Marcelo and Odi Moscogliato said...

Congratulations you all! It's amazing. We want to express our admiration for Bela, because besides being "bela" (beautiful in Portuguese), she's quite an example of a strong girl. We wish you all the best, from Sao Paulo.

Molly Wright said...

I love all the updates. And I love the pictures of Mark and Bela. Some of yours turned out better than mine. Now if we can just get Mark to follow Bela's lead! We should be out of here in a day or two...but you know how that goes. I just love seeing her doing so well! We will talk soon...

Sheri Packard said...

What a HUGE milestone! What a relief! It's been so inspiring to follow her growth. You are so amazing!

The Ridgway Family said...

It was so nice catching up and Bels looks fantastic. I am sure you feel so much relief as the days pass and she gets stronger and stronger. I do hope that the eating situation gets better so that she will soon enjoy eating. Boy I know I do:)

I have to apologize Avery because it is sometimes very hard for me to post as Bela's progress is sometimes bitter sweet for me because it makes me miss my Eden so much. I would never wish this on anyone.

Please know though that I think about and pray for you, Bela and your family daily. She looks FANTASTIC and I pray that she will continue to improve every day.

Gourley said...

Congratulations for graduating from the CHIEF program. You do not know us, but I am cousins with the Olivers in Orange County. Our son Carter was born last December with HLHS along with some other problems. He just went through the Glenn procedure about 4 months ago. He had the BT shunt at birth because he was prediagnosed and so on. But it would be nice to chat to you more and maybe swap some ideas. Bela looks beautiful and doing well. email me at gortfort@yahoo.com

ashley said...

congrats bela! that is such a trooper. and she really is getting big, you guys must be so happy!

The G Fam said...

Congrats sweet Bela! You go sweet girl!!! We are big fans of Bela in our house. Who took the picture of her that is on the top of the blog?It is stunning and I told my husband I want to do one like that when we have our next one.

Evie's Story said...

Avery,
she looks absolutely amazing. The recent pictures look like a different baby. She seems to have gained so much weight and she is beautiful like her momma!

So happy for you and this big step she is taking. Praying she will get easier every day....and that someday, at her highschool graduation, you'll look back at these diploma pictures and smile at how far she's come!

Matt and Jennae Porter said...

Avery, I'm dying here, graduation and a ceremony to boot? That is the cutest thing ever. The first of many graduations for Ms. Bela!

The Joslyn Family said...

Oh, I am so happy for Bella, and you guys! What a great day to celebrate. I'm so excited for you that you get to go to California. I'm so glad Bella is doing so well. She looked so cute as tinkerbell!

emcghee said...

Ave, Bela is looking wonderful! can't wait to see you guys in a few weeks. A big trip for you guys! Yea Bela.

caitlin wilson said...

she graduated!!!! yay...i love these pictures and im so happy right now. love you guys.

The Zemp Family said...

I am so happy! I'm crying tears of happiness. We will keep on praying! Congratulations!!

Angela said...

What sweet photos - much joy! You are so generous to share these moments on your blog. Thank you for letting us peek into your life. Bela really is beautiful and I can see both of you in her, especially in these photos. We continue to pray for your family and hope that every single day is a bit easier and one more step forward. She's a young girl but it's easy to see how many lives she's already affected. You should be proud (I am sure you are)!

lundgrenville said...

Avery-
It was great to finally meet you and your family...something I have awaited for. Your sweet little Angel is so darling. Although their are bumps in the road...she is so beautiful and improving daily. She is blossoming minute by minute, day by day. I commented to your mother-in-law how greatful and humbling it was to see the results of earnestly praying for a little soul in need. While I was fixing my hair for church, I was thinking about your family. I thought about a comment I had heard from your mother-in-law about you attending the boulder creek ward every now and then. I didnt expect it to be today. I almost didnt come to church today...because I had a blistering headache....but then changed my mind last minute. Perhaps that was the whisperings of the spirit. It was worth the sacrifice...although I didnt feel well. Thank you for your example and love. I love that little girl and will continue to pray in her behalf.
Take Care-
Hugs-
Ps. Please let me know if you need anything, even if its giving your son a place to play for a while. I would be willing to serve in any way that I can! :)