Christa Coleman - The Journey to Team Adycakes!
Christa and her daughter, Adyson, are American Heart Association volunteers and advocates living in Arkansas.
Meet my beautiful daughter, Adyson Coleman. She was born in January 2010. During my pregnancy a fetal echo showed no problems with her heart. For five years she was undiagnosed with a Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD). At the age of five we were told she needed open-heart surgery and that she had pulmonary hypertension. To say we were shocked is an understatement. How could we not know for five years that she had a congenital heart defect?
I was scared to death! I slept very little if any during that time. My anger went away the day I talked to my husband in a fit of rage and he looked at me and said, “Maybe she wasn’t strong enough then and God thinks she is now.” He was right. Instead of feeling sorry for myself and my family I decided to trust in His plan and move forward.
Adyson had open-heart surgery January 28, 2016. We were told to expect to be in the hospital for four months. My daughter is a warrior and she went home 13 days later! While there we shared a room with other parents who were dealing with serious heart situations as well. We formed a bond that can NEVER be broken with those families.
We heard about a “heart rally” at the Arkansas State Capitol. My husband and I along with two other parents took a break and walked across the street to the event. God had a plan in this, too. At the Go Red For Women event, a survivor shared her story of survival after being born with the same VSD issue as Adyson. She was Ady’s age when she had her first surgery. She stood right in front of us beautiful and healthy as EVER in her 30’s. It’s one of the first times I EVER truly had hope that my child was going to be ok.
While there I met Allison Hogue, Affiliate Grassroots Director for the American Heart Association. She helped us understand that sharing Ady’s journey could help others and honestly was therapy for our family to know that we could make a difference. Since then we have become passionate advocates for the American Heart Association. Adyson was selected as a 2017 Go Red for Women survivor. She had her very own story told at the Capitol that we had walked to the year before.
The Central Arkansas Heart Walk is something we have been very passionate about since then. We created “Team Adycake’s” in honor of Ady and raised over $4,000.00 in the past two years for the AHA. We raise money by selling shirts, individual donations and we place “Team Adycakes” jars around town.
Ady has had many wonderful opportunities since our journey began. As a Go Red For Women Survivor, she got to meet Miss America Savvy Shields who is from Arkansas, and she has been in numerous pageants. She most recently was asked to be a Diamond State Princess for Miss Metro’s Outstanding Teen Abigail Davis and will walk on the Miss Arkansas stage this summer. Being able to share Ady’s story and support other families is a true blessing. I just hope her story reaches someone who is having that hopelessness and sense of defeat I felt and they realize….there is always hope.
If you want to join the American Heart Association You’re The Cure Advocacy Network visit yourethecure.org/join or text HEART to 46839