To the editor,

Family, friends and generous strangers: It is with a heart over pouring with thanks and gratitude that I write this letter to you all this morning.

The morning of May 28th, I found myself in Madrid for work when my cell phone rang and it was my wife. Her water had broke. She was 38 weeks and three days so this wasn’t alarming. I sped home, grabbed the bags and called my sister and my best friend to come sit with our two year old, Eloise, until a grandparent was done with work. We got to Canton-Potsdam Hospital and about two or three hours later, our beautiful baby girl, Nora Fae, was brought into this world.

However, it wasn’t long before the nurse stepped back in the room, asked for our daughter back and said I could follow if I’d like. I did. And from that moment forward the lives of my wife, daughters and myself were put out on hold.

The diagnosis was an Interrupted Aortic Arch. A part of my daughter’s heart did not develop in utero and blood was improperly flowing to her left-side limbs and her lungs.

Since then, we spent a week in Syracuse for observation in the NICU then over a month in Rochester at Golisano’s Children Hospital where, on June 8, my daughter had open heart surgery to repair her defect. The surgery was a success and we are now home happy, healthy and trying to get used to two rambunctious daughters.

What was just summarized in a few sentences would not have been possible without the outrageously generous help and support we received from so many people. It does not matter if the help you lent was money, looking after my daughter or checking in on my family, kind words, small gifts, funny messages, thoughts or prayers it was all felt and it was all appreciated. Without this varied and powerful support, the long days of sitting in the NICU at Crouse or the Pediatric Cardiac Care Center in Rochester would have seemed longer and bigger and scarier.

So for that, my family and I thank you all.

A special thanks is also due to Parker and Debbie Piercey for approaching my mother, Jill, and offering to host a BBQ luncheon to raise money for our medical expenses. This was an unbelievably kind gesture, the weight of which we have not fully realized yet.

Additional thanks to my outstanding employer in Howland Pump for being so understanding and doing everything they could to make the most difficult days of our lives a little easier.

To my aunts Kim, Jackie and Lee, thank you for making sure were housed and fed and taken care of.

Thank you to the outstanding medical staff at Canton-Potsdam Hospital, especially Dr. Heather Jones, for caring enough about my little girl to stay late on a holiday weekend and make sure she gets the medical attention she needed.

And, again, thank you to the amazing support if the dozens upon dozens of random, generous strangers who sent us kind words, cash donations, food and gift cards. Your actions have been the single most impactful throughout this whole experience. The thought of so many people taking time out of their day to help us is something we never would have thought would happen. We are eternally grateful.

We hope to, over time, give back in some way for the generosity extended to us.

With love,

The Sweeneys

Zac, Tori, Eloise Quinn and Nora Fae

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