3-Year-Old Born With Severe Heart Defects Proves Hope Is Never Lost

heartsMaybe you're having one of those days where it feels like everything is going wrong. The obstacles in life seem insurmountable. The odds are clearly not stacked in your favor, and you're beginning to doubt they ever will be.

If you are indeed having one of those days -- or weeks, or months -- this is the story for you.

Leighann Marquiss was in the first trimester of her pregnancy with son Ryan when she and her husband Henry were told their unborn baby had a combination of heart defects, which made his chances of survival extremely slim: Ectopia cordis, which causes half of the heart to be formed outside of the body, and hypoplastic right heart syndrome, a condition which causes only the left side of the heart to develop normally. Only 5 to 8 infants out of every million born with ectopia cordis survive. The fact that this baby had another major heart defect only made his chances worse.

Still, Leighann and Henry refused to terminate the pregnancy.


And guess what? Forget Harry Potter, Ryan Marquiss should be known as "the boy who lived." Now 3 years old, doctors are fairly certain Ryan is the first human being ever to survive with his combination of heart defects.

Can you imagine how grateful Leighann and Henry are that they took a leap of faith and gave their baby a chance -- even as everyone around them doubted their judgment? It was incredibly brave of them as parents. As a mom, I can't help but think of the fears and anxieties they had to overcome just to attempt to bring this child into the world.

Ryan is now an adorable toddler with round cheeks, blond hair, and an amazing smile. He's the kind of kid who lights up a room.

In fact, think of him as the light at the end of your tunnel. Whenever you start to lose hope, remember Ryan and his amazing, against-all-odds existence. I plan to do the same.

Does this story give you hope?


Image via Paul Tomlin/Flickr

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