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With gratitude and thanks

I have written much about the trials we have gone through during Isaiah's illness and subsequent discovery of his aneurysms.  However, I would be remiss if I did not mention that we have definitely not gone through all of this alone.  From the the first day that Isaiah was hospitalized, up until today, I have been so touched by the number of people that have shown concern for my little guy.  It may sound completely clich√©, but it is times like these that I am so grateful to be surrounded by such wonderful friends and family.  I mean that with all sincerity.

Family
During Isaiah's stay in the hospital our families were very supportive. Mike's family continuously offered their help.  My parents, uncle, brother and his wife not only helped to care for Noah, but also cared for Mike and I as well -- bringing us food to eat when we did our shifts at the hospital, running errands and just making sure we had what we needed to make it through those long days and nights.  I don't know what we would have done without them.  We will always be thankful for their neverending love and support.  We are certainly lucky that they live close by.  I really feel for those parents who have to travel a far distance from home to have their children treated at SickKids.  I can't imagine the financial and emotional strain they must have to endure, especially being away from supportive family and friends.  It makes me appreciate the work that  Ronald McDonald Children Charities does.

Extended family and friends
The outpouring of support from our friends and extended family was overwhelming.  I was so moved by the number of encouraging emails and calls we received.  My family in Florida sent thoughtful and unexpected care packages in the mail for Isaiah.  (My aunt even made sure that Noah received something as well so he wouldn't feel left out.)  Cards I received from my dear friend showed how much she was thinking of us and was like a hug through the mail.  Everyone offered to help out in any way they could and although we may not have taken you up on your offer, we are deeply appreciative of it nonetheless.

New friends
Wonderful friends I have known for years were as caring and supportive as they have always been, but I think one of the things that has touched me most was the support we received from friends we have only known for a short time.  The parents of students from Noah's school constantly ask how Isaiah is doing and continue to offer their help.  We are certainly blessed to have become friends with these families and treasure our new friendships.

Online friends
After posting a link to this blog on Facebook I received many moving messages and comments.  Some were from close friends and family, others were from acquaintances and friends I have not seen in many, many years.  I appreciate them all.  I am very grateful that so many people are sending hope, prayers and positivity our way.  It warms my heart to know that in these fast-paced times, people still take the time to reach out to others, even if it is just a "like" or a few sentences.  I am especially grateful to those that made the effort to share Isaiah's story or educate others about Kawasaki disease, whether it was by email, Facebook or even by good, old fashioned talking.  I hope that your efforts can prevent at least one child from suffering any long-term effects of this disease, but hopefully many more.

SickKids staff
This posting would not be complete if I did not thank the wonderful staff at SickKids.  Despite some frustrations during Isaiah's hospital stay, we are so grateful to them for taking such good care of our little guy.  The cardiology team that is currently caring for Isaiah is stellar.  They worked quickly to develop a plan of care once the aneurysms were discovered and after the cardiac cath.  Our cardiologist and our nurse practitioner have responded quickly to all of our inquiries -- even on the weekend.  The CDIU team, that prepped us and performed the cardiac cath were outstanding.  They were so great with Isaiah and did as much as possible to put us at ease.

Still thankful
Despite all that we have gone through and all that we will face in the future, we are still thankful. Thankful that Isaiah is still here with us.  Thankful for the top-notch medical care he is receiving.  Thankful that we are not going at this alone.  Thankful for the kindness, generosity and support from family, friends and acquaintances. Isaiah may not be aware of all the love that surrounds him, but it is that love that will help him through all of this.  And for this, I am thankful.

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