Leslie is our Regional Vice President of the Southeast Region and this is her story:
The term “miracle baby” doesn’t even begin to describe my daughter Courtney. Around the 26th week of my pregnancy, my husband and I learned some shocking news about our daughter—her ultrasound had uncovered a very rare congenital heart defect known as Truncus Arteriosis. Essentially, Courtney was missing her aortic valve and had only one valve open to both sides of her heart. The doctors didn’t know if she would survive the final weeks in the womb.
The news hit us hard. We had a three-year-old son, Bradley, at home and the three of us could not have been more excited to welcome a little girl into our family. The only thing we could do was pray for the best. The next 14 weeks seemed to last forever.
But on December 29th, 2003, our prayers were finally answered. Courtney came into this world weighing a healthy 7 pounds, 9 ounces. Medical staff immediately transported her to a local Children’s Hospital and 4 days later, she underwent her first open heart surgery to implant a heart valve and repair other structures. Courtney recovered and, at the age of 5, endured her second open heart surgery to overhaul her failing heart valves and implant a mechanical aortic valve.
Courtney went through one more heart surgery in October 2019. Despite it being a long process that took her out of school for over a month, she is now doing great! She is caught up with her schoolwork and getting stronger every day.
Now 16 years old, Courtney is a spitfire! Her tough journey and current good health make me realize that I’m so fortunate to work for such a great company—one that puts an emphasis on wellness and truly cares about people.