Our Family & Backstory

We are Michael & Ashley Ford. We met back in 2005 through a mutual friend and got engaged within a few months and married just 8 months after our first date! We moved very quickly and purchased our first home together. Michael worked making road signs for the city and I worked at a bank. We knew we wanted to start our family  and within a year we had our first daughter, Mackenzie Danielle.

She was perfect in every way and instead of an us we were now a family.
She was born June 21, 2006 and after a long labor we had our 8lb 8oz girl in our arms. I decided to become a stay at home mom and Michael got a job working for an insurance company in town.

After Mackenzie turned 2 we decided we wanted to add another member to our family. We got pregnant right away with our second daughter. We found out at our 20 week appointment that our expectant daughter would be born with a very difficult heart condition called Tetrology of Fallot. We were told that the outcome was very grim and we were devistated.

We moved past the shock of her heart condition and as the weeks progressed we became more educated about her condition. We knew we'd have to deliver in Orlando and that we would not be able to take our daughter home right away.

Maddison Leigh Ford was born February 4,2009 at 2:39pm.
We learned at our 20 week ultrasound that our daughter has a congenital heart defect call Tetrology of Fallot with Pulmonary Atresia.
TOF consists of four different heart defects
1. Pulmonary Atresia - a complete obstruction of the right ventricular outflow tract.
2. Overriding aorta - an enlarged aorta overcompensating for the missing pulmonary trunk.
3. Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) - a hole between the two bottom chambers of the heart.
4. Right Ventricular Hypertrophy - the right ventricle is more muscular than normal, causing a boot-shaped appearance.

After 2 months in the NICU we were able to take our daughter home. It was a huge adjustment and very difficult for everyone. Eventhough we were thrilled to have our baby home it was difficult to know that we were now totally responsible for her and her health.

We adjusted quickly and were enjoying our two girls at home.
Kenzie loved being a big sister and took really good care of her baby sister. Since she knew no different she didn't think anything about the amount of meds and how we fed Maddi. When we'd have people over who didn't know anything about cardiac babies or g-tube fed babies Kenzie was quick to tell them that it was just her "tubie" and that's how she ate.
On  August 12, 2009, Maddison went in for her first open heart surgery.
It was a very difficult and long surgery and she came out on bypass for 5 days.
She also had an open chest to allow for the swelling to go down durning that time. After she came off bypass she had a long road ahead of her with 30 days on a ventilator as well as other tubes and lines coming out of her for meds and monitors.
After 2 long months we were able to take Maddi back home. She was on more medication to keep her heart as healthy as they could and underwent several heart caths for the next year.
She was able to enjoy the holidays and her 1st Birthday at home and continue to grow and gain weight and just be a baby.
 February 21, 2011 Maddison went in for another open heart surgery.
She was off the bypass machine and ventilator within days. We were thrilled with the progress she was making this go round.
As we we considering that we wouldn't have a long hospital stay we found out that Maddison had developed an aneurysm on her heart and would have to be rushed back into another open heart surgery.


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