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Four Weeks with Gabby and the Story Behind her Name...

Dear Gabby,

Somehow four weeks have come and gone. Over the past 29 days we have been witnesses to your perseverance, strength, and strong will. You have defied the odds... HLHS makes up 2% of all Congenital Heart Diseases, is 67% more common in boys, and unfortunately happens to be one of the most critical CHD’s. Of all the babies born in the United States each year, .02% share the HLHS diagnosis with you. At five days old you underwent your first of three open heart surgeries. The doctors can say you only have half of a heart, but you’ve shown us… it’s not the size of the heart that matters, it’s the amount of courage it can hold. “Understanding will fail you, but trust will keep you close to me.” We cannot control how life unfolds, but we can trust this is all a part of his plan. Since the moment we came across your name, we knew God has special plans for you.

“Gabriella Hope Schultz”...a strong name for the bravest little girl…Your Dad, Gigi and I were at your 20 week anatomy scan when we found out about your diagnosis. We thought your ultrasound took abnormally long but attributed it to the fact that the Ultrasound Tech was new to the clinic. Little did we know she noticed something peculiar with your heart. She is not permitted to disclose her concerns to patients, so for about 45 minutes we were left in the dark. As we waited for Dr. Nuehoff to come into our mustard colored room and share our excitement about you; we browsed the internet for a perfect “girl” name. Your Dad was 99% certain you were going to be our third daughter, but we hadn’t agreed on a name yet. Time dragged on, leaving us ample amounts to read through various girl name lists. At first I was spouting off silly names to get a rise out of your Dad and a giggle out of Gigi, but the last list I came across was titled “Strong Girl Names”. I read aloud to your Dad and Gigi, “Gabriella”...It means “God is my Strength.” We all looked at each and unanimously agreed it was fact Simply Perfect.

Moments later Dr. Nuehoff came into the room, not his cheerful self, we knew immediately something wasn’t right. After he delivered the news that half of your heart appeared to be missing in the ultrasound image, fear flooded in. I had to find out who the little person we were praying for was. A surprise gender reveal at birth was no longer in the cards. Dr. Nuehoff confirmed you were going to be our little warrior girl. The moments after we left the OBGYN clinic, I repeatedly prayed for “Gabriella” in my heart. I knew this was our first sign from God of who you were meant to be. Daddy picked your middle name and I don’t think it could be more perfect. To have hope is to want an outcome that makes your life better in some way. In a short span of four weeks you have been a beacon of hope and bright light for everyone who has learned of your story. I think I can speak on behalf of your Dad and say, You have forever changed the trajectory of our lives, our perspective on life, and how we wish to live each day. Your Dad and I will continue to climb this mountain of a journey with you, we will always be there to hold your hand, to push you when needed, and promise to stop and smell the roses along the way. We are so, so dang proud of you, We love you Gabriella Hope and can’t wait to celebrate all the days, months, and years to come!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

1 Comment

Judy Fulghum
Judy Fulghum
Mar 31, 2023

The story of your name that your beautiful and creative mom wrote made my heart fill with a joyful noise.

What a fitting name for such a precious ,pretty warrior! God has picked the most awesome family for you! Such a loving, supportive, and faithful crew He has chosen. You will never lack for love and support!!


Hi, thanks for stopping by!

Hey thanks for stopping by! My name is Kayleen, I am fairly new to the heart mom community.  We found out at our 20 week anatomy scan that our baby girl has a severe Congenital Heart Disease called HLHS in October of 2022. 

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