Emma Nicole Hasselius was born via cesarean section @ 8:01 A.M., Thursday, January 30, 2003 at the St. Frances Hospital in Shakopee, Minnesota. She is a beautiful baby girl and weighed in at 9 lbs. 4 oz; 21 inches long and is absolutely beautiful. Her mother is Lynn Hasselius (nee Lenzmeier) and the proud father is John Anthony Hasselius, (known throughout his family as Tony). Emma has two wonderful brothers, Andrew age 13, and Adam 19 months.

Andrew and Adam and their paternal grandmother, Joann Woods, were also at the hospital to greet their new little baby after her arrival. Lynn was in recovery while, John (Tony) bathed his new child, Emma. Everyone was thrilled, excited and very pleased. At 9:30 Lynn, Tony, Andrew, Adam and Joann met together with Emma; the new addition to their loving family. Everything was well and Lynn was doing fine after the “C” section surgery. It was a wonderful time meeting and getting acquainted with new baby Hasselius. When everything settled down, John (Tony) took Grandma Jo, Andrew and Adam out to breakfast to allow Mother Lynn time to rest. After admiring the beautiful baby girl for a while, Lynn buzzed the nurse to take Emma to the nursery so Lynn could rest.

Emma rested quietly in the nursery; a R.N. walked by Emma and noticed she was bluish and immediately had Dr. Harvath, a pediatric doctor who was in the hospital at the time, take a look at baby Emma. Emma turned blue and needed to be revived. Dr. Harvath informed Lynn that their perfect little girl had a major problem with her heart. Dr. Harvath consulted with Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, ran tests, and faxed all information to Children’s Hospital. She also called Lifelink Helicopter and ambulance service to rush Emma to Children’s Hospital. Meanwhile at Children’s Hospital a team of Pediatric Cardiac doctors, specialists and consultants convened to assess the information anticipating Emma’s eminent arrival. .

Around 11:30 a.m. after breakfast, Grandma Jo took Adam home for his nap, and John (Tony) and Andrew returned to the hospital. When they arrived at the nursery it was to see swarms of medical personal surrounding their baby and learned that their new baby had been diagnosed with a hereditary Congenital Heart Disease. Grandma Jo and Adam returned to St. Frances Hospital. Baby Emma took her first automobile ride in an ambulance Thursday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. Tony, Jo, Andrew and Adam followed in their car. Lynn had to stay at St. Francis and plans were in place to transfer her to Abbot Hospital the next day. Abbot is connected to Children’s hospital.

At Children's Hospital a team of doctors, specialists and consultants worked together to diagnosis, and work out a plan to save Emma's life. The ‘team’ of doctors conducted a barrage of tests on Emma and informed John (Tony) that Emma would require surgery now and more surgery in the future. They informed John (Tony) that Emma was very critical and had only a 5% chance of coming through the surgery. Surgery was scheduled for Friday morning and would last 1 1/2 hours; however, the surgery lasted a grueling 3 1/2 hours. Thursday evening at 7:00 P.M. Emma was baptized in the NICU unit of Children’s Hospital. Emma has a strong spirit and she made it through the long surgery.

Emma spent the weekend on the NICU unit with a one on one nurse, which means one nurse is scheduled to attend one baby. Emma was attached to a ventilator and a heart monitor; was receiving medicine and nourishments intravenously. Other instruments and life monitoring equipment was attached to Emma to monitor her blood pressure, blood gasses, and internal and external body temperature and lung functions. One of the intravenous medicines kept the baby duct from closing in order to have sufficient blood flow to sustain life. Emma was working hard to hold her own, at one point her lung collapsed and needed to be re-inflated.

Emma was born with a congenital heart defect. If your child has a congenital heart defect there is a brochure by the American Heart Association and is a great source of information. On page 1, it states, “The word congenital means inborn or existing at birth…A defect results when the heart or blood vessels near the heart don’t develop normally before birth.” John (Tony) and Lynn were told that Emma’s heart problem is hereditary and was through no fault of their own.

Emma was with us because of a series of good fortune or blessings. First, Emma weighed 9# 4 oz at birth which gives her a better chance of survival. Second, Emma was born via caesarean section. The doctors told Lynn and John (Tony) that most babies with a similar heart defects die during vaginal birth due to the constriction of the chest wall and the stress of the birthing process. Third, the nurse at St. Francis Hospital recognized a problem and acted quickly. Fourth, an excellent pediatric doctor was on the nursery floor and was able to assist Emma immediately. Fifth, Emma was immediately transferred to Children’s hospital where a distinguished team of baby heart specialists and consultants were already at work to help to Emma. Sixth, Prayers from all over help uplift Emma and guide the doctor’s hands and encourage her family

So…what was wrong with Emma’s heart? Emma had complex heart abnormalities which do not fit one convenient label. Her aorta (main artery into the left side of the heart) was reduced in size (diameter) causing reduced oxygenated blood flow. plus her heart was unable to pump to capacity and was not able to maintain life support.

First Surgery: The first surgery was a cardiac catherterization. The purpose of this first surgery was to insert a catheter from the vein in her groin, up into her aorta, which was undersized. Once they had the catheter in place the doctor inflated a balloon to enlarge the diameter of the aorta. In Emma they needed to inflate and stretch the aorta three times before they were assured the diameter was sufficient. The brochure. If your child has a congenital heart defect by the American Heart Association, page 9-10, describes cardiac catherterization as follows: In the procedure, a catheter is inserted into a vein or artery. While your cardiologist watches by special X-ray technique, the catheter is slowly moved until it reaches the heart. The cardiologist can learn about the defect by taking blood samples and measuring blood pressures through the catheter. In Emma’s first surgery they inflated a ‘balloon” to stretch and increase the diameter of her aorta.

Second Surgery: Emma was scheduled for a second surgery on Thursday, Feb. 6th. But her Echogram showed a significant enough improvement to postpone the surgery. Emma had another succesful surgery on Friday February 14th. Valentine's Day. A day for the heart! She is our sweetheart and we send her all of our love and prayers.

Emma was 'stable', but critical. She was in the PICU, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis.

Emma Nicole Hasselius 1/30/03 - 2/18/03

She was with us for only 20 short/long days and taught us by example to fight hard for our short time on earth.

February 18th was a very heavy sad day. All of our hopes, prayers and aspirations for the little girl with the fighting spirit all came together in a final prayer. About 1:00 p.m. Emma's family and friends gathered around her private room. Everyone had a chance to hold the baby with the help of the staff nurse. We all said our goodbye gave our final kisses, cuddles, and even sang softly 'Jesus Loves Me'. At l:30 pm. the hospital brought into the room a love-seat sofa for John (Tony), Andrew and Lynn, to sit together while Lynn held the baby for the last time. Everyone gathered around and we were lead in prayer by the Chaplin. We all held hands while cousin Randy gave an uplifting prayer commending Emma to God's love and Jesus' care. Great Aunt Jan prayed for strength for Emma and for the family. Then the family quietly filed out and into the waiting room and left Emma with her Mom, Dad and brother. The waiting room was quiet except for tears. A few waited in the chapel across the hall in prayer. Around 2:00 p.m. the Chaplin came into the waiting room and informed Grandmother Joann that Emma was now with the Lord.

Emma's cares are over. She now feels no pain and has no trials. Perhaps Jesus' mother, Mary, has met her and she is now in her arms. From one mother, to God, to another mother. Emma. Go in peace.

your earthly family.