Joey T showed up as a prayer need during Baby Tessy's baby shower. I remember assuring his Godmother "He's going to be fine. He's got a good Saint looking after him. St. Joseph never lets us down!"
Little did I realize that three months later, I'd be meeting Joey T. himself at Children's Hospital. 24 hours after Baby Tessy's emergency admission, Joey's Mom met me at the sixth floor NICU and gave me the gold standard tour. Then she brought me to Joey's 3rd floor cardiac room. Joey's Dad brought Joey's older sisters and meatball sandwiches.
I love praying for babies born with heart defects because I learn so much from their physical struggles. All of us are born with broken hearts from original sin. All of us have "fatal" heart defects that Jesus is trying to heal.
What I learned from praying for Joey, is that serious heart problems take a long time to fix. It's not an overnight deal to become a saint. There will be successes, and set-backs-- and the game is never really OVER probably for many years.
Patience. Determination. COURAGE.
These heart babies change the world for the better everyday. Pray for them. Pray also for their parents who carry a heavy load of fear, hope, love and faith.