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Attending a Very Special 1st Birthday Party

alec vanderboom

In the middle of June 2010, Joey's godmother attending my baby shower for Tess. Joey was currently hooked up to some serious heart/lung machines at Children's National Hospital. I'd been praying for little Joey for over a week. I remember patting her knee and saying "He's got a good name. Any son who is named after Saint Joseph has a powerful protector and is going to be fine."

Three months later, Tess landed in Children's National Hospital at six days old. Our buddy Joey was downstairs for a repeat tour on the Cardiac wing.

I remember Joey's Mama, Kate, so tenderly insisting that we meet up, giving us the grand tour of the hospital and introducing us to her family of five in Joey's hospital room. That brief time with the Trammas at such a needy, scary time was so special. I remember Pat urging me to eat a meatball sandwich and pretty Bella showing off her twirls. It was like proof that you can still have a sweet family life inside a sterile hospital room.

But the big rock star of the room was Mr Joey T himself.

He was three months old and happy, with these awesome pudgy cheeks.

I had no idea that sick heart babies could grow pudgy cheeks.
My own little Tess was silent and listless in a NICU room upstairs and she wasn't allowed to eat. Her digestive system was completely broken. Seeing Joey smiles gave me great HOPE.