August 1994 - 19 months old. This is just a few days after Lauren's 1st transplant. It was a miracle to watch as her coloring, energy and personality improved within days of receiving a perfectly-working heart.
January 1996 - 3 years old - one of the last times she let mom choose her dresses for her.
1998 - 5 Years old and sweet as can be.
October 1999 - Never has a child been so excited to start 1st grade!! After a scary rejection episode in August of that year, Lauren had to be home-tutored the first few months. It was so disappointing. All of her immunosuppression meds had to be boosted, thus the chubby cheeks.
May 2000 - 7 years old and so excited to be a big sister to Nathan!
8 years old. Lauren did take ballet for a season. Every mother dreams of watching her girls in a dance recital. I did get to see one or two. Lauren just didn't have the endurance to be able to stick with it.
Jan 2005 - 6th Grade and feeling great. (12 years old)
Dec 2006 - The post-chemo hairdo. Lauren hates this picture, but I love how she is still smiling - that speaks volumes about her life.
14 years old - Jan 2007 - using a wig/hat combo to cover the bald head.
November 26, 2007 - shortly after midnight - just after getting the phone call about a heart, 3rd time around. She doesn't look like she has a terribly diseased and damaged heart, does she?
November 2007 - A few days post-transplant. Looking back, it is hard to believe all those wires and tubes ever got disconnected.
Spring 2008 - This is Lauren's transplant cardiologist, Dr. Pahl, the brains behind everything good that has happened to Lauren since we moved to Chicago in Jan 2007.