A letter to Martha Grace - on your 5th Birthday

Happy 5th Birthday to the most Amazing Little Girl,

Today you are five years old. Thankfully; you have no idea that this is a Birthday we were once told you only had a 50-70% chance of making it to.

You will never know how unbelievably grateful we are that we had the opportunity to take you to Great Ormond Street Hospital. Of course, we didn't think you would have had 5 open heart surgeries before you were 5 years old. But to be fair, we didn't think we'd make it past the first one let alone a further four.

Every time me and Daddy have had to make a decision regarding your treatment, we've agonised over whether or not we've made the right decision for you. Ultimately, we are deciding what we are going to physically put you through and unfortunately we can't trade places with you. We have to put all our trust in others and hope that we've made the right decision.

We may have had a rough start, but Martha, I honestly think that we were right to fight for you; we were meant to take you to London. The one thing we wanted for you was a reasonable quality of life and I still believe that's what we've been able to give you. You can join in with Osh and Isabella on our days out and you have managed a whole year of school full time and even been on your first school trip. Everything we ever wanted for you - you've been able to do.

Out of the three of you, it's you who has the most chilled out nature. You don't throw tantrums like Isabella and you don't sulk like Osh when you don't get your own way. Nothing fazes you. If you want something and we say no - you just take it anyway. You don't even bat an eyelid when you're getting a telling off, which makes disciplining you really hard.

You have a very specific wish list for your Birthday this year; LOL Dolls, Slime and a badge that says Happy Birthday. I can tell you right now you won't be getting slime. You've said you want McDonald's for breakfast but we'll wait to see what the weather does before we decide what we're going to do for the rest of the day. But one thing's for sure, it will be nothing like I imagined it would be back in 2013.

I'm so grateful to be your Mam. To have watched you fight and thrive, from being a beautiful baby girl to the brave and feisty 5-year old that you are now. I just hope you're equally as proud to have me and Daddy by your side through it all.

We love you more than you'll ever know.


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