2024 Fairfield County Heart Walk Honors Sadie

Sadie’s family stands with all families of heart warriors!

“Your daughter needs heart surgery’ is never something a parent wants to hear or quite honestly expects to hear,” said Samantha Somero, Sadie’s mother.  Sadie will be honored as a Red Cap Ambassador at the Fairfield County Heart Walk on Saturday, May 18, 2024, at Sherwood Island State Park.

Sadie’s heart journey began when the family pediatrician noticed a heart murmur at her one-month appointment. Samantha knew heart murmurs are common in infants since they experienced the same diagnosis with their first child.  Regardless, an appointment was made with a cardiologist.

At the cardiology appointment the family was told that Sadie had a minor coarctation of her aorta. Sadie’s coarctation was not severe enough that it needed to be acted on immediately, but something they would continue to monitor. After a few follow-up appointments it was decided to proceed with open heart surgery.

“This was terrifying for us,” said Samantha.  “Minor or not no one expects this news about their little baby.”

Getting to the actual surgery date was an adventure in and of itself. The initial date for surgery was set and after a full day of pre-op testing the family was told that Sadie came back RSV positive and they would have to postpone the surgery.  A new date was made and after another day of pre-op testing Sadie tested COVID positive. “It felt like she couldn’t catch a break,” said Samantha.

After quarantining the entire family for 3 weeks they were set to go. The “no one in, no one out” policy seemed to be successful and Sadie cleared with a clean bill of health for surgery.

“January 24, 2024, surgery day was the longest day of our lives.  Seven hours of waiting for our little baby were agonizing, but we put all of our faith into Sadie’s amazing cardiologists, surgeon, and hospital team,” said Samatha.   “Seeing Sadie for the first time post-surgery was an overwhelming feeling. Joy, sadness, anxiety, and most of all relief.  We were told that the surgery proved to be more complicated than they originally thought it would be, but that she did great.”

Sadie stayed in the hospital for seven days.  “Besides the suspected pain Sadie was a happy girl and the cutest baby on the hospital floor – this might be biased, but I stand by this!”

The release date from the hospital was up there as one of the best days of their lives.  Sadie returned home to presents from friends and family, a ton of love from her siblings, and more attention than any third child could imagine.

Join Sadie and her family at the 2024 Fairfield County Heart Walk.  The Heart Walk is the American Heart Association’s premiere event for raising funds to save lives from this country’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers – heart disease and stroke. Designed to promote physical activity and heart-healthy living, the Heart Walk creates an environment that’s fun and rewarding for the entire family.

By registering for the Fairfield County Heart Walk today, you are taking the first step to save lives. Every walker who joins, every dollar donated means more research, more people trained in lifesaving CPR, more medical breakthroughs and more champions for equitable health.

“We are so grateful to Sadie’s amazing care team. Especially our pediatrician and cardiologists who we credit with saving her life. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of them. The diligence of every doctor, surgeon, and nurse was amazing.  We learned that a heart murmur is not normally a sign of a coarctation – in short, we got lucky as Sadie was showing zero signs of distress and this would have gone on without our knowledge for who knows how long,” Samantha said.  “We stand with all of the families of heart warriors, young and old. Our entire family is so happy to help raise funds and awareness for the American Heart Association.”

The 2024 Fairfield County Heart Walk is sponsored by KPMG, EY, Yale New Haven Health, Ring’s End and Nuvance Health.

For more information about the Fairfield County Heart Walk please visit, www.fairfieldcountyheartwalk.org.