“I just want to keep his memory going.” A baby’s battle with heart health

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – One local family knows the realities of heart health all too well.

Happiness comes in all sizes and 1-year-old Rowan Foote sure has enough smiles to go around.

Rowan here is a momma’s boy, never venturing too far from her side. Although he was born healthy as can be, his twin brother Jasper wasn’t as lucky.

“When the twins were born Jasper was immediately whisked away to Riley Hospital for Children,” said Kim Foote, Jasper and Rowan’s mother.

Jasper was born with a congenital heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome. This cause the left side of his heart to not work, leaving him with a “65%” chance of survival.

After Jasper was born, doctors discovered he also had another heart defect called intact atrial septum.

“I just can’t even begin to tell you how heart-wrenching it is to stand off to the side and watch your kid going through pain and knowing there’s nothing you can do to fix it,” said Foote.

After four months at Riley Hospital for Children and three open heart surgeries later, Jasper’s two parents were left with the one decision they feared most.

“He ended up coding and they didn’t get him back for about an hour so he had a brain injury,” said Foote. “So we ended deciding to let him pass away because he wasn’t going to have any quality of life, he had really no brain activity after that.”

That goodbye on May 19 will always be engrained in Foote’s mind. Although she can no longer protect her son she says she now protects his memory.

“There are times when Rowan is playing by himself and he looks over and giggles and I sometimes wonder if Jasper is paying him a little visit,” said Foote. “So yeah I think about Jasper all the time when I look at Rowan, it’s a constant reminder.”

Rowan may not be able to grow up with his twin, but he carries his memory alongside him bringing joy to his family even on their worst of days.

“I just want to keep his memory going, that my living children will always remember him and that they can be proud that jasper had such an impact on the community,” said Foote.