A parent of a brave heart with a broken heart, by Nicole McKechan

Lucas McKechan, who was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot

Nicole is mother of Lucas, who was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart condition, as a baby. His parents feared they might lose him and he had corrective surgery at a few weeks old. He may need surgery in adolescence, but is now a beautiful smiling little boy.


The day I found your heart was broken was the day mine broke too

Words can’t describe how scared I was. I didn’t want to lose you

With shaky hands and trembling lips, we boarded the roller coaster that very day

Fearing and hoping that the safety bar would keep us safe in some way


Vomit tubes breathlessness and ambulance rides became the norm

No parent should ever have to go through ... signing that consent form

Learning abbreviations, a whole new language and keeping my tears inside

Just wanting to grab you and run, run away and hide


Thankful for every second. Every smile I get from you

But always aware to look out for the horrible signs ... Do you appear blue?

Dreading the operation date as the days and months pass

Making daily deals with God ... sometimes attending Mass


The dreaded day hits us and I say goodbye ... the surgeons start ...

A physical pain lingers inside me. I hope they fix your heart

The hours seem like days as I wait for an update about you

I can’t wait to see your beautiful face ... give u a kiss and hug you too


Lying in intensive care surrounded by all the noise

Bringing things of comfort, some of your favourite toys

Getting you home eventually and smiling from cheek to cheek

I remember when we left here for the hospital, that day you seemed so weak


What a change in you now as you jump and scream and play

Thanking the Lord silently in my head. Thank you for this day

Wondering what if things were different, if you had the life I crave

Then reminding myself proudly Scars are medals of the brave


The poems published in this section are creative writing by Heart Matters readers. They should not be taken the views of the BHF or as medical advice.

It isn’t always easy to express your emotions, but writing poetry can be a way of putting your feelings down on paper which many people find helpful. If you’d like your poem about any aspect of heart disease or caring for someone to appear in this section, email it to [email protected]

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