One year ago

On this day last year, December 7th, Hana was getting her Berlin Heart. I can’t believe all that has happened in the last year and we are so incredibly grateful to be where we are now – HOME! Not in the hospital. I do wish we were spending time with some family for the holidays but we will get to do that soon enough!

I have good news and sad news. First, the good news is that Hana gained 100 grams when she was weighed last Wednesday! Everyone was quite happy. Let’s just hope this continues as Hana finds her own, new weight gain curve.

The sad news is that our friend Zack passed away on Wednesday. He had a double lung transplant in October and ultimately it did not go well. After being on life support, ECMO, for weeks he decided he was done fighting. It seems that everyone who knew him is heartbroken. I know we certainly were and still are. Zack was a good kid who was dealt a crappy hand, although he was blessed with devoted and loving grandparents who were also his legal guardians.

Zack’s family lives outside of Tucson and his grandfather, Jay, moved with Zack to the Ronald McDonald House to care for Zack while he waited for donor lungs. Jay was one of Hana’s favorite people at RMH and he has an old-school, east coast, unpolished chivalry about him that is friendly, thoughtful, respectful and decent without unnecessary refinement. As you can imagine, this has been heartbreaking and devastating for Jay and his wife Patty. Not only did they have to return home without Zack but all of this, I’m sure, has been a financial strain for them (they are both still working). If you feel moved to do so, please consider contributing to their GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/f4e4kyus

Rest In Peace, dear Zack and may all who loved you find peace too, in their own time. I hope Jay and Patty don’t mind me sharing this photo:

Zack and Jay
Meanwhile, at the Yago house, we are getting ready for Christmas. So far, Hana seems very excited about the Christmas tree and Christmas songs. She’s been enjoying taking some of the Christmas ornaments off the tree! We’ve been busy making some of our own homemade Christmas ornaments too. We are trying not to go crazy with gift buying, but it’s been a little hard after giving and getting nothing last year.

Speaking of Christmas gifts, if you are looking for a nice artwork gift to give this year, our friend Gina who painted the portrait of Hana, has a nice selection prints and original artwork for sale for a limited time. Check it out: http://eugeniamancinihoran.bigcartel.com


I know I am planning to get a print! Gina has been a great, supportive force in our lives.

Last but not least, I want to share a few photographs a friend of ours took for a project several weeks ago of Hana and I at home.

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Photograph by Francine Zavala
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Photograph by Francine Zavala
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Photograph by Francine Zavala
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Photograph by Francine Zavala
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Photograph by Francine Zavala
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Photograph by Francine Zavala

Here’s a photo from my iPhone: