When babies are born, their families often point out similarities between the infant and various family members. One man and his grandson, however, sport quite a rare and unique likeness — matching heart surgery scars.
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) June 3, 2016
Beloved father and grandfather, Allen Halstead, has endured a long list of medical problems, including heart surgery, in his lifetime. Mr. Halstead has actually undergone open heart surgery twice, as well and having a pacemaker placed, and a total of 18 stents. In addition, he has suffered a countless number of “mini heart attacks,” artery disease, diabetes, and a massive stroke. His heart function is working at only a ten percent capacity, says his daughter, Brandy Gregware.
Knowing the end may be nearer than they wish, Brandy and her family choose to savor every moment they have left with the patriarch of the family. Taking to her Facebook page, Brandy shared the following heartbreaking message.
“They were able to put him [on] a medicine that helps his heart beat a little stronger. Once the medicine is no longer effective we will be saying our goodbyes.”
Brandy is also the mother to twin boys, Kash and Kolbie, who are about to turn 1-year-old. This year has been rife with pain and near-tragic moments for the Gregware family. Born at only 29 weeks, both boys have medical issues. Kash is awaiting spinal surgery, while Kolbie has been diagnosed with a heart defect, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary vein stenosis, kidney disease, lung disease, and Down Syndrome.
“You can definitely see the love and bond these two miracle fighters have in this picture!! I say this with tears in my eyes. My dad’s life is slowing ending and my sons is just beginning.”
“There is so much hate and violence in the world yet you have two people fighting to be here each day!! I will cherish this amazing picture the rest of my life!!!!”
“MIRACLES HAPPEN EVERYDAY and this is my proof of 2 amazing fighting miracles!!”
The following video shows pictures of Kolbie’s heart surgery scar soon after surgery. The most palpable feeling in this clip, however, is the love that this family shares for one another.
According to Fox News, Brandy says the past year has been a roller coaster of emotions.
“This past year has been extremely hard for our family because BOTH have been in and out of the hospital and us not knowing if they would make it home! There was several times my dad refused to go to the hospital til his Kolbie [sic] Lee came home.”
However, they believe in miracles. Mrs. Gregware believes that Mr. Halstead’s continued recovery in the face of heart disease, and heart surgery is nothing less than a miracle.
Photographer Sunshine Moody met Brandy on Facebook, as the children of both mothers spent time in the very same NICU. Sunshine contacted Mrs. Gregware and offered to do a free photo shoot. “The photoshoot itself was actually fun and her dad is character. When it came time to take the photo, I wanted to catch the rawness of the situation but also the love you can clearly see that the two of them have for one another.”
The matching heart surgery scars sported by the grandfather and grandson are just one bond that ties these two together.
[Image via Shutterstock]