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JoAnn's Interview

Mark's Story


Mark was born in 1990 a healthy, happy baby. However, during the next 6 weeks, the doctors discovered a "little" heart problem in which they carefully watched.


At 2 and ½ years he had a repair done on his right aorta valve that was leaking. At 4 years old he had a big surgery to replace the aorta valve. Despite their qualifications and effort, Mark did not survive the surgery. The doctors told us his aorta valve was leaking, causing pressure on the heart, so the surgery was necessary. We got to see him in the hospital with the ventilator tube, and got to say our good byes. It was very hard for us, as he never woke up from surgery.


My husband and I were devastated. Could not believe this was happening as we had faith in the Doctors and the procedure. We had our son Brian who was 7 when Mark passed and a 5 month old Matthew at home. Brian missed his brother terribly and we missed our son. It was hard to go in his room.

Each day my husband went to work. Cried going to work and coming home.  As a mom I had to take care of Matthew and the household duties. There were days when I could not and did not want to get out of bed.  Some days I thought it was a real bad dream. I felt so defeated and guilty and why did we have to have this surgery. I was angry at the Doctors and God too. How could he let this happen to us. We did a lot of should haves, and maybe if for a long time after he died. I wanted to know where he was and if he was safe. I read a lot of books on death and afterlife, prayed and talked to him too. It gave me some comfort, but I just wanted him back.

You feel a heaviness in your heart that you think will never go away. Some days we tried to put on a happy face, but depression set in, just sad that we would never see him again and his happy go lucky self. It took about 2 years to understand that God has a plan for all of us. This was Mark’s journey and if God wanted him here, he would have come out of the surgery and been with us.


It is hard to accept that as a Mom, but once I realized the path we all are on, the days got better for me. 19 years later, I now can understand all the feelings and emotions we went through. My heart wants to help others who have lost a child or loved one.  As a Grief Coach, I truly understand and will commit my passion to others, listen to their story, and help them move forward in this life. I truly feel Mark around me and my family, and now it is his turn to help us here. I did have another child Dan 2 years later and he is a wonderful son too. I am so blessed to have 3 boys and 1 special angel in heaven.

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