Emily Jane – Emily’s Halo for Hearts

I want to tell you a story about a little girl, and even though I never met her, she’s pretty important to me. Her name is Emily and she was the daughter of my friend Vonnie, whom you know here as Woney. Vonnie had three children, two girls and one boy. Rachel is the oldest, Sam is the middle, and Emily was her youngest.

Easter 1997

Before Emily was born she was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and Coarctation of the Aorta. When she was eight years old her heart began to fail, landing her on the heart transplant list, and then she contracted protein-losing enteropathy. All of those big words simply mean that Emily had a bum heart, a bum heart simply means that Emily did not live until her ninth birthday.

July 2001

It’s never that simple, though, is it? Human life can never be reduced to simple words. Vonnie and I talk a lot about Emily. Sometimes those conversations are sad. She tells of how she and her husband moved from Hawaii to San Diego in order to get the best medical care for her daughters – Rachel was also born with a bum heart. She tells me of the steps they took to get Emily on the heart transplant list. She talks about how they waited for so long but a heart never came, and she tells me of the decision they made to turn off Emily’s life support. I cry with her as she tells me about the process of waiting for Emily to go, one mother, one father, one sister, one brother, all saying good-bye to the littlest one with the most broken heart.

In other conversations, we talk about the happy memories. Emily was a precocious child, older than her years. It was so easy to think of her as an adult – her medical condition carried a gravity that only adults should know, if anyone should at all. Yet Emily would scamper all over the baseball field like the child she was, making friends with children and adults alike. “You want to go the snack bar? We can get candy, my mom has a tab,” she’d say to anyone she found interesting. Later you’d find her eating a hot dog in a woman’s lap, a total stranger, but Emily liked her and wanted to be held. Vonnie paid many an exorbitant fee in ball field snacks, all in the name of Emily’s new friends, and friends they were. Everyone loved her. It was easy to – look at the exuberant smile, those eyes as blue as an ocean. Emily was just like her big sister and big brother – special and lovable and beautiful.


You never get over the grief of losing a child, no matter how many good memories you have or how often you talk about it. It never goes away. But what you can do with some of that emotion is turn it around into something beneficial for someone else. The hard truth is that children are born every day with heart problems. Every day they are put on a waiting list to live. Vonnie, with her infinite love for her lost daughter, has started a foundation called Emily’s Halo for Hearts, and with it, she will provide financial assistance for the families of those heart-patient children. If they are lucky, their insurance will cover those medical costs, but the other associated costs of having a sick child – money for fuel to and from the hospital, mortgage payments because work is the last thing on your mind, groceries for the other babies in the house – mount swiftly and relentlessly.

This post was not written to make you cry, although the truth is I did when I wrote it. This post was written to give hope, to Vonnie in the name of Emily and to the families who are in the midst of their own medical crisis. It was written with hope to ask for your help if you feel so inclined.


First, please check out the Foundation page. If you search hard enough, you’ll find me there along with the rest of My Girls. The more you look at it, the more recognition we can get. Also, find us on Facebook and like us there. Again, we will be able to do more the more recognition we get.

Emily’s Halo for Hearts

Emily’s Halo for Hearts/Facebook

Secondly, check out the ways you can donate. It’s not just giving your money for a foundation (although that would be lovely) – you can get some pretty cool loot, too. That hoodie was created with me in mind, I’m sure, and the next time you see me, I’ll be wearing it.

Emily’s Halo for Hearts – Shirts

Emily’s Halo for Hearts – Jewelry

Thirdly, please share this with your friends. Share it with anyone you think might help. Most importantly, and I hope none of you are in this situation, share it with someone who needs this type of assistance. This foundation is here for that family, that child, and it would be an honor to help them.

Emily’s Halo for Hearts – Application

Thank you to anyone who feels moved, either to donate, to like or to support us in any way. Thank you so much.


School 1997

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. crayolaj74
    Oct 13, 2014 @ 19:43:50

    This is an amazing post. I am re-blogging you again, to spread the word. I’ll post it tomorrow. Thank you, Jimmie! 💗


  2. crayolaj74
    Oct 14, 2014 @ 11:40:18

    Reblogged this on Is That A Hair In My Biscuit? and commented:
    My sister, Jimmie, wrote this post. I am sharing it to spread the word. This is an amazing thing for a mother to do to honor her child, and I’m excited to help! Please read, and help if you can! Just prayers for success will be appreciated. Thank you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: