Dr. Gopi Nallaiyan founded the Little Moppet Heart Foundation with the sole purpose to cater to the needs of children with congenital heart defects.
When twins Brayden and Deklin Wooten were born, they weighed just two and a half pounds — combined. In fact, the doctors had to weigh them in grams on day two: Brayden was 400 grams and Deklin only a little bit heavier.
“It’s hard to believe,” remembers Army SSgt. Frank Wooten, the boys’ father. “Brayden’s legs were smaller than my little finger. Their eyes were not even open yet.”
For the next 4 ½ months, Frank and Canndice, the boys’ mother, lived on a daily and sometimes hourly emotional roller coaster. The parents had no idea if their boys would survive — and if they did — what kind of life would they have? Would they ever be able to play baseball, read a book, or dance?
During the ordeal, the Lackland Air Force Base Fisher House was the Wooten's home and refuge, allowing them to be just steps from the hospital and their babies.
Lackland is one of 65 Fisher Houses located near Department of Defense or Veterans Affairs hospitals. For 25 years, Fisher House has been a “home away from home” for our nation’s wounded, ill or injured service members, veterans, and their families.
“I truly believe it was the miracle of modern medicine that kept my boys alive and the love we felt from our family at Fisher House that gave us strength to go on,” says Canndice through her tears. “You just can’t imagine how indebted I am to Fisher House for giving Frank and me a home at one of the most difficult times in our lives.”
Today, Brayden and Deklin are thriving, active, vibrant little boys. Perseverance, the miracle of modern medicine, and the love from their adopted Fisher House family gave the Wooten family the support they needed to carry on through the months-long adversity.
Fisher House Foundation builds comfort homes where military and veterans families can stay free of charge while a loved one is in the hospital. These homes are located at military and VA medical centers around the world.Learn More
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