As the old adage goes, it takes a village to raise a child. That’s particularly true when the child or a family member are going through a tough time. That was the case with Angela Farnan, a nurse at the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois in Peoria. Farnan became a medical foster mom to baby Blaze, who was born with a rare heart disease in 2017. She and her husband, Rick, became foster parents to Blaze following his second surgery for hypoplastic left heart syndrome.
Farnan shared details about fostering Blaze and later adopting him, as well as the wonderful team of nurses who helped support Farnan and her husband throughout both the foster and adoption processes. “They threw me a shower right here at the hospital,” she shared with People. “They gave me everything I needed.”
Before fostering Blaze, Farnan was one of the nurses who cared for him as a baby after his first surgery when he was just three days old. Blaze spent the first six months of his life in the hospital and, as a result, many on the hospital staff, including Farnan, got to know him and his family quite well.
“We all tried to give him some normalcy in his life despite the fact that he was stuck in the hospital,” Farnan told People.
After his surgery in December 2017, Blaze required substantial medical care that his family was unable to provide. They asked Farnan and her husband if they could care for him and they agreed to be foster parents until his second surgery was scheduled in March 2018.
Farnan’s coworkers jumped in to get her everything she needed to care for Blaze, as well as offering babysitting services.
After Blaze’s second surgery, his family made a special request: For the sake of his health, it was in Blaze’s best interest for the Farnans to adopt him – would they consider it? They agreed immediately.
“It is one big happy family up here,” Angela told People about her family and hospital coworkers “They have played a huge role in my ability to take Blaze home.”
The family continues to accept help happily from Farnan’s tight-knit group of coworkers.
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.