Angela Farnan is an ICU nurse at OSF Children’s Hospital Illinois. She has been taking care of sick babies for over 30 years and has always felt attached to the little ones she has looked after. One of them was Blaze, a baby boy with a congenital heart disease who touched Farnan’s heart in a very special way and changed her life immensely.
“I work in the PICU and I can tell you many stories about the many children I’ve cared for over the years,” Farnan said. “There’s an attachment to these children and their families. You become very invested in them.”
Farnan started taking care of baby Blaze when he was one year old. The baby was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a rare congenital disease in which the left part of his heart was not developed fully during pregnancy. At three days old, Baby Blaze had to endure his first heart surgery and his next months later. Eventually, he will need another surgery and probably a heart transplant when he grows up.
Blaze remained in the ICU and Farnan and her husband easily got attached to the little boy. She even agreed to be Blaze’s guardian while he was at the ICU since his parents lived far from the hospital and did not have the resources to come regularly.
“It was quite an emotional day because my husband and I fell in love with him and it was getting close and closer to when we had to give him back,” Farnan stated.
Months passed by and Blaze had to go home with his parents. This made Farnan, the kindhearted ICU nurse really sad and she found it really difficult to let Blaze go as she has grown really fond of him. However, the sudden turn of events turned Farnan’s sadness into an inconceivable joy.
On March 20, 2018, Farnan got the biggest surprise of her life. Blaze’s parents came to ask if Farnan and her husband, Rick would consider Blaze for adoption. Apparently, the couple agreed and couldn’t be happier.
“We didn’t even look at each other. Rick and I didn’t need to have a discussion. We said, ‘absolutely. I think our response came out of our mouths at the same time. We were ecstatic,” Farnan said.
She also added, “Blaze’s mother was crying and said, ‘I just don’t want anyone to feel like I’m a bad mom.’ I said she just made the decision as a mom and there was no question that she loves Blaze.”
A month later, the couple filed for adoption and became Blaze’s legal parents in June. Though Farnan felt really sad for Blaze’s biological parents, she was also so happy and blessed to finally become parents and have a wonderful son like Blaze.
“I go to bed every night and thank God for the opportunity to be a parent. I pray over him every night. He is truly a blessing. As a little girl, you think about your wedding, having children, raising them and instilling in them good morals. It still takes my breath away. There are times I wake up and I’m overwhelmed that he’s mine.”
Farnan also said that even Blaze’s health journey is challenging, she was pleased to take care of her and it even made her job as a nurse even more fun and meaningful.
“I used to come home and would need like a half hour to decompress. Now, I come home and he’s so excited to see me — it lifts me. I don’t need that half hour anymore. I just need that face and that smile. I can have the worst day and all I want to do is get home and see him. It just makes it all better.”
Check out the video below and witness how Blaze and Angela the ICU nurse with a big heart changed each other’s lives: