gtk-loving-memorySurrounded by an Angel

Many of you may recognize Daniela Figueroa who appeared on the cover of our magazine in June of 2009. She recently contacted us to share her story that we wanted to share with you.

Dani and Patrick Schneemann met in their last year of high school. It was love at first sight. After dating for almost 2 years, Dani became pregnant at the age of 20 and started a family by marrying in November of 2011. Two weeks before their baby’s due date, Dani went to the doctor and found out their baby had a serious heart defect and the possibility of Down syndrome. Being told the baby might not live, she went into shock but with Patrick’s support and love it kept her going. It wasn’t until Baby Noah was born that she found out he had Down syndrome.

“We were only able to hold him for about 2 minutes and then he had to be rushed into the NICU. Baby Noah had his first open heart surgery at a week old, complications arose, he needed a feeding tube and after a month we were able to take him home,” Dani tells Giving Back Magazine. For four months Noah was the happiest baby. Every breath he took was a struggle but that did not stop him from smiling and laughing. Even though it was a struggle, they took him to the park, beach and Tijuana to visit the family.

Complications arose and at five months Noah needed to have open heart surgery to repair his heart. As the surgery was performed complications arose, having to install a pace maker. For a month baby Noah was sedated. They fought every day, praying and hoping. One day Noah coded suddenly and they were told to either let Noah go or try to put him on life support. They decided to put him on life support. “I remember breaking down into tears; I was brought to my knees and prayed for an answer. God answered me. We received a call from the doctor and were told Baby Noah had lost all brain activity. We knew it was his time to go.

He became our angel the next day. Baby Noah was with us for only 6 months but the changes he made in our lives are forever. We held the first annual Walk and Blood Drive in honor of baby Noah in 2012. I want to share my story to show people that hard times make you stronger.

In loving memory of Noah Daniel Schneemann (April 3, 2012 – October 7, 2012)