I want to take a moment to honor a dear, sweet little girl who has touched so many lives across the world.... Bethany Katrina Frances English. I got acquainted with Bethany's dad, Dan, before Bethany was even born. You see, Bethany was diagnosed in utero with complex congenital heart defects. Dan searched online for information and support to help him and his better half, Jo, deal with their daughter's serious heart defects. Dan was calling Bethany "bump" up until the time she was born. Bethany had several nicknames such as "Bethy" and "little moo". Apparently that is an endearing name in England. ;-)
After Bethany was born, not only did she have several heart defects but also other problems including malrotation of the intestines, stomach in the wrong place and neuroblastoma, a type of childhood cancer. Bethany underwent surgeries for the cancer, reattachment of the stomach and later on more surgeries for her many heart defects.
Bethy could always make me smile. Dan would write about her antics and the trouble she would get into but she usually got away with it since she had daddy wrapped around her little finger. There were a few times that I actually got to see her on Dan's webcam. Once we even did the voice thing with the webcam on the yahoo messenger and it was so sweet to hear her voice. She reminded me so much of Jessica when she was little. Same sweet voice and feminine mannerisms. Another way that Bethy reminded me of Jessica is that she was a miracle. She beat the odds so many times! I used to always say that Jess didn't let a little thing like having heart surgery and a stroke get her down. Bethy had a stroke when she was and infant too. I am still so amazed that Bethany not only survived the cancer, stroke and several serious surgeries, but that she loved life and lived it to it's fullest.
Sadly, Bethany passed away on Feb 21, 2005 following a very complicated heart surgery. Bethany had just turned 4 years old the previous month.
In October, a national UK magazine (Best Magazine) ran an article about Bethy in the form of an open letter, written by her mother, Jo. Unfortunately the website where you can read the article is down but I will try to find a way to post it so you can read it. Don't forget to have plenty of tissue on hand.
You are greatly loved and missed.