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This picture was taken of the kids with their dad in August 2009.  This was Patrick’s first stay at Stanford.  The kids were so excited to sit/lay in the bed with their dad and watch Spongebob.

Robbie was 11 and Jazzy had just turned 7.

Patrick was born with Transposition of the Great Arteries.  I knew before we started dating that he had a heart defect.

He was hospitalized a couple of times for congestive heart failure, but it wasn’t until the summer of 2009 that he got really sick and we were told he needed a new heart.

He was listed for a new heart on Dec 3, 2010.  He received his heart after a 15 month wait on March 6, 2012.

He passed away just 35 days later on April 10, 2012.


Fast forward to March 2017.  This picture was taken a couple days after Billy woke up after his strokes.  The kids couldn’t wait to come up and see him and see for themselves that he was doing better.

Billy wasn’t a fan of the masks that Robbie and his girlfriend, Christine, are wearing.

The “strawberry ice cream” pillow is what Jazzy picked out for Billy to use as his chest pillow after his bypass surgery.

Robbie is 18 and Jazzy is 14.


Before January, the only health issues Billy had was diabetes.  Even being on insulin, he was having a hard time getting it under control.  After seeing an endocrinologist in January 2015, she changed his insulin around and his numbers came way down.

In June 2016 he started using a continuous glucose monitor.  This checks his blood up to 300 times a day.  AMAZING!  It let us see how different foods affect him just by looking at a monitor.  In September 2016 he started using an insulin pump.  He went from 100 units of insulin a day to less than 25.


In January 2017 he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, with an ejection fraction of 22% (normal is about 70%).

On Febraury 22, 2017 he had emergency bypass surgery.  5 bypasses!  A few days later a large blood clot broke off from his heart, then broke up into smaller pieces and they all went straight to his brain.

He was discharged from the hospital to a rehab hospital on March 9th.  He spent 2 1/2 weeks in rehab before coming home on March 25th.  He still has a long road ahead of him, but he’s doing so much better than the doctors predicted.


Patrick and I were married for 14 years.  During that time I learned way more than I ever thought I would about the heart.  Then I learned even more when my kids were diagnosed with their defects.  What I didn’t know from them, I had to learn after Billy’s diagnosis.

Now I’m learning more and more about the brain, strokes, and surviving a stroke.

Hi! I’m Samantha. I’m a mom of 2 great kids, and all that goes with that. I am a Pink Zebra Independent Consultant, I’m also a widow. I am learning to live life after the death of my husband, figuring out what my new normal is, and battling with my grief.

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I'm a widowed mom of 2 amazing kids. Engaged to the man that made me realize I could love again. I love photography, gardening, and reading. Caregiver, taxi driver extraordinaire, chef, maid, and everything in between.

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