Pass the Cash: Infant undergoes multiple heart surgeries

Heather and Janice (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Heather and Janice (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - For many, Wednesday comes and it's just a reminder that we are in the middle of the week but on WAVE 3 News at 5:30 it is a celebration of some positive news.

The news itself may not be good, but it's what we are able to do with it that makes the difference. This week we Pass the Cash to a couple who anxiously awaited the birth of their second child. Now, the family is waiting for the day they can bring their baby boy home, but they are not alone.

It took just a few minutes for Janice Cook to share the story of her friend and co-worker's family on a Pass the Cash nomination form on

"Heather and Jonathan were expecting their second child which was a boy, they knew that, but three weeks before he was due they had an ultrasound and they found he had a congenital heart defect, which was a complete surprise," Janice said.

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Their son was born May 23 and he is still in the NICU.

"His hearts not on the right side of his body. Your heart is supposed to be on the left it's on the right," Janice said. "I know it has to be hard for them. It's gotta be. They have a toddler at home."

One thing that is always sure is that life goes on. The good, the bad and the bills. To help WAVE 3 News always gives $300, then Hilton Garden Inn Louisville Airport added another $350.

Janice was thrilled but worried. The family is private but she also knew they had needs. She is passing as much love and concern as she is cash.

When we met the family Janice said, "Don't be upset with me. Have you ever seen Dawne Gee on WAVE 3?"

As Heather lets us in Janice began to quickly explain.

"Just the struggle of extra medical, food expenses, traveling to the hospital and back so I'm gonna Pass the Cash they gave me and I'm so excited. I can hardly stand it."

She passed her the $650 - a lot of money and a lot of love.

"I hope it helps you all," Janice said.

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Heather held the money tight and her friend even tighter, for a long, long time.

She explained her son's condition and the family's journey.

"He has hetrotacy, with that it's like your body's a mirror image," Heather said. "His heart instead of being on the left is on the right and its flipped."

"His stomach is on the wrong side but not flipped," Heather said. "Some of his veins were connected in the wrong spot."

Their baby boy has gone through more than most people will face in a lifetime.

"He had heart surgery at 14 hours old," Heather said. "He's had three surgeries so far."

Three down and many more to go. The family has lots of faith in their son's medical team but it is hard.

"They're operating on a heart the size of a walnut and just that alone is scary," Heather said.

It is scary for them all - even their 3-year-old son who is trying his best to understand why he can't bring his baby brother home.

"We were kind of crying and he goes 'is Dad OK?' And that about broke my heart," Heather said.

With good friends, lots of prayers and a little cashed passed we hope it will help.

Since 2011, WAVE 3 News has given away thousands of dollars to worthy recipients in our Pass the Cash segment. Click here to tell us about a Kentuckiana family or individual who you believe deserves a special gift of $300. (Be sure you are registered on You cannot nominate yourself or a family member.

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