Mateo Sebastian Paredes
Mateo’s Journey

Miracle for Mateo, a registered 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, was initially established in February 2010 for the Paredes Family, after their son, Mateo Sebastian Paredes, was born with a rare congenital heart defect (CHD) and experienced multiple life threatening complications after his initial surgery.

Born on October 5, 2009, with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) and Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR), Mateo needed a series of surgeries and medical procedures, and required the assistance of additional oxygen and numerous medications in order to remain stable. Mateo's parents knew from 22 weeks gestation that their first son would need to be born at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), in order to be given the immediate attention and care from the experienced doctors and nurses at CHOP's Special Delivery Unit. During Mateo's first four months of life at CHOP, he endured open heart surgeries, cardiac arrest, 15 days on the ECMO total life support machine, having a pacemaker implanted, suffering two strokes (that took Mateo's vision), and being placed on the waiting list for heart transplant. After realizing Mateo had experienced a second stroke during or after a cardiac catheterization, doctors agreed that it would be inhumane to continue to treat Mateo, and he was sent home on hospice care on February 8, 2010.

Mateo spent February, March and most of April at home with his family, being cared for day and night by his parents and hospice staff only a phone call away. Every two hours Mateo required one or more of 14 medications, supplements and/or his formula for his feeding tube. Often, Mateo would need treatments with the nebulizer and frequent suctioning so he could breathe well, but his family thought the best treatments were his hugs, love and "kiss therapy." While his parents focused on caring for Mateo and keeping the family afloat financially, Mateo's extended family organized a benefit dinner that was held on April 16, 2010. On April 21, 2010, Mateo was having extreme difficulty breathing and seemed to be in critical condition. After his parents called 911, Baby Mateo was rushed by ambulance to Nemours A.I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE because it was the nearest hospital for children.

Mateo was evaluated by a new team of doctors and nurses, and was intubated and stabilized. While at Nemours, Mateo had another open heart surgery and his pulmonary veins were opened using a marsupialization technique. Unfortunately, when doctors learned that Mateo’s pulmonary veins were again narrowing, Mateo was sent home on hospice care for the second time on June 6, 2010. While Mateo's parents continued to seek out alternative treatment methods and options for Mateo, on July 10, 2010, Mateo took his last breath at home surrounded by his family. Mateo Sebastian Paredes lived nine amazing months and brought a number of people to know God, to believe in the power of prayer and faith, and those who knew him adored him as Super Mateo, the brave little baby boy, born with only half a heart, who smiled and loved through all of his struggles and suffering.

Megan Leslie Daddario
Megan’s Journey

Megan Daddario was born on May 12, 1992 with a Complex Congenital Heart Defect know as Double Outlet Right Ventricle.  This means she was born with a single ventricle—or “half a heart” as she would refer to it.  Megan underwent three open heart surgeries by the time she was 18 months old.  Following those surgeries and some difficult days that go with that time period, Megan was able to live a wonderful healthy life.  Even though Megan lived with “half a heart”, she had a huge love for other people and especially others with heart issues.

Megan was a resident of Shiloh, NJ.  She was born in Bridgeton, NJ on May 12, 1992 and attended Stow Creek, Shiloh and Hopewell Crest School where she graduated from 8th grade in 2006.  Megan was an active member of the Cumberland Regional High School Class of 2010.  She was an officer in Peer Mediation and Peer Leadership and was the manager of the baseball team.  She was also active in the community and certified as a NJ EMT.  She volunteered at the South Jersey Healthcare Regional Medical Center.  She also worked with the Greenwich Rescue Squad and worked as an aide at the Toy Box Preschool in Bridgeton. Megan was a member of the Sharptown United Methodist Church and volunteered at Jersey Oaks; the Seventh Day Baptist Camp in Alloway Creek.  She loved playing baseball and softball and was a member of the West Cumberland Little League. Megan graduated from Cumberland Regional High School in New Jersey in June 2010, and attended Eastern University in St. David’s, Pennsylvania in fall 2010, where she was planning to obtain her bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Megan loved Baby Mateo from the first moment his name was mentioned in church and knew she wanted to do whatever she could to support Mateo and his family.  Little did she know that less than 6 months following Mateo’s passing, she would be facing a life threatening situation of her own.  In December 2010, Megan began to experience fevers which by February 2011 would develop into Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.  Megan fought this battle very hard until she went home to be with her God on June 16, 2011.

In the 19 years of her life, Megan brought together people in her spirit and courage to live her life to the fullest.

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