Monroe Mirlo Gonzalez was a bit of a trouble maker from the start. He was born to Juan and Sara on the third of November, 2013; six weeks early, after a week of labor pains and false alarms.
All seemed right in the world after hours of very, VERY hard work on Sara and Monroe’s part. There was laughter, and congratulations until Juan began to hear the words “compressions” “intubate” and “resuscitate” off to his right as the NICU nurses were attending to a very small, and very blue Monroe.
Monroe was stabilized and very quickly walked upstairs, father in tow, to an intensive care unit. Doctors and nurses began to explain that Monroe had a congenital heart defect known as Transposition of the Greater Arteries, and would have to endure open heart surgery once he was of term age.
Juan and Sara were devastated at this new, but did as all parents must, and became brave and courageous for Monroe, who could not be.
During the few weeks leading up to the surgery, Momo, as he was affectionately called, lived in the NICU under the care of amazing nurses and doctors. He had immeasurable personality. He was fiery like his mother and stubborn like his father. There was no way that feeding tube was going to stay in if he had anything to say about it. He got older, and chubbier, and the December came, and so did the surgery.
“A success!” The surgeons proclaimed.
Juan and Sara were elated. Their baby boy, the dread pirate Momo, would be home in no time.
Monroe’s heart stopped five hours after they took him off of bypass. He was resuscitated within an hour, and after a few tests the doctors were able to determine that there was a second, smaller defect. An intramural artery was not providing enough oxygen to the heart itself. There would have to be a second, much more complicated open heart surgery.
Momo defied the odds once again, and once again Juan and Sara praised God for giving their boy magnificent strength, and for giving the doctors unparalleled skill.
The story of the weeks to follow could fill many more pages, but ultimately ended in many tears. Monroe was beset upon by such paramount complications that to ask him to continue to fight became selfish and unkind.
On January 17th 2014, Juan and Sara held their little peach as he bid farewell to this world and sailed on to the next.