Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

A Healing Heart

Riva Pomerantz

When he was three-months old, Alter Mordechai Morel was diagnosed with severe congestive heart defects. Two transplants and many challenging years later, his mother Joyce shares their story. Her message? No matter what, you can overcome.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

heart balloonThe rosy beginnings of Mordechai’s life began to fade at the three-month mark when the pediatrician was unhappy that he wasn’t gaining weight. At a thorough four-month examination, the doctor detected a heart murmur.

“He didn’t tell us Mordechai had a murmur,” Joyce remembers. “He just sent us to do a chest X-ray. This was on a Thursday night. I was completely numb, overwhelmed, in shock; it was so sudden.” The X-ray showed an abnormality in Mordechai’s heart, and the presence of fluid in his tiny lungs.

The next day, Joyce and her husband, Avraham, found themselves atToronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, booked for an ultrasound, an echocardiogram, and finally, an appointment with a pediatric cardiologist. “While they were doing the ultrasound, the technician kept going over his chest, again and again. We could see that she was concerned. We started to think that he had a hole in his heart.”

Congenital heart defects are fixable, and in many instances, self-repair over time, the Morels comforted themselves. Holding on to a thin strand of optimism, they sat across from the doctor on that fateful Friday morning, hoping for the best.

“You have a sick child,” the doctor intoned, opting for the honest, if brutal, approach. “And no matter what we do, we’re never going to be able to fix him.”

They then heard the diagnosis: Little Mordechai had a variation of hypoplastic left heart. Instead of four chambers, his heart had three.

Their lives would never be the same again.


 To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha. To sign up for a weekly subscription click here.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"