CHICAGO (CBS) — Angela Farnan has helped care for the tiniest patients in Peoria for more than 30 years, but when one mother said she could no longer care for her newborn, the pediatric intensive care nurse went above and beyond.
Farnan adopted a baby with a congenital heart defect to make sure he could continue getting the treatment he needs.
“The good Lord put us where we are for a reason,” Farnan said.
In May 2017, baby Blaze was born with a congenital heart defect that requires at least three surgeries before the age of 5.
He had his first operation at only 3 days old. Farnan was on the team that took care of Blaze at OSF Children’s Hospital in Peoria for more than six months, quickly becoming like family to the newborn and his mother.
While Blaze waited for a second surgery, Farnan agreed to open up her own home to foster the infant, because his mother didn’t live near the hospital, and couldn’t pay for the intensive care he needed at home.
The day of his second surgery in March 2018, Blaze’s mother asked Farnan if she and her husband would consider adopting Blaze.
“She made a heartfelt decision to ask us if we’d be willing to keep him on a permanent basis,” Farnan said.
Farnan said she and her husband had fallen in love with Blaze, and knew immediately it was the right choice to adopt him.
The couple filed for adoption in April 2018, and it was made official in June.
Farnan said coming home to Blaze’s smiling face has helped make stressful days at work easier.
“I just need that face and that smile. I can have the worst day and all I want to do is get home and see him. It just makes it all better,” she said.
Blaze will need another surgery between the ages of 3 and 5, and eventually might need a transplant.