Every child has a favorite thing. Some find comfort in the softness of a blanket, while others prefer snuggling a stuffed animal. Whatever the soothing item is, every parent cringes at the thought of misplacing it.
Michelle Arria remembers the day her 18-month-old son Anthony James (AJ) visited Boston Children’s Hospital for testing. It was the day his favorite blanket was lost.
“Testing was about to begin, and I went to get AJ’s blanket, and it was nowhere to be found. He was screaming crying, and I became hysterical,” Michelle recalls.
Curly-haired, bright-eyed Molly Leary pushes a plastic baby stroller filled with a pile of books and one baby doll. She spends a sunny afternoon on the lawn reading, singing ”Itsy Bitsy Spider” and playing her purple guitar. She sits down to read with her mom Kerry and then pops up into what feels like a never-ending spin. “Dizzy?” Kerry asks. “Nope!” says Molly with a big grin. Her love of life is infectious.
Watching this unstoppable five-year-old twirl around in circles, you’d never know that she’s quite mixed up on the inside. Molly was born with heterotaxy, a rare congenital defect that results in various organs forming on the opposite side of the body. She spent the first eight months of her life at Boston Children’s Hospital, as detailed in the below timeline. …