Heart to Heart with Anna

Dhillon’s Gift: A CHD Legacy

February 22, 2021 Beverly Foster Season 16 Episode 296
Heart to Heart with Anna
Dhillon’s Gift: A CHD Legacy
Chapters
Heart to Heart with Anna
Dhillon’s Gift: A CHD Legacy
Feb 22, 2021 Season 16 Episode 296
Beverly Foster

In this touching episode of "Heart to Heart with Anna," grandmother Beverly Foster shares with Anna her heart journey with her grandson, Heart Warrior Dhillon. From diagnosis through today, Dhillon's spirit remains steadfast and everyone knows exactly what he would want them to do. Thus, Beverly and her family felt the need to create a special legacy in Dhillon's name. The result? Dhillon's Gift.

Links mentioned in the program:

UNC's webpage about Dhillon's Gift
Dhillon's Heart Journey
CHOP Pediatric Cardiology Center
CHOP Single Ventricle Program
Victory Junction Summer Camp
The Gift of Life House

To contact Beverly, use [email protected]

Another "Heart to Heart with Anna" episode dealing with transplantation and protein-losing enteropathy
Another "Heart to Heart with Anna" dealing with protein-losing enteropathy

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Show Notes Transcript

In this touching episode of "Heart to Heart with Anna," grandmother Beverly Foster shares with Anna her heart journey with her grandson, Heart Warrior Dhillon. From diagnosis through today, Dhillon's spirit remains steadfast and everyone knows exactly what he would want them to do. Thus, Beverly and her family felt the need to create a special legacy in Dhillon's name. The result? Dhillon's Gift.

Links mentioned in the program:

UNC's webpage about Dhillon's Gift
Dhillon's Heart Journey
CHOP Pediatric Cardiology Center
CHOP Single Ventricle Program
Victory Junction Summer Camp
The Gift of Life House

To contact Beverly, use [email protected]

Another "Heart to Heart with Anna" episode dealing with transplantation and protein-losing enteropathy
Another "Heart to Heart with Anna" dealing with protein-losing enteropathy

Anna's Buzzsprout Affiliate Link (if you'd like to try Buzzsprout for your podcast and get a bonus gift card -- and Anna will, too!) 

Links to 'Heart to Heart with Anna' Social Media and Podcast Pages:

Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/heart-to-heart-with-anna/id1132261435?mt=2

MeWe: https://mewe.com/i/annajaworski
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HearttoHeartwithAnna/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hearttoheartwithanna/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnnaJaworski
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGPKwIU5M_YOxvtWepFR5Zw

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hearttoheartwithanna/ 

Website: https://www.hug-podcastnetwork.com/

If you enjoy this program and would like to be a Patron, please check out our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/HeartToHeart

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/HearttoHeart)

Beverly Foster:

If we'd made different choices along the way, would things have been different? I don't know that that is very fruitful. Because at each point, we really did consult everybody. And we made the best choice we could. Right. And I think we just have to ride with that.

Anna Jaworski:

Welcome to "Heart to Heart with Anna." I am Anna Jaworski, and the host of your program. I am also the mother of a son born with a critical congenital heart defect. Alexander was born in 1994. At the time of this recording, he is 26 years old and he is my inspiration and the reason I do this program. Have you ever wondered what you would do if your child died? Do you wonder how you could possibly survive if your child did not? What about those of you who are grandparents? No grandparent expects a grandchild to die before him or her? Should the worst happen, how can a family handle that situation? That's what we're going to learn about in today's program. Today's show is 'Dhillon's Gift: a CHD Legacy' and our guest is Beverly Foster. We'll start today's program by learning a bit about Beverly and her immediate family. In the second segment, we'll talk about Dhillon's experience with heart transplantation and in the final segment, we will learn about Dhillon's Gift. Beverley Foster is the grandmother of Dhillon Jordan Shah, who was born in December 2002 with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Dhillon loved life and learning new things and meeting new people. He traveled to 10 countries with his family and loved to perform magic tricks, build LEGO structures, race remote-controlled vehicles, and visit the beach. Together with his grandmother, they created a presentation about his heart to present to his friends, classmates, and teachers at his Montessori School. In July 2015, Dhillon passed away due to complications of a heart transplant. Today, Beverly continues to share Dhillon's story and raise awareness of congenital heart defects through Dhillon's Gift, a nonprofit aimed at stimulating career development for health professionals in the field of congenital heart disease. Welcome to "Heart to Heart with Anna," Beverly,

Beverly Foster:

Thank you so much. I think you do a wonderful service with your program and I'm very happy to be a participant.

Anna Jaworski:

Thank you so much. I love what I do and I'm eager to get to know you a little bit better. So let's start by talking about Dhillon. Tell me what his relationship is to you. Was he your son's child or your daughter's child?

Beverly Foster:

Dhillon was the grandson born to my daughter, Debbie, and his father and family are from India. So we're a very multicultural family right from the word 'go.'

Anna Jaworski:

Oh, my goodness!

Beverly Foster:

You didn't know this? Dhillon had a sister Serena who was three years old at the time he was born. And there was an uneventful pregnancy and things were ompletely normal. And there was delivery that was normal, born uring a very bad ice storm here n North Carolina, with very ifficult road travel and so we a l hunkered down in the waiting room of the hospital and look forward to his arrival. And I was privileged to take Serena in for the first time to meet her baby brother.

Anna Jaworski:

Awww

Beverly Foster:

Yeah, so it was sweet

Anna Jaworski:

So your daughter had already experienced one normal pregnancy; she had a perfectly healthy daughter. And I'm assuming from what you just said to me, there was no expectation that anything was wrong with Dhillon's heart.

Beverly Foster:

That is quite true. There was none. In retrospect, looking back, perhaps there was an indication, on some testing that was done. Remember, this was 2002. Nothing was evident at the time and nothing was of concern at the time.

Anna Jaworski:

So had your daughter had some ultrasounds during her prenatal?

Beverly Foster:

Yes

Anna Jaworski:

Okay, I had the same experience. I had had one healthy child, also three years older than my son with a congenital heart defect and we had had three ultrasounds - nothing was said about the heart. And when he was diagnosed, he also was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. It's such a shock, isn't it?

Beverly Foster:

Yes, absolutely a terrible shock. When we first learned of it, we were going to an event at the campus at UNC Chapel Hill called 'Breakfast with Santa' at the Carolina Right. Right, Debbie's so lucky that you could back up her Club. And he was nine days old and dressed in a lovely little blue suit and ready to participate with the family. Debbie had been concerned, an experienced mom, she'd been concerned that his "breathing was a little funny." I'm a nurse and she said, "Mom, watch him breathe and see what he's doing." So he was breathing with what we call 'accessory muscles.' He was using his shoulders; he was breathing in a paradoxical way with his chest and his belly. His color wa good. He was eating. He wa sleeping. But something was no right to me. And it was at tha moment that we skipped 'Breakfa t with Santa,' and we took off or the hospital. And as I say, l fe was never the same after th concerns, because so many times people will say, "Oh, no, it's nothing." And they'll just excuse, whatever the mother is concerned about. But you validated her concern Very, very much. So she had called the pediatrician and talked to the advice nurse. And as she asked the same questions 'I did his eating? Is he sleeping? Is he crying? Is his color normal?' and all those things were okay. But when I looked at him critically, as the nurse that I am, I said, "No, something is wrong." And when we called the pediatrician, they said, "Meet us at the emergency room. We're coming up now."

Anna Jaworski:

Oh, wow. Okay, so you all went to the emergency room?

Beverly Foster:

Correct.

Anna Jaworski:

And what happened next?

Beverly Foster:

Well, there was, of course, the cardiac team came in and there was some evaluation going on. I must say, as a participant in this, even though I'm a nurse, my memory is foggy and spotty about some of it. I was shocked, I was confused and so was the family. But eventually the diagnosis was 'hypoplastic left heart.' That didn't take a long time, he was transported right up to the PICU. And admitted and emergency treatment was was begun. Later, the diagnosis was expanded as they gathered more information. And his final diagnosis really was 'a complex single ventricle.' He had a single ventricle and some other anomalies as well, that made his unique situation more difficult to manage.

Anna Jaworski:

Mmm hmm, yeah, that's interesting. My path was exactly the same. He was initially diagnosed with 'hypoplastic left heart syndrome.' But then, after more information was gathered, and actually years later, they finally just called him 'single ventricle' and he's post-Fontan. What options were given to your daughter?

Beverly Foster:

Well, at that time, there were three options

that were given:

one was palliative care and at least I knew that meant 'comfort measures.' I've actually sat with families who had made this choice while the family cuddled the child and the child eventually passed away. Another option was a transplant, but it wouldn't have been possible in the center we were at. And again in 2002, heart transplants for kids were pretty risky, and not always successful. And the third one was the first step of the Fontan. So that's what we chose was the initial first-step surgery. And he went into surgery a little later that week after they had stabilized him and had him ready to go.

Anna Jaworski:

Wow. So things moved very rapidly after she received the diagnosis?

Beverly Foster:

Absolutely.

Anna Jaworski:

Well, I had the pleasure of looking at the slideshow that is on the internet that has I don't know how many pictures of Dhillon. It's so beautiful. Did he have a normal early childhood? Or did he suffer from a lot of complications and hospitalizations?

Beverly Foster:

I guess I have to say there was a bit of both. He had in his life, probably nine to 10, open heart surgeries.

Anna Jaworski:

Wow.

Beverly Foster:

So that's on average, one a year, roughly. And some of those hospitalizations were lengthy. They could have been sometimes a couple or two or three months. But on the other hand in between, he had what I guess was a near-normal life. We went just about everywhere we could, he went to museums, he went to school, he went to preschool, he convinced his docs that he ought to be able to not do a half day but a whole day because everybody else did.

Anna Jaworski:

I love that

Beverly Foster:

We went to the park and we took the oxygen tank behind us. We went to restaurants and we did shots underneath the table before the meal so he could stay with his blood thinner. We did everything we could, I think, to provide him with what a normal life would be. So in between I have often said, "When he was in crisis, there was a dark cloud hanging over us. And when he was stable, that dark cloud was always sitting over on the horizon somewhere, but the sky was blue and the sun was out. And we tried to keep it in perspective and enjoy each day."

Baby Blues Sound Collective:

Home. Tonight. Forever. by the Baby Blues Sound Collective. I think what I love so much about this CD is that some of the songs were inspired by the patients "Many listeners will understand many of the different songs and what they've been inspired by. Our new album will be available on iTunes, amazon.com, Spotify," (Dr. Wernovsky) "I love the fact that the proceeds from this CD are actually going to help those with congenital heart defects." (Anna Jaworski) Enjoy the music!" (Dr. Wernovsky) Home. Tonight. Forever.

Rejoiner:

You are listening to "Heart to Heart with Anna." If

Disclaimer:

This content is not intended to be a substitute for you have a question or comment that you would like to address professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The on our show, please send an email to Anna Jaworski at Anna opinions expressed in the podcast are not those of Hearts HeartToHeartWithAnna.com. That's [email protected] Unite the Globe, but of the Hosts and Guests and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Now, back to "Heart to Heart w th Anna." congenital heart disease or bereavement.

Anna Jaworski:

Before the break, we learned a little bit about Dhillon Shah and Beverly Foster. And we learned about Dhillon's diagnosis. What we haven't learned is how he came to the point of needing a transplant. So can you tell me a little bit more about Dhillon's heart journey, I mean, 9-10, open-heart surgeries. Wow, there's a history there.

Beverly Foster:

Dhillon was very much carried forward and valued in his care by the people who took care of him. We saw several experts as consults to our home care at Chapel Hill here. So one of the things that was advised is that he transferred his care to the Single Ventricle Program at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. And then they interacted with our home cardiologist here at the university. Over the course of those surgeries, he had all three stages of the Fontan. But about a year, a year-and-a-half after the last - he was much older when he had those surgeries done - he began to develop indications that his natural heart, his native heart, was beginning to fail. And he developed complications that had to be managed. So he had atrial flutter. And he began to have a protein loss phenomenon. Both of those would lead to his early death.

Anna Jaworski:

Oh, my goodness!

Beverly Foster:

so yeah...

Anna Jaworski:

So he had protein-losing enteropathy?

Beverly Foster:

He did.

Anna Jaworski:

I've actually done a couple of programs on that. It's a terrible complication

Beverly Foster:

It's devastating

Anna Jaworski:

It is and it totally changes your life.

Beverly Foster:

Yes, Dhillon developed the protein-loss enteropathy. He also had atrial flutter. And those episodes became more and more frequent. And the way to manage those was a cardioversion, which also damages the heart if you have to do it a lot. So there came a point where Dhillon had known in his young life that one of the things that might happen would be a heart transplant. And he knew that the heart came from someone who was a donor. He wanted to be very clear, the people who donated those had already died. They weren't taken from living people. And we always assured him of that. So at some point, when he was about 10, 10-and-a-half, it became apparent that this was going to be a downward course and the recommendation was that he had a heart transplant. I remember speaking to his primary cardiologist at CHOP, because the family talked about this, and he had talked about this. And I said, "Who is going to talk with Dhillon about this?" Who was going to tell him about this? And the cardiologist kind of looked at me, and I said, "You know, I think that's what you need to do." And so he said, "Yes, let's go in. You're right." And so I happened to be there at the time that conversation took place. Once mom was there, and Dhillon sat on the edge of the examining table with his hands folded in his lap, and he listened to a very compassionate explanation of why he needed to have a heart transplant.

Anna Jaworski:

And how old was he Beverly?

Beverly Foster:

10, 10ish

Anna Jaworski:

10... so young...

Beverly Foster:

10-year olds can be so mature. And the thing that caught my heart so strongly was that as the discussion continued, giant tears rolled down his cheeks, just very quietly but they rolled down his cheeks. The doctor said that if he wanted to, they wanted him to live into adulthood, to be a dad to realize his dreams of being a doctor or an nurse, to have a family that he was going to have to have a heart transplant because his heart was getting tired and would not last very much longer. He did it in such a compassionate way. He did a great job. And then he left us alone for a while and the nurse sort of politely closed the door to the examining room. And we sat there and Dhillon climbed up in his mom's lap and cried a little bit, and then fell asleep for a while. And when he woke up, I opened the door as a signal to the fact that we were ready after our private time. A representative of the transplant team came in and we shifted gears to looking at a transplant as as an option. And that began the planning and the movement of the family to a Philadelphia to await the heart.

Anna Jaworski:

Oh, wow. So the whole family picked up and moved from Chapel Hill to Philadelphia?

Beverly Foster:

No, not quite. That was one thought. But what was decided was that Debbie and Dhillon would move up there, Dad would go back and forth at least once a month for a period of time. And his sister would stay here in Chapel Hill. She was in 10th grade, I believe, and would continue school here. I went up and down a lot to keeping them company and they lived at a fantastic place called The Gift of Life House, which was a nonprofit, low-cost, but lovely environment for transplant patients of many kinds who were being served in the Philadelphia area. In the end of summer, Dhillon went to summer camp at Victory Junction place in North Carolina for kids with special needs. We went to the beach. And then Debbie and Dhillon packed their things and planned for homeschooling as they went up to Philadelphia and moved into The Gift of Life House at the start of the fall semester.

Anna Jaworski:

How long did it take before he got a heart?

Beverly Foster:

Eleven months, they had said it would be somewhere between 10 and 12. And at 11 months, he was offered a heart that was good match - a terrific match, as a matter of fact. Serena did not like being separated from Mom and Dhillon and so at the end of fall semester in high school, she moved up to The Gift of Life House as well. Deb homeschooled both of the kids for the spring semester and through the transplant.

Anna Jaworski:

Wow, I just love that. I think the siblings are so important in the mental health and the well-being of our heart patients. Don't you Bev?

Beverly Foster:

Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. And for us, the Indian families are to be congratulated from my point of view on how much the extended family is included. And it's important that so we had aunties and cousins and friends who visited and teachers who had taught him in Chapel Hill who visited and Dhillon was a wonderful ambassador for Philadelphia. He loved to eat and dine out. So he knew where the best burger was and the best cheese, queso and chips. And we saw museums, and we went to the zoo. And he learned about the history of Philadelphia. One visit when I was up, we went to see Betsy Ross's home, where she made the flag, which was very close to where they were living. Dhillon rode in a wheelchair, but we were actually to walk there and visit the home and have a lunch out and then come back. So I have a dear place in my heart for Philadelphia, and the people both CHOP and The Gift of Life House.

Anna Jaworski:

That's what I loved about the video that I watched. Philly was prominently portrayed in that video. And it's really, really cool to see all the different places he visited.

Beverly Foster:

Yeah.

Anna Jaworski:

Did he survive the transplant process? Did he go home after transplant?

Beverly Foster:

He did not. He died during the transplant procedure. He never lived to get off the operating-room table. And that was a very tragic time for us. Most of the family, including me, were in the waiting room and they had said the surgery would be about four hours. He was in excellent condition for surgery they felt but he had always had a persistent pulmonary hypertension. And that plus clotting issues and other problems meant that the transplanted heart could not provide life for him. And so he passed away on the table.

Anna Jaworski:

I'm so sorry. That's just...

Beverly Foster:

Thank you

Anna Jaworski:

... so hard to probably even remember

Beverly Foster:

It is. I have lots of memories of it. I suppose because of my profession, I have learned over time to talk about difficult things and maintain composure but I have memories at that time of my daughter collapsing. weeping and my granddaughter Serena wailing and falling into a chair. And the team itself, when they came in to talk with us, who knew Dhillon so well, looking totally ravaged. By then it was about three or four in the morning, I think. Totally, totally ravaged by the outcome.

Anna Jaworski:

There's no question that they did everything that they could for Dhillon.

Beverly Foster:

I don't have any doubt of that. I don't have any doubt of that at all. You can second-guess. We can say, "Gee, what if we had done a transplant when he was born? Would the outcome have been different? If we'd made different choices along the way, would things have been different? I don't know that that is very fruitful. Because at each point, we really did consult everybody. And we made the best choice we could.

Anna Jaworski:

Right.

Beverly Foster:

And I think we just have to ride with that.

Baby Hearts Press:

Anna Jaworski has written several books to empower the congenital heart defect or a CHD community. These books can be found at amazon.com or at her website, www.BabyHeartsPress.com. Her best seller is "The Heart of a Mother," an anthology of stories written by women for women in the CHD community. Anna's other books, "My Brother Needs an Operation," "The Heart of a Father," and "Hypoplastic Left

Heart Syndrome:

A Handbook for Parents" will help you understand that you are not alone. Visit

http:

//www.babyheartspress.com to find out more.

HUG Info:

"Heart to Heart with Anna" is a presentation of Hearts Unite the Globe and is part of the HUG Podcast Network. Hearts Unite the Globe is a nonprofit organization devoted to providing resources to the congenital heart defect community to uplift, empower, and enrich the lives of our community members. If you would like access to free resources pertaining to the CHD community, please visit our website at www.CongenitalHeartDefects.com for information about CHD, the hospitals that treat children with CHD, summer camps for CHD survivors, and much, much more.

Anna Jaworski:

Before the break, we learned about Dhillon Shah, and we learned about how he passed away from his heart transplant. But what we did it learned was what a character he can be. And so, Beverly, let's talk about his life, because the video that you put together showed a little boy with a tremendous heart and a tremendous smile. It came through so clearly in that video. And we all have tears in our eyes right now and a lump in our throat. But I know that made people smile. So can you tell us a little bit more about Dhillon?

Beverly Foster:

Dhillon loved to relate to his health team and his nurses. And he was a trickster. So when he was young, at about two-and-a-half or three, after one of his first major surgeries, he was in the step-down unit and someone had given him a whoopee cushion.

Anna Jaworski:

Oh, no.

Beverly Foster:

Yes. And if you know what a whoopee cushion does, and mimics, one of Dhillon's favorite things, and we have a picture of his sister and his mom and Dhillon when he fired off the whoopee cushion when the docs made their usual rounds and came to the bedside - one of his favorite tricks. When he was a little older, he and his cousin Sammy, in the ICU, fastened a bill of substantial size to some dental floss and put it out in the hallway outside the room. And then when somebody bent over to get it, they jerked it away and laughed. He loved to play tricks. He was a very compassionate guy. And so he involved himself in service activities with the family and fundraising opportunities for The Gift of Life House. He stood at the podium at the age of 11 at that point with a fundraising speech for them based on his experience as a family member and his family where it was his home away from home.

Anna Jaworski:

I was wondering because I saw the picture of him standing at the podium and I wondered what he was talking about. Okay. Okay, so he started doing fundraising from an early age. Let's talk about Dhillon's Gift, because I think that what you've put together is perfectly in line with what your grandson would have done himself.

Beverly Foster:

Oh, I think so. In fact... and Dhillon was very much in favor of me speaking to my students every semester, about his journey and the family's journey, and he knew what I said. And he understood that I did it because I wanted them to become the best nurses they could be. And that made sense to him. So he had no problem with me talking about his journey through life, and I'm sure he would have no problem with me continuing to do that now. After he passed away, I tried to think, given my profession as a nursing professor and his desire and love with the healthcare team, the interprofessional team, and the way that congenital heart kids grow up and become, we hope, in many cases, very promising adults. I decided that what we could do through the university was to establish an endowment. It has a longer name, but I always have called it Dhillon's Gift and that supports research projects of faculty and students, beginning with senior undergraduates in their Honors Program, which I coordinate in the School of Nursing, to masters and doctoral students and post-docs students to help get them involved in the care and services to kids as they grow and as infants with congenital heart disease. It's interprofessionally focused. It involves nursing, but much more than that,

Anna Jaworski:

Yeah.

Beverly Foster:

And it involves services to siblings, and cousins, Dhillon's sister wants that, to be sure, definitely to be a part of it. And we have made awards, building the fund slowly, have made awards every year since, I think, 2017. But we began thinking about it shortly after his death, as a way to say "thank you" to the health profession for the wonderful care they provided. And also to encourage young people to engage in research, and projects that support the needs of congenital heart families.

Anna Jaworski:

It's really impressive what you've put together. I went out on the internet, and I saw that you had given awards for 2017, 2018, 2019, but that proposals were not being accepted. At this time. I think COVID-19 has really thrown a monkey wrench in so many different events. This show is being aired in 2021 although we're recording it in 2020. Can you tell us about the future of Dhillon's Gift, what you're hoping for?

Beverly Foster:

For sure. What we did was delay the award for fall 2020, which was our usual time for making an award. Because of the COVID, people who had received grants in 2019, had not been able to fulfill their commitments, because of the lack of involvement of recruiting subjects and analyzing the data and presenting the information. So we decided to just take a short hiatus and actually, I'm working now with our development office to make these awards in spring. So after the first of the year, we'll resume the cycle. The people currently receiving money are completing or near completion of the awards they received. And we'll have some new awards in the spring of 2021. So it only was put on hold as the whole university, quite frankly, shut down...

Anna Jaworski:

Sure,

Beverly Foster:

...for a long time, and we're pretty much still a virtual community at this time.

Anna Jaworski:

Mm hmm. As are so many of the universities and schools around the world. It's not even just here in the United States, but it's just everywhere. I think it's so impressive what you've done. And I was looking at some of the research projects that have been conducted due to the foundation that you have started. And it really is quite impressive.

Beverly Foster:

The intent, I think for us, because the funding, at least initially, has been modest, because you build a base which earns interest. And then you offer projects and money out of the interest that accrues annually. So it's a modest start. But what beginning researchers and professionals often need is something that will seed money for a pilot -to take an idea forward and develop it. And that's what we focused on - is engaging professionals, whether they're already graduated and they're in our healthcare systems, or whether they are part of our students at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing, but to give them seed money, so that they can use what they learn with that pilot to garner larger awards. At some point, if the fund gets large enough, we might be one of those larger granting bodies. But I don't look too far into the future for that. I'm really quite content with building our original intent into a flourishing project and making it through, of course, the pandemic so that we can continue to move forward.

Anna Jaworski:

Right. Absolutely. I found a Facebook page for Dhillon's Heart Journey and I will put that in the Show Notes for anybody else who would like to see it and you could see lots of lovely photos of Dhillon and his family. And I also found a page on UNC's website that actually talked about Dhillon's gift, but if people wanted to give to this foundation, or if they're interested in possibly being one of the recipients of the award, what is the best way for them to get information?

Beverly Foster:

I think I would suggest two ways Anna: one is simply to make direct contact with me by an email address. And that would be [email protected] The second thing would be to go through the website that you've identified that belongs to the university and there's contact information there as well. And that's where we will post the criteria for the next award cycle. And I am in the process now of even engaging our development office to have an appointment. So we're ready to do that in January when school resumes.

Anna Jaworski:

That's wonderful.

Beverly Foster:

Two things that I would suggest

Anna Jaworski:

Right, and there'll be links to both of those in the Show Notes, friends. So if you're listening to this while you're taking a jog, or something, don't worry, you don't have to drop everything and take notes that will be in the Show Notes, and it'll be a clickable link for you. Well, thank you so much for everything that you've done - for sharing your story with us. I know that's really a tough thing to do but I think that Dhillon keeps on giving.

Beverly Foster:

I was going to say something similar to that as a parting word, Anna, so I'm glad you said that. I think that I've said to my daughter, who maintains the Facebook site, that Dhillon's journey does not end because he passed away in 2015. It continues forward. It continues forward because his sister is heading to law school to work on social justice issues. She's applying now. One of his best friends applied to nursing school and she contacted me just a few weeks ago, for some advice about how to apply, where to apply, and that kind of thing. He has cousins who have gone into med school and are moving through. So his journey continues through his family and his friends and people who knew him. And I think that is a very important way to cope with losing him.

Anna Jaworski:

Absolutely. And as long as we continue to share stories about our loved ones, they're still here. They're still a piece of them in our hearts and in our minds every day.

Beverly Foster:

Absolutely.

Anna Jaworski:

Thank you so much, Beverly, I really loved getting to know you and to hear your story.

Beverly Foster:

Thank you for having me. I really appreciate you giving me the opportunity.

Anna Jaworski:

Well friends, that does conclude this episode of "Heart to Heart with Anna." Thanks for listening today. Please come back next week on Tuesday at noon Eastern Time and until then please visit our website www.HeartsUniteTheGlobe.org. And remember my friends, you are not alone.

Conclusion:

Thank you again for joining us this week. We hope you have been inspired and empowered to become an advocate for the congenital heart defect community. "Heart to Heart with Anna," with your host Anna Jaworski can be heard every Tuesday at 12 noon, Eastern Time.