At 12:02, I got a call from the OR noting that they were closing Annabelle’s chest. All had gone VERY well, the nurse said, and Dr. Bichel would be out to see us soon.

He came out with a big grin on is face… MUCH different than the look he had at her last surgery in October when he was delivering much more blowing news.

In the doctor’s words: “There is not one thing I can tell you that I’m worried about right now. Everything went exactly as anticipated.”

The heart is a good fit. Her chest is CLOSED. And they are getting her back upstairs shortly. It will be another hour or two before we can go see her.

OH MY GOODNESS. I just don’t even know how to process right now. I am excited and elated and scared and worried and exhausted and drained all at the same time. By the time we get to see her, it will be pretty darn close to 24 hours since we got the call.

I’ll post another update tomorrow, along with some pictures from our wait (we kinda destroyed the empty waiting room… no worries, we put it back together before we left!) and with MOST IMPORTANTLY some pictures of Miss Annabelle with her new heart!!!

God is good. Amazing. Undescribable. I just don’t know what else to say. I’m speechless and in awe of it all.

Almost Final stats:

7 1/2 hours in the OR (@4:30 to Midnight)
86 days on the Heart Transplant List
263 days in the hospital (and counting… this one will end SOON we PRAY!)

GOAL: Heart Day! (Check!!!) Home! (Working on it!!)



  1. Micah and Jennifer R.

    So happy to hear that everything went well! God does work miracles and he is looking over you guys every single second. Hope you can get some sleep tonight though!

  2. So happy that all went well. I honestly couldn't sleep until I heard that everything was ok with your precious baby girl! I will continue to pray for the days ahead and hope that the countdown to home will go quickly!

  3. SOOOO overjoyed for you and your family!!! Thank God!!! This has had me smiling and on pins and needles all day 🙂

  4. Praise God!! Tears of joy here!

  5. That is wonderful news! I'm so happy, reading all went well. I'm totally overjoyed and sitting here with a big grin on my face! THANK YOU, GOD!!!

    Continued prayers, now for a speedy recovery so you all can finally go home together.

  6. I'm ECSTATIC for little Annabelle!! What great news this is! I'll be praying for her body to receive that little heart with no complications and that HOME DAY comes very, very soon!

    God bless, Krista.

    the character therapist

  7. Oh thank God! I will keeeeep praying! And, praying for the family that gave your this gift a I know that is very important to you! God bless!

  8. Oh thank God! I will keeeeep praying! And, praying for the family that gave your this gift a I know that is very important to you! God bless!

  9. That is the most awesome news! I am so happy for your family. I will continue to keep Annabelle in my prayers for a speedy recovery. Don't know how babies with transplant compare to 23 year olds, but my cousin was extubated within 8 hours and up sitting in a chair the next day!

  10. PRAISE GOD!!!

  11. Wonderful news! I've been praying for her, the doctors, for you, for your family…I don't know how you do it! Well, of course, we know…there is only one way any of this is possible. Praising Jesus!

  12. Praise God for heart day and its completion! He is soooo good! We will continue to pray. Looking forward to the next post and will pray that you are able to get some rest.

  13. Praise God! Krista, we are all overjoyed and are praying for a speedy recovery so that your family can be at HOME! Yay!

  14. I just wanted to tell you how encouraging it is to read your blog! My little HLHS baby Emma, is six months old and has been listed for three months for a heart! We are in the CICU at Children's Medical Center in Dallas and have been here since birth so I understand what you are going through! Praise God for the heart! We have seen older children receive hearts but not babies since we have been here so your news gives us hope! We will be praying for your sweet family and baby as well as the donor family! Much love and prayers from one heart mom to another—-Sarah.

  15. I haven't followed this blog or story until today. Here I was sitting, crying as I read about precious little Annabelle's surgery…then I saw your update post. Praise the LORD! He is so good, so faithful! Your family will be in my continual prayers. The faith I see as I've read through this blog is both incredible and inspiring. Thank you for that!

    "The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him."
    Psa 28:7

  16. This is such great news! Thank you Jesus! I pray she is doing well this morning.

  17. What beautiful news to wake up to this morning. Annabelle was my first thought as I woke up. Praying and praising Him.

  18. God is indeed so amazing and good! What a day to celebrate!

  19. hi my name is melissa and my husband plays in sanctus real. i have been following your story since i heard about your sweet baby girl from matt. i am so so happy and excited for you and your family! what a great awesome blessing your sweet girl is. my little one is about to turn 8 months so they are close in age 🙂
    we are praying for you and your little one. you are such a strong encouraging mommy! blessings to all of you and especially that little beautiful girl!

  20. You just made my day! I will keep praying for a quick recovery.

  21. Such great news, Krista!!! Will continue praying.

  22. I'll keep praying everything continues is it's perfect form, Krista. God bless you all.

  23. Completely in awe of God! He really is amazing! So excited all went well and the next goal is HOME!!!

  24. I woke up thinking and praying about Annabelle. So glad to hear that everything went well!Praise GOD!!!!

  25. Rejoicing with you, Krista! Tears of joy streamed down my face when I read your tweet last night saying they were closing Annabelle up and that the doctor would be out to see you. More fell when I read your post just now. I'm soooo happy for you. Praise God for this modern miracle.

  26. Great news to wake up to. Annabelle was on my mind when I woke up throughout the night and I'm so pleased that all went well. Prayers will continue. Praise the Lord!

  27. Great news so happy for you all! Dr.Bichel is awesome we love him too!!!!
    Dabit Family

  28. Praise the Lord! I just had to check on y'all before I went to church this morning.

    Praying all goes well today.

  29. AMAZING! I am so happy to hear everything went so well.

    Thrilled for you all! And we'll keep praying for a smooth, fast recovery!

  31. Oh Krista, praise the Lord!! It was killing me not being online last night to read those updates as they came in, but I was praying the whole time regardless! Thank you Jesus!!!!

  32. Just found you thru a note on WW, and am deeply touched by your story.

    God bless precious Annabelle, sending prayers for her healing.


  33. WOOOHOOOO! So happy! Praise God!!

  34. God is sooo good. Get some rest now!!

  35. Praise the Lord.

    Were 2-3 are gatherd in prayer it is DONE!

    Continue to thank the Lord for Annabells healing that it is a fast recovery. We agree for Annabelle Home with her wounderful family. Also lifting up Donor family and now Anna reese has been put in my heart as well. Thank you for your heart My beautiful sister. So glad we were brought together through Matt Hammitt web.

    Was praying for him and saw Annabelles pic. The Lord put her on my heart.

    Still lifting You and your family.

  36. Praise God! Continuing to pray for her and for your family.

  37. Glad to hear your news. Will keep praying. 🙂

  38. That's awesome! God is good.

  39. Incredible!! Praying for a very smooth recovery.

  40. KP, when Wade announced this morning that Annabelle had her heart, the whole congregation was just abuzz! Our folks were so happy for her! We prayed and thanked God for Annabelle's new heart and for the family that gave it to her.

    I love you, my awesome friend. You have continuously amazed me since you told me about Dr. Thomas and his concerned-looking face during your ultrasound. You have handled this with grace and humility and with everything that I hope I'd have if I were in the same situation. I'm so blessed that God put us at the same place at the same time almost seven years ago. 🙂

  41. God is faithful. I am so happy for your good news. Still praying for an uneventful recovery.

  42. PRAISE THE LORD!!!!!!!! I am sooo happy for you all! We'll keep praying!!! Hurrah for Miss Annabelle!!!

  43. This is the best news I could have seen today, my dear. Glory to God and hugs all around! She'll soon be home, a trophy of God's grace and love for the rest of her life!!! The devil lost this one. HA!!!

  44. praying for your family and the one that gave you more life with Annabelle. What a precious little one.

  45. I kept checking in all night and was so thrilled to read your late update. Praise the Lord, indeed!

    Can't wait to hear some updates.Hope you finally got some sleep.

  46. So happy for you and your family, Krista. Keeping you in my prayers and looking forward to more blessed news.

  47. While it is amazing and wonderful that organ transplants are available to add a silver lining to a tragic situation, I think it is somewhat disrespectful to call this a miracle. God allowed another innocent and beloved infant to die. Your child was able to be saved as a result, but God still allowed that other child to die. I doubt the parents of that other baby think that this was a miracle.

    Regardless, I certainly pray for the best outcome in a less than ideal situation.

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