Kathy & Roger Flynn were so excited at the birth of their first child,
their beautiful daughter Ansley Sara Flynn.

“Shortly after this joyous occasion we were suddenly approached by our pediatrician stating, “I hear a heart murmur, but feel like it is innocent however, as a precautionary measure we have arranged a pediatric cardiologist for an evaluation”. Within a few hours the cardiologist came into our room and said, “I have no other way to say this, but your daughter has severe congenital heart disease and may not make it through the night”. Within just a few hours our lives were turned upside down. The baby I had just held in my arms and nursed was now in the ICU fighting for her life.

As we walked into the ICU to see her for the first time since the horrific news – tears were streaming down my face and all I could think of was protecting her. All of my mommy duties had just been taken away no sooner than I got them. I was confused, concerned and in shock. The only thing I had left to give her was my love, a gentle touch and my tearful prayers. At that point I began to be grateful that I had carried her for 9 months, held her for 2 days and I that would have her for eternity… then my spirit kicked in… I was going to fight with all my might to save her. My baby’s life meant something, and it wasn’t going to end this way. I became a prayer warrior and claimed healing for my baby. I knew she needed me to be strong and became her advocate. This sweet baby was in a fight for her life and I was going to be beside her fighting along with her to save her.”

Ansley Sara Flynn

The news was devastating. After a short visit with their daughter Ansley in the ICN, the doctors came in and delivered the news. They had three choices. They could elect no medical intervention and take Ansley home to die; they could take a chance with experimental surgery; or follow the path of a potential heart transplant.

The story and journey of Ansley and her parents, Kathy and Roger Flynn continues on the Brink of Greatness Podcast…

The Next Leap Forward

Over 40,000 babies are born in the U.S. with heart defects every year. One in 100 people are born with Congenital Heart Defects. The Flynn’s wanted to do something about this and make a difference in the world, and so they did. 

Kathy & Roger Flynn Build a Legacy at Camp Braveheart in the name of daughter Ansley! 

“Roger would handle fundraising, My job managing director/Camp director, Ansley’s nurse would coordinate the medical team and a special child life coordinator would assist with the agenda/theme of camp. The four of us would work hard to pull off the impossible camp for heart kids with special needs.

The name of our first camp was “Heart Camp”. Heart Camp was set for the first weekend in October 1995 where 25 kids and 25 volunteers would connect and have the time of their lives while growing in confidence and love for one another. Our first camp was a huge success! The second year 1996 was even bigger with 50 kids and 40 volunteers. It brought certain challenges for us personally because Ansley had her 3rd open heart surgery which was a big surgery and she had been in the hospital for a month. But we were determined and by the grace of God we pulled it off. It was at the 2nd camp we realize camp needed its own special name. This awesome place deserved an awesome name so we come up with 3 names and the kids voted on Camp Braveheart! 

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